POLLARD, Sir John (c.1528-75), of Trelawne, Cornw. and Bishopsgate, 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
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1528, 1st s. of (Sir) Richard Pollard of Forde Abbey, Dorset by Jacquetta, da. of John Bury of Colliton, Devon. m. Catherine, at least 3da.; at least 1s. illegit. suc. fa. 10 Nov. 1542. Kntd. 10 Nov. 1549.

Offices Held

Eccles. commr. 1559; j.p. Devon from c.1559, q. by 1569, Som. from June 1569; visitor, diocese of Exeter 1559; president, council of Munster 1568.1


A distant relation of his namesake the Speaker of 1555, Pollard was one of the ‘right protestants’ who met at ‘Harondayles house’ to discuss parliamentary tactics in that Parliament. A ward of the 1st Earl of Bedford, he was from the time he came of age associated with the group of Devon protestants who formed the 2nd Earl of Bedford’s closest supporters. He served in the St. Quentin expedition under the earls of Pembroke and Bedford. His association with Exeter was of some years’ standing by the time he first represented the city in the Parliament of 1555, during which he voted against a government bill. In 1559 his candidature may have been the result of a compromise between contending city factions. It was an opportune time for Exeter to elect a man in favour with the new government, who had done good service in the city in previous years. In 1563 Pollard was returned for Grampound, being appointed to the succession committee, 31 Oct. 1566. He was obviously on good terms with Sir William Cecil, to whom he wrote, ‘In all my doings hitherto I have been still assisted by your honour’, and through whom, no doubt, he obtained his appointment in Munster. Described by Cecil as ‘a forward gentleman if his gout stay him not backward’, he was unable to take up the appointment, ‘according to [his] heart’s desire’; and was superseded by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.2

Pollard died at his London house between 22 Nov. when he made his will and 29 Dec. 1575, when it was proved. He appointed his brother Matthew executor, leaving him £2,000. Amias Paulet, Sir Arthur Champernown and Bernard Drake were the overseers. He left money to the poor of Combe Martin, where he owned the manor, and bequests to his daughters. His wife received the lease of his town house.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Trans. Dev. Assoc. lxi. 209; Roberts thesis; CPR, 1566-9, p. 350.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi(2), p. 1; PCC 17 Streat; St. Ch. 7/16/6; Sp11/8/35; SP63/25/75, 28/52, 29/12; HMC Foljambe, 7; Devon RO, Tingey 553; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 579; HMC Exeter, 362; Guildford Mus., Loseley 1331/2; D’Ewes, 126; Cal. Proc. Chancery Q. Eliz. iii. 133; CSP Ire. 1509-73, pp. 5, 392.
  • 3. PCC 47 Pyckering.