CONNOCK, John (by 1511-81/82), of Liskeard, Cornw.
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Family and Education
Receiver, duchy of Cornw. in 1532; mayor, Liskeard 1553-4, 1566-7, 1572-3, 1577-8, 1581.2
John Connock, ‘yeoman’, appears to have been a native of Wiltshire who settled in Cornwall as a young man, perhaps because he obtained a minor appointment in the duchy. By trade he was a tanner whose business prospered. After the suppression of Launceston priory he acquired its manor of Hagland in Liskeard from augmentations, and in 1546 an estate of 300 acres in the neighbourhood of the town from a family in financial trouble: an attempt in 1555 to purchase a further 100 acres in St. Neot, a village not far from Liskeard, fell through and he took the would-be vendor to Chancery for breach of contract. Connock seems to have had a litigious nature and an unenviable reputation in the town where he made his home. After he and several others had attacked the incumbent of the parish church in November 1544, he was described in the Star Chamber as ‘a man well known ... to be a common quarreller, railer and perturber of your grace’s subjects’, being ‘of great substance and well favoured ... by reason of his master [unnamed] to whom his naughty conditions and misdemeanours are as yet unknown’, and four years later in a case over the misappropriation of church lands he was alleged to have ‘more regard to [his] private lucre than for the furtherance of divine service’.3
The election of Connock in the autumn of 1554 followed immediately on his first term as mayor and complied with the Queen’s wish for the return of local inhabitants. He and his colleague John Pethebridge, another townsman, were not to satisfy her by remaining at Westminster until the dissolution of Parliament, but like many others they departed early without licence and for this dereliction were prosecuted in the King’s bench during Easter term 1555. Although Connock was distrained by the sheriff of Cornwall, he failed to answer his summons and was fined £2 12s. In Trinity term 1558 he appeared before the court, but judgment was postponed until the following term when Mary’s death put an end to the case. Under Elizabeth he was to enjoy a second spell in Parliament and four further terms as mayor, dying ‘very aged’ during his final mayoralty.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: J. J. Goring
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 93.
- 2. Vis. Cornw. 93; Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 206; J. Allen, Liskeard, 257, 310n; information from G. Haslam.
- 3. Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iii. 151; C1/1112/72, 1334/21, 1356/25, 1420/38; 3/30/21; St.Ch.2/23/3.
- 4. KB27/1176-84, 1187; Allen, 208n; Req.2/62/50.