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Sir John St. John of Bletso, Bedfordshire
(Abt 1460-Between 1525/1525)
Margred verch Morgan
Sir William Waldegrave of Smallbridge, Suffolk
(Abt 1465-1528)
Margery Wentworth
(-Bef 1540)
Sir John St. John of Bletso, Bedfordshire
(Bef 1495-1558)
Margaret Waldegrave
(Bef 1500-)
Oliver St. John 1st Baron St. John of Bletso
(Bef 1522-1582)


Family Links

1. Agnes Fisher

2. Elizabeth Chamber

Oliver St. John 1st Baron St. John of Bletso 3 4

  • Born: Bef 1522 2
  • Marriage (1): Agnes Fisher before 8 Feb 1543 1
  • Marriage (2): Elizabeth Chamber before 28 Aug 1572 2
  • Died: 21 Apr 1582 2 5

  General Notes:

Family and Education
b. by 1522, 1st s. of Sir John St. John of Bletsoe by 1st w., and bro. of John . m. (1) by Feb. 1543, Agnes, da. of Sir John Fisher, gd.-da. and h. of Sir Michael Fisher (d. Feb. 1549) of Clifton, Beds., 4s. inc. John II and Oliver II 6da.; (2) by 28 Aug. 1572, Elizabeth, da.of Geoffrey Chamber of Stanmore,Mdx., wid. of Sir Walter Stonor (d.1551) of Stonor, Oxon., of Reginald Conyers (d.1560) of Wakerley, Northants., and of Edward Griffin (d.1569) of Dingley, Northants. suc. fa. 19 Dec. 1558. cr. Baron St. John of Bletso 13 Jan. 1559.1

Offices Held
Gent. waiter extraordinary, household of Prince Edward by 1547, royal household 1547; commr. relief, Beds. 1550, musters 1560, eccles. causes, dioceses of Lincoln and Peterborough 1571, 1575; sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 1551-2; j.p. Beds. 1554-8, q. 1558/59-d., Cambs., Hunts. 1562-d.; custos rot. Beds. 1558/59; ld. lt. 1569.2

Oliver St. John began his career in the household of Prince Edward, and on the accession of his master he entered the royal household. His own court connection combined with his father's influence explain his return as one of the knights for Bedfordshire to the first Parliament of the reign, although as yet he had no experience of local affairs. The designation 'junior' on the election indenture leaves no doubt that it was he and not his uncle and namesake who was then returned. All that is known of his part in the Commons is that on 21 Feb. 1549 he was licensed to be absent for three days, presumably on account of problems arising from his wife's succession to the Fisher inheritance in the midlands. If he was re-elected to the King's second Parliament, it was not for Bedfordshire but he could have obtained a seat for almost any borough. From 1550 he figured increasingly in county administration and from 1554 he served as a magistrate.3

Ennobled shortly after his father's death, St. John demonstrated his allegiance to Elizabeth in both public and private matters. His second marriage to a widow well-provided for by two of her three previous husbands further enriched him. He made his will on 20 Apr. 1582 and died the following day.4

Author: N. M. Fuidge

1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 53-55; CP; VCH Beds. ii. 277, 323; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 359; PCC 19 Mellershe, 22 Tirwhite; R. J. Stonor, Stonor, 216; C142/120/12.
2. Roy. 7, C16, f. 94; LC2/2, f. 53v; CPR, p. 351; 1553-4, p. 17; 1560-3, pp. 433, 435, 437; 1569-72, pp. 277-8; 1572-5, p. 551; Coll. State Pprs. ed. Haynes, i. 559-60; State Trials, ed. Howell, i. 957.
3. CJ, i. 8.
4. APC, iv. v, vii, x, xiii; CPR, 1558-60, p. 74; 1563-6, pp. 43, 361; PCC 5 Bucke, 19 Mellershe, 32 Holney; HMC Var. iii. 87-88; Selden Soc. xii, 64 seq.; St.Ch.3/3/22, 7/34; C142/198/1; PCC 22 Tirwhite.


OLIVER ST. JOHN of Bletso, Beds, only son and heir of Sir John ST. JOHN, of the same, by his 1st wife, Margaret, da. of Sir William WALDEGRAVE, K.B., of Smallbridge, Suffolk, was heir to the Barony of Beauchamp (of Bletsoe), created by writ 1363. He was M.P. for Beds 1547-52; Commissioner for Beds to collect the relief granted by Parliament, 16 December 1550; High Sheriff of Beds and Bucks, 11 November 1551; J.P., Beds, 18 February 1553/4; created, 13 January 1558/9, BARON SAINT JOHN OF BLETSO, co. Bedford; a Commissioner of Musters, Beds, before 18 August 1560; Lieutenant for putting the kingdom in readiness to resist the rebels in the North, Beds, 20 November 1569. He was one of the Peers who sat on the trial of the Duke of Norfolk, 16 January 1571/2. He married, 1stly, before 8 February 1542/3, Agnes (then aged 22), daughter and heir of Sir John FISHER, son and heir apparent (died v.p.) of Sir Michael FISHER (died 1549), of Clifton, &c., Beds, by Margaret, daughter and coheir of Sir Henry FROWICKE. He married 2ndly, before 28 August 1572, Elizabeth, widow of Edward GRIFFIN of Dingley, Northants, Attorney General 1552-59 (died 11 Elizabeth), and relict of Reynold CONYERS, of Wakerley, Northants (died 1558-59), and of Sir Francis STONOR, of Stonor, Oxon (died circa 1566) and daughter of Geoffrey CHAMBER, of Great and Little Stanmore, Middlesex. He died before 23 May 1582, and was buried at Bletso. His widow was living about 8 December 1602, in Warwickshire.

