DOUGHTY, John (c.1562-1629), of Red Cross, Bristol, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1562,1 s. of John Doughty, yeoman of Duddlewick, Stottesdon, Salop and Anne, da. of William Holland of Burwarton, Salop.2 educ. appr. Bristol 1584.3 m. Mary,4 3s. 6da.; 6 other ch. d.v.p.5 d. 20 Dec. 1629.6

Offices Held

Freeman, Bristol 1596,7 common councilman 1606-20,8 sheriff 1606-7,9 capt. militia 1612-d.,10 dep. alderman 1612,11 alderman 1620-d., mayor 1620-1,12 auditor (jt.) 1621,13 constable of Staple 1621-2.14

Member, Newfoundland Co. 1610;15 member, Bristol Merchant Venturers by 1618,16 master 1623-4.17


Doughty came of a Shropshire yeoman family related to the Barkers and other local gentry. Apprenticed to Richard Cole, alderman and mercer of Bristol, he was subsequently a founder member of the Newfoundland Company, dealt in iron on behalf of the 1st earl of Cork,18 and became a shipowner in partnership with John Barker*,19 whose first cousin married his brother Francis.20

In 1626 Doughty was returned with John Whitson, who had appointed him a trustee for his charities,21 but he left no mark on the records of the second Caroline Parliament. Despite his enthusiasm for the Bristol trained bands, it seems unlikely that it was he who petitioned the Lords to support a project for maintaining 100,000 men in arms.22 Both Bristol Members received £36 6s. 8d. in wages and expenses from the corporation, but Doughty also received additional sums by way of repayment, including £5 he had given the lord treasurer’s secretary ‘to pay the master of the Requests for getting the king’s hand to the petition for the reversion of the castle’.23

Doughty was re-elected in 1628, this time with Barker, and the two men carried up to London a petition against the imposition on wines.24 His only recorded speech, on 6 June, was on the heads of the Remonstrance, when he observed that 200 Irish soldiers had landed at Bristol.25 His sole committee appointment was to examine a petition on the postal system (14 June).26 At the end of June he and Barker secured a warrant to reimburse the city for £1,000 towards the setting forth of two ships to guard the Bristol Channel out of the subsidy receipts. After the prorogation they wrote to Buckingham’s Admiralty secretary Edward Nicholas* to recommend captains and to ask the lord admiral to let them keep their prizes.27 They took back with them to Bristol ‘the several arguments made in Parliament House of the liberty of subjects’.28 Doughty received £30 9s. wages and charges for the first session, reckoned at 15 weeks 3 days,29 and £19 13s. 2d. for the second 60 days.30

Doughty made his will on 12 Dec. 1629, in which he requested his ‘very loving friend and faithful pastor’, William Yeamans, to preach the funeral sermon. He left leaseholds in Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset to his wife, with remainder to his son Richard, then a fellow of All Souls, and provided portions of £300 and £350 for three unmarried daughters. He gave his weapons and armour to Richard, and left drinking money to his ‘loving friends and fellow soldiers’. He bequeathed £100 to the corporation, ‘to be let unto ten burgesses handicraftsmen’, and £5 to the poor of Stottesdon. He named Barker one of his executors. In accordance with his wishes he was buried at All Saints as near to his six children as possible on 5 Jan. 1630.31 As ‘the eldest captain of our trained bands’, he was attended to the grave ‘by all the trained soldiers of our city, in warlike manner’. His widow married Nicholas Hele*. No later member of the family sat in Parliament.32

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. According to his funeral monument he died aged 67. W. Barrett, Hist. and Antiqs. of City of Bristol, 446.
  • 2. Salop RO, Stottesdon par. reg.; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 250.
  • 3. Bristol Appr. Bk. transcribed M. MacGregor (Bristol and Avon Fam. Hist. Soc.), iii. 28.
  • 4. Sales of Wards ed. M.J. Hawkins (Som. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 177.
  • 5. PROB 11/157, f. 116.
  • 6. Adams’s Chron. of Bristol ed. F.F. Fox, 224.
  • 7. Bristol RO, burgess bk. 1557-99, f. 53.
  • 8. Bristol Lists comp. A.B. Beaven, 287.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 168.
  • 10. Bristol RO, Common Council procs. 1608-27, f. 32v; Adams’s Chron. of Bristol, 224.
  • 11. Bristol RO, Common Council procs. 1608-27, f. 28v.
  • 12. Bristol Lists, 287.
  • 13. City Chamberlains’ Accts. ed. D.M. Livock (Bristol Rec. Soc. xxiv), 162.
  • 14. Bristol RO, Common Council procs. 1608-27, f. 101.
  • 15. A. Brown, Genesis of US, 391.
  • 16. Recs. Relating to Soc. of Merchant Venturers ed. P.W. McGrath (Bristol Rec. Soc. xvii), 27.
  • 17. J. Latimer, Hist. of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, 326.
  • 18. Lismore Pprs. (ser. 2) ed. A.B. Grosart, ii. 183, 189.
  • 19. Merchants and Merchandise ed. P.W. McGrath (Bristol Rec. Soc. xix), 213.
  • 20. Vis. Salop, 28.
  • 21. W. Leighton, ‘Manor and Par. of Burnett’, Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. lix. 260.
  • 22. HMC 4th Rep. 7.
  • 23. Bristol RO, mayor’s audit bk. 1625-9, p. 110.
  • 24. J. Latimer, Annals of Bristol in the Seventeenth Cent. 101.
  • 25. CD 1628, iv. 158.
  • 26. Ibid. 307.
  • 27. CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 182, 195; City Chamberlains’ Accts. ed. D.M. Livock (Bristol Rec. Soc. xxiv), 122.
  • 28. Merchants and Merchandise, 144.
  • 29. City Chamberlains’ Accts. 126.
  • 30. Bristol RO, mayor’s audit bk. 1625-9, p. 320.
  • 31. PROB 11/157, f. 116; Bristol RO, All Saints par. reg.
  • 32. Adams’s Chron. of Bristol, 224.