BELL, John I (by 1508-33/44), of Leominster, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1508. m. Elizabeth, at least 2s.1

Offices Held


The only information which has come to light about John Bell is derived from a chancery suit in which Humphrey Bell of Leominster declared that his father John had possessed land in Burton, Eardisland, Leominster and Middleton by conveyance from William Marten of London, and that the deeds were in the hands of Richard Bradford and Richard Bell. Besides the details of the property, Humphrey Bell’s petition gives the name of his mother and a brother Henry, and since it is addressed to Chancellor Audley it provides a terminal year for John Bell’s death.2

Bell had two namesakes who sat in later Parliaments. With John Bell II of Winchelsea he had no discernible connexion, but John Bell III of Reading, of whose family nothing is known, may have been a kinsman of his. Before the Dissolution the manor of Leominster belonged to Reading abbey, and after it Thomas Vachell I of Reading became overseer of the abbey’s former property in both places and in April 1540 was claiming to be bailiff of Leominster; moreover, when Leominster passed to the crown it came under the jurisdiction of the council in the marches at Ludlow, where again a John Bell is to be found, in 1546 and 1568 as churchwarden and in 1574 as bailiff.3

The Richard Bell mentioned in the chancery case was presumably a relation of John Bell. One or more Richard Bells served Lord Lisle, Princess Mary and successive queens, and one or more John Bells appear in the royal service from 1509 and in Princess Mary’s from 1520.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Presumed to be of age at election. C1/947/18-21.
  • 2. C1/947/18-21.
  • 3. J. Price, Leominster, 55, 59; J. B. Hurry, Reading Abbey, 135; Churchwardens’ Accts. Ludlow (Cam. Soc. c), 25, 128, 157.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, i, iii-vi, xii, xv, xix; Privy purse expenses of Princess Mary 1536-44, ed. Madden, 3 et passim.