HORPOOL (WHORPOOL), John (1484/85-1558/59), of Northampton.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1484/85. m. Alice, at least 1s.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Northampton 1536-7.2


John Horpool was a tanner who in middle age forfeited his municipal position at Northampton but recovered it later. It was on 21 Nov. 1544 that the corporation took the unusual step of entering a decision into its liber custumarum. The entry records that ‘for many misbehavings, lewd demeanours, perverse actions and divers other urgent causes, considerations here testified practised and committed’, John Horpool and others were to be put out of the council and deprived of their comburgessship. The nature of their offence is not specified, but the ban on their giving advice to the mayor suggests that it was improper intervention in municipal politics. How long Horpool’s proscription lasted is not clear, but although he was never to hold office again he was soon involved in public business: early in Edward VI’s reign he was one of the town’s trustees in a lease of Duston manor made by the 3rd Earl of Worcester to relieve the growing poverty of the town’s inhabitants, and about the same time he appears to have been given a sub lease of a watermill at Duston made for the same purpose at the ‘urgent suit’ of two of his erstwhile judges.3

By the beginning of Mary’s reign, when his son was appointed town treasurer, Horpool had regained full municipal standing, acting as arbitrator and giving testimony with his fellows. The seal was put on his restoration by his adoption as the borough’s second Member in the Parliament of April 1554: he was given money to spend in London on the corporation’s business and for this he afterwards made account. Horpool’s son died early in 1557 and he entered into a bond of statute merchant for the fulfilment of legacies. His own will, made on 17 Aug. 1558, was proved on the following 2 Mar. His wife was to have a life tenure of his properties in Northampton, which were then to be divided equally between his grandsons. Unlike most prominent townsmen he asked to be buried in St. Peter’s church, ‘according to the law and the custom now used’.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Aged 60 in 1555, Recs. Northampton, ed. Cox and Markham, ii. 216. Northampton archdeaconry wills bk. Q, f. 54.
  • 2. Recs. Northampton, i. 560.
  • 3. Ibid. i. 427-8; C1/1384/9; 3/194/7.
  • 4. Northampton ass. bk. 5, 14, 20, 148, 235, 301; Northampton archdeaconry wills bk. Q, f. 54.