John Fortescue of Salden

  (Redirected from John Fortescue (16th century))

Sir John Fortescue (ca. 1531 or 1533 – 23 December 1607) of Salden Manor, near Mursley, Buckinghamshire, was the seventh Chancellor of the Exchequer of England, serving from 1589 until 1603.

Sir John Fortescue


Fortescue was the son of Adrian Fortescue who was martyred and has been beatified. Sir John was a great-grandson of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London (1457), and thus a second-cousin of Queen Elizabeth I.[1] His mother was Anne Reade, daughter of Sir William Reade.[1] He was descended from Sir Richard Fortescue, 3rd son of Sir John Fortescue (died after 1432), Captain of the Castle of Meaux, of Shepham in the parish of Modbury, Devon.[2]


Fortescue led a largely undistinguished career in Parliament prior to his accession to the chancellorship, serving in several districts (including for Wallingford), and he continued to serve in Parliament after losing that title. Fortescue also held the position of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1601 to his death. Fortescue served under Queen Elizabeth I and was knighted in 1592. He inherited the manor of Great Washbourne from his mother. [3]

When King James I came to the throne in 1603 at the Union of the Crowns, he and Anne of Denmark stayed at his manor of Salden on 27 June.[4] Fortescue advocated restrictions on the King's power, in part in order to limit the appointment of Scottish people. These reforms were not implemented, and as a result, James dismissed him from his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He retained, however, his position in Parliament and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as well as the keeper of the great wardrobe.[5]

Death and burialEdit

Fortescue was buried in Mursley Church in Buckinghamshire, where a monument was erected in his honour.[6]


Fortescue had six children with his first wife Cecilia Ashfield (d. 1571), daughter of Sir Edmund Ashfield of Ewelme.[7] Including:

He had a daughter with seventh with his second wife, Alice Smith, daughter of Christopher Smith of Annables, Hertfordshire, and widow of Richard Robson:

  • Margery Fortescue (d. 1613), who married Sir John Pulteney of Misterton, Leicestershire (1585-1617).[9]

Many of his children followed his path in politics, holding positions in Parliament.[6] In 1621 Alice Fortescue, the widow of John Fortescue, sold Tickford Priory in Newport Pagnell to the royal physician, Dr Henry Atkins for £4,500.[10]

The house he built at Salden was demolished. A chair carved with the Fortescue and Ashfield heraldry, presumably from the house, was found in an antique shop in Aylesbury in 1873 and bought by a descendant, Thomas Fortescue, 1st Baron Clermont.[11]


  1. ^ a b FORTESCUE of Salden (Sir Knight)
  2. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.352-3
  3. ^ Elrington, C R. "Parishes: Great Washbourne Pages 232-237 A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1965". British History Online. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  4. ^ HMC Salisbury Hatfield, vol. 15 (London, 1930), p. 170.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fortescue, Sir John" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 678.
  6. ^ a b Sir John Fortescue of Salden by Jorge H. Castelli, accessed 16 July 2006
  7. ^ Virginia C.D. Moseley & Rosemary Sgroi, 'FORTESCUE, Sir John (c.1533-1607), of Salden House, Mursley, Bucks.', The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010.
  8. ^ Virginia C.D. Moseley & Rosemary Sgroi, 'FORTESCUE, Sir William (c.1562-1629), of Salden House, Mursley, Bucks.; Westminster and Clerkenwell', The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010.
  9. ^ Rosemary Sgroi, 'PULTENEY, Sir John (1585-1617), of Misterton, Leics.', The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010.
  10. ^ Thomas Fortescue, 1st Baron Clermont, Works of Sir John Fortescue, vol. 2 (London 1869), p. 288.
  11. ^ Records of Buckinghamshire, vol. 4, p. 186.
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Mildmay
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
George Home
Preceded by
Arthur Grey
Custos Rotulorum of Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
Francis Fortescue
Preceded by
Robert Cecil
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Parry
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Francis Goodwin
John Borlase
Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire
With: Thomas Tasburgh 1588–1589
Sir Robert Dormer 1593
Francis Goodwin1597–1598
Succeeded by
Francis Fortescue
Alexander Hampden
Preceded by
Sir Robert Wroth
Sir John Peyton
Member of Parliament for Middlesex
With: Sir Robert Wroth
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Wroth
Sir W. Fleetwood