ALFORD, John (d.1600), of Holt Castle, Denb., Fawley, Bucks. and Beverley, Yorks.

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

1st s. of John Alford of Holt by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Pickering of Holt; bro. of Lancelot. m. Elizabeth, da. of John Oglethorpe of Newington, Oxon., wid. of Robert Rokes of Fawley, 1s.

Offices Held


Alford was one of a number of East Riding gentry who sat for Hedon in the Elizabethan period. He had property in the Hull district and at Beverley, where he owned a house left him by his uncle in Mynstermoregate. Outside Yorkshire he had lands in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and houses in London and Middlesex. He seems to have sold his Denbighshire estate and to have settled at Fawley. No evidence has been found of his holding any county office.

Early in 1586 an attempt was made to marry his stepdaughter Elizabeth Rokes, the Queen’s ward, to one of his relatives, possibly his brother Lancelot. Details are lacking, but in April his kinsman Francis Alford wrote to Burghley that he feared imprisonment for the part he had played in helping to make the contract. The letter does not make clear whether John was a prime mover in the affair. In October 1588 he offered 400 marks for another ward, the son of William Fairfax, if the boy’s father should die. Burghley, the master of the wards, was generally well-disposed to the Alford family, as Roger Alford had been his servant for many years.

Alford’s will, dated 20 Mar. 1600 and proved at the end of May in the same year, includes a list of his lands and leases. He left £6 in bequests to the poor of Fawley, Henley and Hambledon, Buckinghamshire. Among the family legacies was one of 40s. to his brother Lancelot. His widow married Richard Mompesson by February 1601.

Lansd. 51, f. 4; 737, f. 193; Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 486; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 65; C66/1549; PCC 20 Wallopp; York Wills 17, f. 269; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 551; Chamberlain Letters, ed. McClure, i. 117.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.C.H.