BOWYER, John (1557-1605), of Knypersley and Sidway, Staffs.

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

Family and Education

b. 1557, 1st s. of William Bowyer I of Knypersley by Anne, da. and coh. of William Heywood of Stonylowe. educ. Staple Inn; G. Inn 1578. m. Katherine, da. of (Sir) Christopher Yelverton, 7s. 3da. suc. fa 1602. Kntd. 1604.

Offices Held

J.p. Staffs. from c.1592, q. by 1597; freeman, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1597; ?servant of (Sir) Christopher Hatton I .


Staffordshire had been the home of the Bowyers since at least the reign of Henry III and it was from there that the Sussex, Surrey and Buckinghamshire branches, represented in Elizabethan parliaments by the two William Bowyers, Robert, Thomas and Edmund Bowyer had spread. The senior line had been settled at Knypersley since at least the late fourteenth century. Bowyer himself was possibly in the service of Sir Christopher Hatton, who included a John Bowyer in an undated list of friends and servants upon whom he had bestowed offices since he became lord chancellor. If so, he enjoyed for a while ‘the writing and passing to the seal of all licences granted for the selling of wine’. Sidway was only some seven miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme, which Bowyer represented in one Elizabethan Parliament, being made a freeman of the borough at the time of his election. He was appointed to three committees, on armour and weapons (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.) and the poor law (22 Nov.).

He died 7 Mar. 1605, being succeeded by his eldest son William, aged nearly 17. Among the real estate listed in the inquisition post mortem were the manors of Knypersley, Apedale and Bucknall, the capital messuages of Sidway Hall and Podmore Hall, the rectories and advowsons of Biddulph and Meare, and various messuages—all in Staffordshire; also the manor of Docking in Norfolk and messuages in Cheshire and Shropshire. Letters of administration were granted to his widow 24 Apr. Bowyer was buried at Meare in a table tomb.

Vis. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. v. pt. 2), 47 seq.; C142/281/86; PCC 39 Bolein; Staffs. Q. Sess. Rolls, iii (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), 54; PRO Index 4208, f. 53; Erdeswick’s Surv. Staffs. 10-12; Lansd. 69, f. 195; PCC admon. act bk. 1605-10, f. 3; T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 50-52; D’Ewes, 553, 555, 561; Wards 7/27/87.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Did not sit for the full duration of the Parliament.