KERRY, John, of Hereford and Sutton, Herefs.

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

m. Joanna, 15 ch.

Offices Held

Mayor, Hereford 1555-6.


Kerry’s background is obscure. There was a family of this name settled at Putson, near Hereford, in the sixteenth century, perhaps a branch of the Kerrys of Worthen, Shropshire, but no pedigrees are known. Kerry was almost certainly related to Thomas Kerry, who sat in Parliament for Leominster in 1555 and who was a clerk of the privy seal for most, if not all, of Elizabeth’s reign.

In 1549 and the early 1550s Kerry acquired small portions of former monastic and chantry lands, including property at Marden, formerly belonging to Trinity chantry in the church there, and a garden next to the Good Knaves inn, Hereford, once owned by Aconbury priory. He also leased several small items of land in and around Hereford and may, perhaps, have owned property in Gloucester. His living came from selling wine, an occupation threatened by the statute of Edward VI restricting the number of licensed innkeepers. He petitioned Queen Mary against the cancellation of his licence, claiming that he and his wife would

be otherwise compelled to put away their apprentices, journeymen and other their servants, and to break up their household, to their utter undoing, having 15 children and none other trade or living, but only by retailing of wines, wherein they had been brought up the most part of their lifetime.

The appeal was successful, Kerry being allowed to sell ‘any kind of wine, to be drunk or spent in their mansion house, or other place in their occupation within the city of Hereford’.

No date of death has been found.

Harl. 2131, f. 1; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 286; CPR, 1548-9, pp. 258-9; 1549-51, pp. 157, 376; 1553, p. 128; 1553-4, p. 331; 1555-7, p. 497; R. Johnson, Anc. Customs Hereford, 2nd ed. 133-4.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.