JOHNSON (JOHNSLEYNE), Martin (d.1606).
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Family and Education
The burgess returned by Woodstock in 1571 and 1572 was presumably a relation of the William Johnson returned in April 1554 and possibly of the Martin Johnson, yeoman, who was high constable of Bampton hundred in 1596. He can be identified rather more confidently with the Martin Johnslyn of Drayton, near Stratford-on-Avon, whose will was proved 28 Aug. 1606, leaving £100 and the furniture in his chamber at Leicester House to his ‘honourable good lady’, Lettice, Countess of Leicester, whom he appointed executrix. The widow of Elizabeth’s favourite was the daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, for much of Elizabeth’s reign the leading figure in Oxfordshire, and in both 1571 and 1572 Johnson was returned with relatives of Knollys, first with Thomas Peniston, then with George Whitton. A year after Lettice Knollys’s marriage to Leicester in 1578 there is an isolated reference to a Johnson, ‘one of the Earl of Leicester’s men’, who was travelling to Boulogne. Sir Francis Knollys left an annuity of £6 13s.4d. to ‘Martyn Johnson, late my servant and now servant to my daughter, the Countess of Leicester’. The man himself remains obscure, but his connexion with Knollys is clear and may have been decisive in effecting his two returns to Parliament.
St. Ch. 5/J14/31, J20/33; PCC 33 Stafforde, 67 Drake; DNB (Dudley, Robert, Earl of Leicester); CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 257.