JOBSON, Sir Francis (by 1509-73), of Monkwick, nr. Colchester, Essex.

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



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

Offices Held

b. by 1509, prob. s. of William Jobson, alderman and bailiff of Colchester, and gd.-s. of Thomas Jobson. m. by 1544, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Arthur Plantagenet, Visct. Lisle, at least 4s. 1da. Kntd. c.1549-50.1

Receiver, ct. of augmentations Beds., Essex and Herts. Apr. 1536-47; j.p. Essex 1547, from 1559, Mdx. from 1569; surveyor of woods south of Trent for ct. of augmentations from 1550; master of jewel house bef. June 1553, rem. temp. Mary; lt. of Tower Aug. 1564-70; original member, governing body of mineral and battery works 1568.2


Jobson’s first post was in the court of augmentations, whose chancellor, Sir Richard Rich, had earlier represented Colchester in Parliament, and must have known the Jobson family well. Jobson himself took full advantage of the opportunities provided by an augmentations office during the dissolution of the monasteries to amass lands and goods. His marriage to the half-sister of Sir John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, followed a short period of service to the Duke and assured him advancement during the second half of Edward VI’s reign. By 1553 he had acquired much of the property of the Grey Friars at Colchester, together with the temporary ownership of the great abbey of St. John there. This last he sold in 1548, retaining as his chief seat Monkwick, near Colchester, which he bought from Dudley, then Earl of Warwick.3

In July 1553 he raised forces to prevent Mary’s accession, and was imprisoned for a short time in the Tower, but apart from losing his office at the jewel house he seems not to have suffered during Mary’s reign, retaining his lands and sitting in two Marian Parliaments. Still, it was not until Elizabeth came to the throne, and the Dudleys returned to court favour, that he again had any part in public life.4

In the Parliament of 1559, where he represented the borough near which his main estates lay, two bills were introduced about his lands, and it is in this connexion that his name appears in the journal for 24 Feb., 21 Mar. and 15 Apr. 1559.5

In the early years of the new reign he must have had a considerable annual income. His surveyorship of woods brought him in over £100 a year, and he was probably still receiving a pension of nearly £85, granted some time previously for surrendering his receivership of augmentations. On the death in 1559 of Sir Andrew Dudley, brother of his former patron the Duke of Northumberland, he was appointed an executor, receiving for his pains the best of Dudley’s ‘garments and apparel’. In July 1560 he was able to pay almost £650 for the manor of East Donyland and other property in the Colchester district. He was restored to the Essex commission of the peace, his name appearing on all the Elizabethan lists of justices until his death: the bishops’ letters in 1564 described him as a favourer of sound religion.6

On 20 Aug. in the same year he succeeded Sir Richard Blount as lieutenant of the Tower, an office which he held until 1570. As lieutenant he was responsible for the musters in the liberty of the Tower, and he and the lord mayor had a protracted quarrel over the boundaries of their several jurisdictions. In October 1565 the Privy Council intervened, writing to both parties that ‘yesterday some quarrels grew in such sort as more inconvenience was like to ensue’, and insisting that legal advice must be taken, while in the meantime both sides must avoid breaches of the peace. The main questions at issue were the custom of mustering the city’s horses on Tower Hill, and the lord mayor’s claim to be present with his sword borne before him.7

The lieutenant of the Tower was an ex-officio member of various London commissions for law and order, and Jobson served on one of these appointed in February 1565 to expedite the trial and punishment of coiners and other felons. His main work—the responsibility for state prisoners—must have been exacting enough, since his term of office coincided with the flight of Mary Stuart to England, the northern rebellion and the first Norfolk plot. A letter from Elizabeth survives, dated 21 Nov. 1569, giving him detailed instructions about the Duke of Norfolk’s imprisonment.8

He died at Monkwick 4 June 1573, leaving as heir his son John, aged about 25. His will, made in August 1572 and proved 15 July 1573, left £10 to be distributed in alms at his funeral, with another £4 to be divided among the poor of East Donyland and Hatfield Peverel. His daughter Mary was to have 600 marks towards her marriage, and his three younger sons £100 each. One of them, Edward, who received also the office of master of the game and keeper of Wickes park in Essex, was appointed co-executor with Sir Thomas Lucas. The will includes a detailed schedule of lands, the profits of which could be used by the executors to pay Jobson’s debts and to provide the legacies to his family. He was buried at St. Giles, Colchester.9

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 64; PCC 25 Peter; Morant, Colchester (1768), 137 n.
  • 2. CPR, 1547-8, p. 83; 1548-9, p. 86; 1549-51, p. 355; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 133-4; LP Hen. VIII, xiii(1), p. 573; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 243; Add. 1566-79, p. 380 (giving North of Trent in error); Stowe 571, f. 6 seq.; I. Temple, Petyt Mss 538, vol. 39, ff. 134 seq.; APC , viii. 16 and index; CPR, 1566-9, p. 274.
  • 3. Ex inf. Mr. D. F. Corcos; Morant, Colchester (1768), pp. 117, 137, 144; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 51, 204; 1548-9, p. 86; 1549-51, p. 355; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 117, 133; G. R. Elton, Tudor Revolution in Govt. 105; LP Hen. VIII, xiv(1), p. 608; (2), p. 10; Morant, Essex, ii. 186 n.
  • 4. APC, iv. 293, 313, 418; CPR, 1553-4, p. 224; 1554-5, p. 142.
  • 5. CJ, i. 55, 58, 59.
  • 6. Morant, Essex, ii. 186 n.; Collins, Sidney State Pprs. i. 30; CPR, 1558-60, p. 469; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 62.
  • 7. APC, vii. 266-8; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 255.
  • 8. CPR, 1563-6, p. 257; HMC Hatfield, i. 443.
  • 9. Wards 7/18/152; PCC 25 Peter; Morant, Colchester (1768), p. 137.