DYNHAM, John (1501/2-35), of Eythrope in Waddesdon, Bucks.

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



Family and Education

b. 1501/2, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Dynham of Waddesdon and Albury, Oxon. by Joan, da. and coh. of John Ormond of Alfreton, Derbys.; bro. of Thomas. educ. ?L. Inn, adm. 20 May 1520. m. by 1520, Joan, da. of Sir John Heron of Hackney, Mdx. suc.fa. 12 Nov. 1519.2

Offices Held


The name ‘Jacobus Dynham’ appears as that of the second Member for Tavistock on the only surviving list of Members of the Parliament of 1529. If the Member concerned was James Dynham or Dinham, of the family settled at Wortham in Lifton, a few miles from Tavistock, there appears to be little to add to the information about him supplied by the family’s pedigree and there is no sign of patronage at work on his behalf. Such is the void surrounding his name that the name itself, at least in its baptismal part, may be called into question: if the ‘Jacobus’ of the list is a clerical error for ‘Johannes’, an identification suggests itself which has a good deal more to commend it than that with James Dynham. The John Dynham who would thus attract attention was not one or other of James Dynham’s two brothers of that name, but an offspring, albeit illegitimately, of the noble house of Dynham and he is here taken to have been the Member.3

The last Lord Dynham had died in 1501 leaving as coheirs his four sisters: of his own children the only one to survive him was a bastard son who assumed the family name. Set up by his father at Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire, Thomas Dynham secured his acceptance in that county, of which he became a justice of the peace in 1509 and sheriff in 1512; he probably also had a place at court, and about 1518 he was knighted. He followed his father and his half-brother George by being admitted to Lincoln’s Inn, and it was in consideration of his own membership and benevolence towards the inn that on 20 May 1520 his son was admitted there. Described in the books of the inn only as ‘Master Dynham’, this was probably the elder of his two sons John and George, and the particular interest of the occasion is that a newly appointed bencher, William Honychurch, took part in it. A link with Honychurch could well have contributed to John Dynham’s election as his fellow-Member for Tavistock to the Parliament of 1529, and even if the Dynham coheirs and their important husbands had not acknowledged him he could have looked for support elsewhere, notably from his stepfather Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northamptonshire, whose nearness to Wolsey need not have compromised his position: it was about 1529 that Fitzwilliam leased to Dynham the manor of Eythrope, in which Dynham’s mother had a life interest, and Dynham appears as a trustee in Fitzwilliam’s inquisition post mortem of August 1534. Not that fate was to prove kind to Dynham, for he first had to sell his interest in Eythrope, which in 1533 passed to feoffees, including Sir Thomas More, on behalf of More’s son-in-law and Dynham’s own brother-in-law Giles Heron, and in the autumn of 1535 he died. More may also have favoured Dynham’s election for Tavistock in 1529. Dynham’s death would have created a vacancy there for the last session of the Parliament but there is no trace of a by-election.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. T. Bindoff


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/34/61, 35/58. Coll. Top. et Gen. vii. 257; PCC 33 Bodfelde.
  • 3. Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 316; SP1/56, ff. 2-10; C1/239/22; J. Nicholl, Company of Ironmongers, i. 53, 56, 58, 474, 530, 541-2; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 110; LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv; Cal. Hustings Wills, ii(2), 662; PCC 49 Welles.
  • 4. Trans. Dev. Assoc. l. 476-8; LP Hen. VIII, i, ix, x; E150/29/3, 697/11; C142/57/3, 20, 21; VCH Bucks. iii. 343; iv. 110-11; Collinson, Som. i. 22; C. O. Moreton, Waddesdon and Over Winchendon, 77n.