BUNTING, John (c.1480-1544/46), of New Romney, Kent.

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. c.1480, s. of John Bunting of New Romney by Joan. m. by 1519, Alice, 2s. inc. Richard* 1da.2

Offices Held

Jurat, New Romney ?1521-d., chamberlain 1528-9; bailiff to Yarmouth 1528.3


John Bunting came of a family which had resided at Lydd since the late 14th century but which established a branch at Romney only in 1508, when his father, also John, became free of that port. This John Bunting is readily distinguishable from his cousin and namesake, a yeoman of the crown who died in 1511, but at Romney his career confusingly overlapped that of his son until his own death in 1526. It is thus uncertain which of them was the jurat listed for five years before that event, although the father, who was then in his sixties and appears to have held no office in the town, is less likely to have been elected than his 40-year-old son: the same preference may extend to the wardenship of the Passion Play, for their care of which in 1513-14 four citizens, including one of the Buntings, were rewarded by the town chamberlains.4

Three years after his father’s death Bunting was returned to Parliament for Romney with Richard Gibson. His fellow-Member’s readiness to serve without payment must have made it easier for the town—at least until Gibson was replaced by John Marshall in 1536—to find the money for Bunting’s wages, and he was paid promptly and, to all appearance, fully for his expenses in successive sessions. To judge by the amounts involved he varied greatly in his attendance: at the standard rate of 2s. a day, he was paid for the whole of the first session (1529), for about two thirds of the second (1531), for brief periods of 15 and 11 days out of the third and fourth (1532), for almost the whole of the fifth (1533), and for between one half and two thirds of the sixth, seventh and eighth. The slump in this record, in 1532, which might otherwise be dismissed as an illusion produced by short payment or faulty accounting, can be matched by corresponding figures from other ports. Beyond the fact that he was also the town’s representative at the coronation of Anne Boleyn there is nothing more to be said of Bunting’s part in this Parliament or in that of July 1536, to which he was re-elected in accordance with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members, although with whom is not certainly known. For this Parliament, which lasted 41 days, he was paid £3, that is, for 30 days.5

Bunting made his will on 17 Nov. 1540. He left his wife £20, sheep and cattle and a share of his household stuff. To his younger son he gave 20 marks and sheep and cattle, and to his daughter £6 13s.4d. at marriage. The residue of his goods he left to his elder son and executor, Richard Bunting. The will, witnessed by Gregory Holton, was not proved until 2 Oct. 1546.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Romney chamberlains’ accts. 1528-80, ff. 32, 49v.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from family evidence and his assessment towards taxation in 1516. Ex inf. C. G. Bunting, of Northbrook, West Hartlepool, upon whose study of his family’s history the entry in Burke, LG is based; Canterbury prob. reg. C20, f. 54.
  • 3. Romney assessment bk. 1516-22, f. 138; chamberlains’ accts. 1528-80, ff. 4v seq.
  • 4. Lydd Recs. passim; Romney assessment bk. 1486-1508, f. 117; Arch. Cant. xxxvii, 105-6, 115; LP Hen. VIII, i; HMC 5th Rep. 550, 552; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 186 seq.
  • 5. Romney chamberlains’ accts. 1528-80, ff. 8v, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19v, 22v, 27, 29, 32, 49v.
  • 6. Canterbury prob. reg. C20, f. 54; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. 231; Romney chamberlains accts. 1528-80. f. 57.