AYLWORTH, John (c.1515-75), of Wells, Som. and Bangor Place, Holborn, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1515, ?s. of Anthony Aylworth of Aylworth, Glos. by his 1st w. m. Elizabeth Ashton, 6s. inc. Ashton and Edward, 1da.2

Offices Held

Servant of Richard Cromwell alias Williams by May 1537-40; receiver of augmentations, Cornw., Devon, Dorset and Som. 1 Nov. 1544-61; commr. corotar. to survey chantries in south-western counties c.1546; receiver-gen. duchy of Cornw. by 1560; keeper of Marylebone House by 1553; jurat of Wells 1558-d.; master of guilds of merchants 1559-60.3


As a result of his augmentations post Aylworth acquired land in Wells and other parts of Somerset and Devon. In Wells itself his purchases included the ex-monastic property known as the college of Montroy, in the precincts of which he built a mansion. His receivership of augmentations, until he surrendered it in 1561, necessitated his presence in the west country, and no doubt he divided his time between Wells and London. Afterwards he seems to have settled in Wells, which he represented in seven Parliaments, the last time after a contest. He spoke ‘to no purpose’ on the vagabonds bill 30 May 1572. His failure to be returned to Parliament between 1553 and 1558 may have been unconnected with religion. He was not listed among the protestants in the Parliament of October 1553, and he retained his offices under Mary, impartially defrauding her and Edward VI of ‘many thousands’. However, the preamble to his will, made in September 1575 and proved 16 Mar. 1576, reads like that of a protestant. He described himself as of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, asked to be buried without pomp in the parish church there, and remembered the poor both of Holborn and Wells. His Devon lands went to his son Walter, subject to £20 annuities to four younger sons, one of whom, Anthony, was at New College, Oxford. His daughter Frances received £400 and half her father’s jewels. Apart from small sums of money and rings to relatives and friends, the residue of lands and goods went to the heir, Ashton, who was appointed sole executor. Aylworth’s ‘dear friend’ Edward Bashe was overseer.

Aylworth died 28 Dec. 1575.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 7; PCC 4 Carew.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII xx(1), pp. 147, 675; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 356; A. L. Rowse, Tudor Cornw. 93; Wells act bk. 1553-1623, ff. 25, 35.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, v. 557; xx(1), p. 224; CPR, 1554-5, p. 77; 1558-60, p. 423; M. G. Price, ‘English Borough Representation, 1509-58’ (Oxf. Univ. DPhil. thesis 1959), pp. 272-3; St. Ch. 4/3/55; HMC Lords, n.s. xi. 8; PCC 4 Carew; T. Serel, Mayors of Wells, 9; Wells act bk. 1553-1623, f. 86.