GURDON, John (c.1544-1623), of Assington, nr. Sudbury, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. c.1544, 1st s. of Robert Gurdon by Rose, da. of Robert Sexton, wid. of William Appleton of Little Waldingfield, sis. and coh. of Thomas Sexton of Lavenham. educ. I. Temple 1558. m. Amy, da. and h. of William Brampton of Letton, Norf., 1s. Brampton 1da. suc. fa. 1578.
J.p. Suff. from c.1579, sheriff 1584-5.
The Gurdons were small clothiers and landowners of Dedham, Essex, who by the close of the fifteenth century had risen in status. Gurdon’s father made a fortunate marriage, and purchased Assington Hall from Sir Richard Corbet†. Thus, by the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign Robert Gurdon had the standing of a country gentleman and was a justice of the peace with a son at an inn of court. It was this son who was returned for the local borough of Sudbury in 1571, but no contribution by him to the business of that Parliament is known.
After he had succeeded his father, Gurdon was from time to time asked to undertake special duties, as, for instance, to arbitrate in the case of a disputed marriage contract, or to find means of satisfying the creditors of Dr. Sherman, a physician imprisoned for debt, whose professional services could not easily be spared. Gurdon died 21 Sept. 1623. His will, made in December 1621, and proved 10 Oct. 1623, cut out the heir Brampton, who nevertheless inherited the entailed lands. The executor and residuary legatee was a grandson John, Brampton’s son by his first wife, but the Norfolk property was to go to the testator’s brother Robert. Sir Henry Mildmay was supervisor.
Wards 7/20/46, 68/7; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 141, 180; J.J. Muskett, Suff. Manorial Fams. i. 277-8, 286; New England Hist. Gen. Reg. xcii. 381; PCC 19 Bakon, 99 Swann; APC, xvi. 20; xxii. 233-4.