DYSTER, John (d.1577), of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London.

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

educ. ?Camb. 1552. m. (1) Joyce; (2) Alice, 1s. 2da.

Offices Held

Clerk of the enrolment of indentures in Chancery 1558, for writing custodies and process out of the court of wards 1574.


Since John Dyster was always described as ‘fishmonger of London’, it may be presumed that his father was a member of that company. He was designated on the pardon roll of 1554 as a servant of Edmund Marten, one of the clerks of the Crown, and by 1565 was serving as deputy to the clerk of the Crown. He shared his two chancery clerkships with Thomas Lutley and one Sudloe, respectively. He owned the manor of Burfield, Essex and property in Fleet Street and elsewhere in London. In 1557 together with Robert Cresswell, he obtained a ‘great tenement’ in St. Martin Outwich, which he sold in the following year. In 1561 he and several other chancery officials were appointed governors of the free grammar school of Queen Elizabeth in St. Dunstan-in-the-West. His sympathies were always with the old religion and he was listed as a papist in 1577. It is not known how he came to be returned for Westbury.

He died in 1577. His will, made 28 May and proved 11 June of that year, made reference to ‘the glorious company of his [Christ’s] most blessed mother, the holy Virgin Mary’. He asked to be buried in St. Dunstan’s near his first wife and that his widow should also be buried there. He bequeathed 40s. towards repairs of the church and £5 to such poor persons as might attend his funeral. Provision was made for his servants, and annuities provided for poor members of the London companies of fishmongers, fletchers and bowyers. The inmates of ten London prisons received 20s. and lesser sums went to three other places of detention. To Richard Tottel he gave his ‘fine gilt song books’, while the remainder of his library went to his son and heir William, a student at the Middle Temple. The executor, Sir William Cordell, master of the rolls, received a gold ring and a set of virginals.

W. J. Jones, ‘The Elizabethan Chancery’, London Univ. PhD thesis 1958, p. 155; CPR, 1553-4, p. 450; 1557-8, pp. 1, 458, 461; 1558-60, p. 130; 1560-3, p. 227; CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, p. 550; APC, vii. 291; PCC 22 Daughtry.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.