DAUNTESEY (DAUNCE), Christopher (by 1524-59), of London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1524. m. Thomasin Coppinger, at least 1s.1

Offices Held


Christopher Dauntesey was related to the Daunteseys of West Lavington, Wiltshire: he owned a little property in the county, some of which at Compton he inherited in 1543 from a kinsman, William Dauntesey of London. On completing his apprenticeship to Hugh Methwold, Dauntesey was admitted in 1545 to the Mercers’ Company. Within two years he was engaged as a financial agent by the crown, and in this capacity he served four successive monarchs until his dismissal in November 1553 for borrowing at unnecessarily high rates of interest. He had the ear of (Sir) John Thynne, to whom he wrote from Antwerp in 1548 on mint affairs, and perhaps through this agency in the spring of 1551 he lent the Duke of Somerset £600. Notwithstanding his dealings with the Seymours he enjoyed several marks of favour from the Duke of Northumberland, who persuaded him to subscribe to the instrument enabling Jane Grey to succeed to the throne on Edward VI’s death. Of his part in the succession crisis nothing has come to light, but whatever its nature it proved no obstacle to his return to the first Parliament of Mary’s reign. As his name was written over an erasure on the indenture for Lostwithiel, he presumably owed his Membership to the duchy of Cornwall whose headquarters were situated in the town: the intermediary was doubtless a fellow-mercer, John Cosworth, who exercised the receiver-generalship of the duchy before formal appointment late in 1553. Dauntesey did not join the Protestant opposition, but he was not to be re-elected. In 1554 he obtained a licence to import felt and hats from Spain and Portugal and a year later helped found the Russia Company. At the outbreak of war with France he secured a protection for himself and his goods. This was renewed on 7 June 1558 for three years in recognition of his service under Sir Leonard Chamberlain, and again on 30 May 1559 but then for one year only. He obtained a copy of the second renewal on the following 21 Oct. and must have died soon afterwards, since before the end of the year his widow was involved in several transactions over his property in Wiltshire.2

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from admission to Mercers’ Company. VCH Wilts. vii. 101, 130.
  • 2. VCH Wilts. vii. 101, 130; PCC 22 Spert; ‘List of mercers’, T/S Mercers’ Hall, i. 137; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; T. S. Willan, Muscovy Merchants of 1555, pp. 90-91; Bath mss., Thynne pprs. 2, ff. 37-38v.; Egerton 2815; E315/340/4; Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii), 100; CPR, 1553-4, pp. 399, 436; 1554-5, p. 57; 1557-8, pp. 76, 138; 1558-60, pp. 112, 144; C219/21/30.