WINCHCOMBE, John (by 1519-74), of Bucklebury, Berks.

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

b. by 1519, 1st s. of John Winchcombe of Newbury prob. by his 1st w. Jane (Joan) or Elizabeth. m. bef. 1550, Helen, da. of Thomas St. Loe, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 2 Dec. 1557.1

Offices Held

Commr. or capt. musters, Berks. 1546, commr. church goods Mar. 1553; escheator, Berks. and Oxon. 1552-3, 1560-1; j.p.q. Berks from c.1559, sheriff 1571-2.2


Winchcombe’s family had been connected with Protector Somerset, whose servant Sir John Thynne was influential at Wootton Bassett, and Thynne was probably his patron in 1571. In this Parliament Winchcombe sat on committees for griefs and petitions (7 Apr.) and the preservation of woods (10 May).

When he became head of his family in 1557, Winchcombe succeeded to lands bought by his father at the dissolution of the monasteries with money left by the most famous of the Winchcombes, the great clothier ‘Jack of Newbury’, who had died in 1520. The 1571 MP was the first of his house to settle at Bucklebury, a few miles northeast of Newbury, centre of a large estate which had formerly belonged to Reading abbey: the property also included the manors of East Lockinge and Thatcham, with many houses and cottages, and over 5,000 acres of land, nearly half of it pasture. The family kept up the clothing business for many years, but the younger John, unlike his father, who supplied the Henrician court with kerseys, does not appear to have played an active part in it. Information about him is largely concerned with county administration, and little has been ascertained about his private life: the presumption is that he lived as a country gentleman on the profits of the family trade. Bishop Jewel in 1564 asked him for information on the religious position of Berkshire justices, and described him as a furtherer of sound religion, and among the returns which Winchcombe sent up to the Council were inventories of a Berkshire recusant’s lands. He was also actively interested in the county musters as late as 1560.3

He died at the end of February 1574: the entry in the Bucklebury register styled him ‘lord of this parish’. Some of the confusion in the family pedigrees may be explained by the death of his eldest son, another John, very soon afterwards. The eventual heir was the second son, Francis, aged about 18. Three months after Winchcombe’s death the widow remarried.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. E150/822/5; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 233; Ashmole, Berks. iii. 300; A. L. Humphreys, Bucklebury, ped. opp. p. 310.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi(1), p. 40 seq.; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 413.
  • 3. CJ, i. 83, 88; LP Hen. VIII, xiv(1), p. 151; xv. p. 109; Humphreys, 311; VCH Berks. iii. 291; E150/822/5; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 351, 413; 1563-6, pp. 385-6; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 38; CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, p. 502.
  • 4. Wards 7/15/56; Humphreys, 328; London Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxv), 60.