Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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The identity of the John Young who sat for New Shoreham in three Elizabethan Parliaments has not been established. The name is common in contemporary records: in Sussex alone at least eight John Youngs have left their mark, but not one of them had a known connexion with New Shoreham, or lived in its vicinity. The problem of identification is complicated by the borough's confused parliamentary history in the last two decades of the reign. The Howards, Duke of Norfolk and later Earls of Arundel, owners of the borough, enjoyed control of elections for a long time, but in 1585 Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, was sent to the Tower and it is difficult to estimate to what extent the family's local influence survived. Probably it became easier for local gentlemen to be returned, as occurred in 1593 and 1601, and John Young may well be in this category. If so, two possible candidates suggest themselves, one from Petworth, the other from Chichester.

YOUNG,  John (d. c.1599), of Petworth, Suss.

s. of John Young of Petworth (d.c.1558), by Thomasine, da. of John Kyme of Lewes, wid. of John Taylor of Horsham and of John Meriot or Marlott of Horsham.

William Young, who died in 1553, was a Petworth clothier who invested some of his profits in land, including the manor of Ambersham, near Petworth. William Young’s son John (d. 1557/8), married four times and his son by his third wife, also John, may have been the New Shoreham MP. This man seems to have carried on the family business at Petworth, where he died about 1599. Nothing more has been discovered about him, though he may have been a servant of Lady Dacre, mentioned in her will in 1594.1


YOUNG, John, of Chichester, Suss.

Customer, Chichester by 1586; ?dep. v.-adm. Suss., commr. sewers 1604.

This man is first heard of in 1581 as proprietor of the former Greyfriars church in Chichester. In August and September 1591 the Privy Council instructed him to prevent the illegal export of ordnance. By 1594 he was in the Gatehouse prison for not furnishing accounts and for imposing his own arbitrary duties. All the same, he retained the office into James I’s reign. The award of £4,000 to John Young (if it is the same man), together with George Somers of Chichester, as compensation for the loss of a ship, indicates that he also traded on his own account.2

Other John Youngs were a man who sat for Rye in 1604, whose interests were confined to East Sussex, and another who was bailiff of the barony of Lewes in 1560. Still others lived at Wadhurst, Warnham and Malling, all in Sussex.3

The possibility that the Member was not a Sussex man, but the nominee of a court patron, cannot be ruled out, but here again no satisfactory candidate has been found. The eminent naval captain who fought against the Armada and later sought favours from the Earl of Essex is hardly likely to have sat, being at Plymouth fitting out his ship for the Drake expedition to Lisbon while the 1589 Parliament was in session. There was also a John Young who was a messenger of the Queen’s chamber in 1587 and who was granted the reversion of the office of porter of the great wardrobe in 1608.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies, Lewes Centre, 144; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 185; PCC 1 Tashe; VCH Hants, iii. 78; Suss. N. and Q. ii. 182; Suss. Rec. Soc. xliii. 246, 248; Chichester consistory ct. wills, vol. 9, f. 17; Dallaway, Suss. i. 280.
  • 2. Lansd. 49, f. 38; 60, f. 60; 75, f. 206; 77, f. 184; 11, ff. 196-7; 144, f. 25; Suss Arch. Colls. li. 33; APC, xiv. 76; xxi. 417, 431-2; HMC Hatfield, ix. 371; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 164; 1611-18, pp. 19, 108; E. suss. RO, Rye Recs. 89.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 159 et passim; 1581-90, p. 27; Add. 1580-1625, p. 135; CSP For. 1562, passim; Suss. Arch. Colls. xiii. 182 seq.; APC, iv. 391, 395; xiii. 417; PCC 10 Parker, 8 Scroope; J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies, Horsham Centre, 388-9; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 112.
  • 4. SP12/259/48; Monson, Tracts (Hak. Soc.) i. 182; iv. 202-27; J. K. Laughton, Defeat of Span. Armada (Navy Rec. Soc.), i. 158; ii. 287, 337; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 449; 1591-4, p. 421; 1603-10, p. 396; Add. 1566-79, pp. 387-8; APC, xii. 212; xv. 332, 334, 368.