TASBURGH, John (c.1576-1629), of Beaconsfield and Hawridge, Bucks.; later of Flixton Abbey, Suff.

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.1576, 1st s. of John Tasburgh of Flixton by Elizabeth, da. of John Tracy of Norwich. educ. Balliol, Oxf. Nov. 1594; L. Inn 6 Aug. 1595. m. Lettice, da. of James Cressy, 5s. 7da. suc. uncle 1603, fa. 1607. Kntd. 11 May 1603.1

Offices Held


The Tasburghs acquired an estate in the parish of South Elmham St. Peter early in the reign of Edward III. This remained their chief residence until Tasburgh’s grandfather acquired Flixton Abbey after the dissolution of the monasteries. Tasburgh himself built a new house there in 1616. His marriage to Lettice Cressy was arranged by his father and his uncle, Thomas Tasburgh of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, who was Lettice’s guardian, no doubt because of her fortune, estimated by a seventeenth-century source to be of £10,000. Thomas Tasburgh appears to have adopted his nephew as his heir, for the election return of 1597 describes Tasburgh himself as of Beaconsfield, where Thomas had his seat, and two years previously, on his admission to Lincoln’s Inn, he had also been described as of Buckinghamshire. A Chancery suit followed the marriage, Thomas Tasburgh complaining that while he had fulfilled his part of the marriage bargain by settling the reversion of his manor of Hawridge on John and Lettice, his brother had not yet honoured his part of the agreement, which was to settle an annuity of £120 on them for their present maintenance.2

Tasburgh was presumably returned for Chipping Wycombe through his uncle’s local standing, and influence with Henry, 5th Baron Windsor, high steward of the town. It is likely that the ‘Mr. Tasburgh’ mentioned in the journals for this Parliament was this uncle.

Tasburgh may have left Buckinghamshire on his uncle’s death in 1603, and sold Hawridge in 1606, subsequently living in Suffolk on his father’s estates. He made his will 9 Sept. 1626, and it was proved on 10 Feb. 1630. In a conventional preamble he commended his soul into the hands of Almighty God, ‘hoping assuredly through the merits of Christ Jesus ... to be made a partaker of life everlasting’, and he desired to be buried ‘without any funeral pomp or glorious vanity, but rather in a very private fashion’. Tasburgh himself was regarded by his religious opponents as ‘a hot protestant’, ‘a most perverse heretic’ who threatened his daughter on her conversion to Catholicism that ‘he would cut her tongue out of her head if she spoke one word more in defence of her religion’. His wife was also a Catholic and his eldest son, Charles, whose estates were sequestrated for recusancy during the civil war. Tasburgh died 24 Apr. 1629 a wealthy man. It was thought that £2,000 would be offered for the wardship of his son. He left the larger part of his disposable estate in trust for the payment of his debts and legacies, which amounted to £5,200. There were also charitable bequests to the poor of four Suffolk parishes. His executors were three local gentlemen, to whom he bequeathed £20 each.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. Foster, Al. Ox. early ser. 1456; C142/298/9, 449/38; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 71.
  • 2. A. I. Suckling, Hist. Suff. i. 197, 200; C142/449/38; Harl. 991, p. 75; C2 Eliz./T5/38.
  • 3. VCH Bucks. iii. 368; PCC 17 Scroope; Suff Recs. ed. Copinger, ii. 388; Chron. Eng. Canonesses, St. Monica’s, Louvain (1904), i. 253-6; W. Prynne, Hidden Workes of Darkenes, 68; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 487; C142/449/38.