AGMONDESHAM, John I (c.1511-73), of Rowbarns, East Horsley, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b.c.1511, s. of Henry Agmondesham by his w. Elizabeth. m. Margaret, da. and coh. of William Everard of Albourne, Suss., 2s. inc. John II 1da.1

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. from 1554, Surr. and Suss. from c.1559; commr. musters, Surr. 1569.2


Agmondesham must have owed his parliamentary seat to his neighbours the Howards of Effingham, who controlled Reigate. As an active county official he sat on commissions with William, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, whose letters make several references to him. He owned property in East Horsley by 1549, but it was not until May 1560 that he bought the manor which had formerly belonged to Christchurch priory, Canterbury. Later, Agmondesham added to his lands in the district, and as late as a month before his death he was trying, in face of considerable opposition, to enclose a ‘great piece’ of East Horsley common. He also owned the manor of Breach in Ewhurst, and in Sussex he had an estate in right of his wife at Albourne. The Loseley manuscripts contain a number of references to his official work in Surrey.3

In 1563, before he became a Member of Parliament, he carried on a correspondence with William More I, who was in London, reporting ‘great talk’ among the Sussex gentry ‘touching the iron mills’, and their opinions about a proposed parliamentary bill on the subject. During the second reading of the bill for church attendance and receiving of communion (20 Apr. 1571), ‘without regard of anything spoken before’, he recommended as a good precedent a decree recently passed in the Star Chamber, and signed by nine Privy Councillors, about the taking of communion at the Middle Temple, where his son John had been a student for some years. His ‘motion was well liked, and he required to bring the same the next day, which was done’. Next day he was put on the committee for this bill, and on 28 Apr. on that for another religious bill.4

Agmondesham was buried at Horsley on 7 Feb. 1573. His will, made in March 1572 and proved on 25 Feb. 1573, which describes him as ‘aged about sixty-one’, gives details of his Surrey property. His religious position is obscure: he made a typically Catholic stipulation that 40s. should be given to the poor at ‘my burial and month day’, provided ‘10s. or more’, for a learned preacher at one or other of these ceremonies, and ended with a protestant prohibition of any ‘glorious pomp and old fondness’. The bishops’ letters to the Privy Council in 1564 described him as a ‘favourer’ of sound religion. The legacies were mainly to relatives. The sole executor was the heir, his son John.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. PCC 7 Peter; Comber, Suss. Genealogies (Horsham Centre), 88-9; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 54. This last does not agree with William Everard’s will, PCC 30 Bodfelde.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 25; Surr. Musters (Surr. Rec. Soc. iii), 137.
  • 3. HMC 7th Rep. 620-4, 662; CPR, 1549-51, p. 18; 1558-60, p. 333; VCH Surr. iii. 99.
  • 4. HMC 7th Rep. 616; Trinity, Dublin, anon. jnl. f. 35; CJ, i. 85, 86; D’Ewes, 176, 177, 180.
  • 5. PCC 7 Peter; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 56; Vis. Surr.