MORE, Sir John (c.1520-c.76), of Morehayes, Devon.

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.1520, 1st s. of Humphrey More of Morehayes by Anne or Agnes, da. of Sir Lewis Pollard. m. Katherine, da. of Sir Thomas Pomeroy of Berry Pomeroy by Jane, da. of Sir Peter Edgecombe, 8s. 6da. suc. fa. 1537. Kntd. 1549.1

Offices Held

J.p. Devon from c.1559, dep. lt. 1569.2


Though a well-known figure in the west country, More had no known personal connexion with either of the boroughs he represented in Parliament, presumably owing his seats to the and Earl of Bedford, with whom he had fought at St. Quentin in 1557. His strong protestant convictions—in 1564 he was chosen to advise the bishop of Exeter on the religion of Devon justices—were in line with Bedford’s own, and his brother James was in the Earl’s service. In the second session of the 1563 Parliament More was appointed to the succession committee, 31 Oct. 1566, and to hear the Queen’s message on the succession on 5 Nov. 1566. This was his only recorded parliamentary activity.3

Still a minor when his father died, More became involved in complex lawsuits over his inheritance. Under Mary he was cited at least once before Star Chamber (on no more serious charge than that of rabbit stealing) and sued out a general pardon at Elizabeth’s accession. For the rest of his life he acted as a trusted servant of the Crown in Devon. In 1574 he and his friend Sir Gawain Carew were thanked by the Privy Council for their help to the Earl of Bedford, who in turn praised their diligence in local affairs. At about the same time More was acting with Arthur Bassett on a Privy Council assignment to investigate an affray at Dartmouth.4

He died intestate, probably early in 1576: in October that year his widow was granted administration of his property. The heir, his son Humphrey, who married a sister of Amias Bampfield, was a wastrel who was dismissed from the bench of justices for misconduct.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 573; Vis. Devon 1564, ed. Colby, 161-2.
  • 2. Lansd. 56, f. 168 seq.
  • 3. HMC Foljambe, 7; Cam. Misc. ix(3), pp. 68-9; D’Ewes, 126; Camb. Univ. Lib. Gg. iii. 34, p. 209.
  • 4. PRO Lists and Indexes, li. 157; vii. 384; liv. 253; xiii. 277, 281, 323; xxi. 153; PRO cal. enrolled deeds 1547-55, p. 10; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 214, 228; APC, viii. 187, 304; HMC Hatfield, ii. 100.
  • 5. PCC admon. act bk. 1576, f. 108v; Vivian, loc. cit.; Hooker, Carew, 166; Lansd. 53, f. 170 seq.