[Complete Peerage 11:333-5] 7


Title: MP for Bedfordshire, 1547.

Manorial Estate, 1549, Clifton Manor, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17, GB. 8 ...Sir William Babyngton died seised of the manor in 1454, leaving a son and heir William, who probably conveyed it to Sir John Fisher, also a justice of Common Pleas, who died in 1510 seised of the manor, which was inherited by his son Sir Michael Fisher. On the death of the latter in 1549 the manor passed to his granddaughter Agnes, the daughter of his son John, who died in 1528 in his father's lifetime. Agnes had married Oliver St. John, and through her the manor passed into the family of the St. Johns of Bletsoe, who continued to hold it until 1602, when it was conveyed to Walter Rolt by Oliver Lord St. John and his wife Dorothy...

Title: High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, 11 Nov 1551.

Manorial Estate, 1556-1567, Alkerton Manor, Alkerton, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15, GB. 9 William's father Walter of Alkerton (d. c. 1201) had been tenant of Alkerton since at least 1194, and William himself or a son still held in 1230. (fn. 73) In 1233 the land of Thomas, son of Walter of Alkerton was in the king's hands, presumably because of a minority. (fn. 74) In 1235 Amaury de St. Amand was returned as lord of one fee. (fn. 75) His possession was warranted by David, son of Thomas of Alkerton, who lived in Scotland. (fn. 76) The overlordship of Alkerton for the rest of the Middle Ages remained with the St. Amand family and until the 15th century followed the descent of their Adderbury manor. (fn. 77) Like Adderbury Alkerton was sold in 1418 by Eleanor, the relict of Amaury (d. 1402), to Sir Thomas Wykeham, who was returned as lord in 1428; (fn. 78) similarly Alkerton passed to John Danvers of Epwell, who was building up a large estate in north Oxfordshire. After his death c. 1448 Alkerton's history diverged from that of Adderbury, Alkerton passed to John Danvers's son Sir Robert, Recorder of London, a noted judge, and M.P. for Oxfordshire and London. (fn. 79) In 1473 two of Sir Robert's daughters and coheirs quitclaimed their thirds, probably as part of a settlement on another daughter Joan Danvers. (fn. 80) Joan had married Sir Henry Frowicke of Gunnersbury (in Ealing, Mdx.) and their daughter Margaret, wife of Sir Michael Fisher (d. 1549) of London and Clifton (Beds.), inherited. (fn. 81) The Fisher's son died before them and their grand-daughter Agnes succeeded to their property. She married Oliver St. John of Bletsoe (Beds.). (fn. 82) They were in possession of Alkerton in 1556 and 1559, the year Oliver was created Baron St. John of Bletsoe, but by 1567 he had sold Alkerton to Christopher Lydiat. (fn. 83)

Title: Knight, 19 Dec 1558.

Title: 1st Baron St. John of Bletso, 13 Jan 1559.

Title: Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, 1560 To 1569.

Will, 20 Apr 1582.

Oliver married Agnes Fisher, daughter of John Fisher and Ann Mordaunt, before 8 Feb 1543.1 (Agnes Fisher was born in 1522 1 and died before 28 Aug 1572.)

Oliver next married Elizabeth Chamber, daughter of Geoffrey Chamber and Unknown, before 28 Aug 1572.2 (Elizabeth Chamber died after 8 Dec 1602 6.)


1 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), XI; 334.

2 Stanley T. Bindoff, John S. Roskell, Lewis Nami (1982), Vol. 4, p. 258.

3 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), XI; 333.

4 William Harvey, Robert Cooke, George Owen, Sir Richard Saint-George, <i>The Visitations of Bedfordshire: Annis Dominis 1566, 1582 and 1634</i> (London, The Harleian Society, 1884), p. 53.

5 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), XI; p. 335.

6 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), XI; 335.

7 Sir Leslie Stephen, Robert Blake, Christine Stephanie Nicholls, <i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> (London, The Macmillan Company: Smith, Elder, & Co , 1885-1900), St. John, p. 639.

8 Victoria County History of Bedfordshire, Vol. 2 pp 276-280.

9 Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, Vol. 9, pp 44-53.

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