John C Spencer, II (c.1502 - 1558) MP

‹ Back to Spencer surname

Is your surname Spencer?

Research the Spencer family

John C Spencer, II's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Nicknames: "John /Spencer/"
Birthplace: Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
Death: Died in Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
Occupation: yeoman, Chief Burgess of St. Albans 1553
Managed by: Janet Palo-Jackson, (c)
Last Updated:

About John C Spencer, II

This John Spencer (b. 1511 at South Mylls/Mills, Bedfordshire, England, d. 9 June 1558 at Edworth, Bedfordshire, England) appears to be the son of John Spencer of St. Albans, South Mylls/Mills, Bedfordshire, England (b. 1486, d. 5 February 1531/32) and Christiana Etheldreia Baker (b. 1492, d. 13 June 1560). See discussion below.

John was clearly married to a woman named Ann/Anne, though her surname has been posited as Merrill, Gerrard and possibly Clarke.

"John was one of the chief Burgesses or Aldermen of St. Albans, Hertfordshire. He was named in the Royal Charter Edward VI granted to the town in 1553. The Visitation of St. Albans (1572) recorded the Spencer Arms: Quarterly or and gules, in the second and third quarters a fret of the first, over all a bend sable charged with three fleur-de-lis argent. The crest out of a ducal coronet argent, gemmed gules, a demi-griffin of the first, beaked and eared of the second, collared per pale of the second and or, winded of the third, on each wing and on the breast a fleur-de-lis sable. John moved to St. George Parish, Edworth, Bedfordshire where he leased 600 acres from Robert Parrys of Ellington the Lord of the Manor. Robert Parrys had married Elizabeth Spencer a daughter of Thomas Spencer and Anne Bulkley of Cople. The lease was to expire c. 1575. Edworth is situated half way between Baldock and Biggleswade. There were only two large farms in Edworth together comprising 1122 acres. John Spencer had the lease of one. The family resided at The Hall." (Source unclear--from Spencers of Badby Project on Geni)

Some genealogical accounts have this John as married to Anne Clarke, b. 1511 in London and married 1530 in London. It is not clear if this is the same John Spencer or a totally different man. They are credited with having the following children:


  • William Spencer b. 1531
  • Mary Spencer b. 1533
  • Christian Spencer b. 1535
  • Margaret Spencer b. 1539
  • Jane Spencer b. 1539

Rev. John Halding, Vicar of Stotfold, co. Bedford, published "The Spencers of Bedfordshire " 1903. F.G Emmison in "Bedfordshire Parish Register Series" published the complete register of Stotfold and Edworth. Jacobus feels John the 1st can establish as certain ancestors of the Spencers of America.

At the burial of Ann Spencer, widow, it was said of her: the good hospitality keeper, and she did give to the township of Edworth 2 of her best beasts to be left to 2 pore foies in town for 3 shillings, a cow, and the poor and Church warders to have the taking of them and the distributing of the money to the poore and to see the stock maintained each of them to hav e 4 pence of the 6 shillings for there paynes to see they truly done according to her last will." The will was dated 13 Jun 1560 and proved 24 Apr 1651. Calls her widow in Edworth, beds. and names son Gerard age 17, son Michael to have the chest that was his brother John 's. John Spencer, son of Michael's child to have £20, Elizabeth lymer to have £4 at marriage. Alice Aystin to have a calf, servants to have some, for the mending of the "London Brygg Waye" 10 shillings. Brother Edward's children to have £1, he borrowed from her and the barley he gave her sons to his children. Nicholas Merryil and John Meryll, his brother to have the barley their father gave her sons and the poor of Edworth to have the gift already mentioned. Michael Spencer was a witness. So from this seems of yoeman class, better off than average. The above two Merrylls indicates that she was probably a Merrill. (See Jacobus, "The Four Spencer Brothers - Their Ancestors and Descendants, TAG, April 1951).


Some duplication is in the following, but it contains more information (from, with spelling corrections in the narrative) :

Text: The American Genealogist Vol. 27 Text: The American Genealogist 1951 His will was proved 21 April 1561 Edworth, co. Bedford, England.

REF: The Descendents of Henry G. Spencer George Spencer

John was called "senior" at burial. The recorder in entering the burial of Ann Spencer, widow, paid her respect by the following tribute: "the good hospitality keeper; and she did give to the township of Edworth ii of her best beasts, to be let to the pore folks in the town for iii s. a cow and the parson and church warden to have the letting of them and the distributing of the money to the poor and to see the stock maintained each of them to have iiii d. of the vi s. for their pains to see this truly done according to her last will." Her will dated 13 June 1560, proved 21 April 1561, calls her Widow, in Edworth, Bedfordshire and names her Gerard (age 17); son Michael, to have the chest that was his brothers John's; John Spencer, son Michaels child, to have 20 Marks, Elizabeth Lymer, to have 4 Marks at marriage; Alice Aystin, to have a callf; servants; for the mending of "London Brygge Waye" 10s.; brother Edward's children, to have the 1 Mark that he borrowed of her; Nicholas Merrll and John Meryll his brother, to have the barley their father gave her sons; and the poor of Edworth, to have the gift already mentined. Michael Spencer was a witness.

From this will we gain the impression that our Spencer family at the period was of the yeoman class, and somewhat better off than the average village family of the time and place. Whether they were in origin a younger branch of an older gentry family, or a more humble clan which by industry and good fortune had improved its lot, we are not in a position to affirm. It would be necessary to prove the parentage and more remote ancestry of John Spencer, Sr, by documentary evidence, before claiming any specific connection with any other Spencer family in England.

From the terms of the will, it would seem that Anne's brother was Edward Merryll or Merrill and that this was her maiden name. A search of Merrill wills might confirm this conjecture.

The above was taken from: The American Genealogist, Whole Nr. 105, Vol 27, Nr. 1, Jan. 1951

  • **Additional notes**** According to Mr. Holding, John was a son of John Spencer of South Mylls. From an extensive search of records in Bedfordshire Mr Holding ascertained to his satisfaction that John Spencer, the 18th in descent from Robert the steward of King William, was the John Spencer who resided at St.Albans, England in the 1553, and who later moved to Kempton and Edworth, Bedfordshire, and is the ancestor of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Spencers.

In the year 1553 a Royal charter was given to the town of St. Albans by Edward VI. One of the chief burgesses or alderman was John Spencer. Shortly afterwards he moved to Edworth, where he died a few years later, in 1558, and where his family resided. He was buried at Edworth. In the parish register is this entry: John Spencer, Senior Buried June 9,1558 Anne Spencer died June 16, 1560. She left a will bequeathing her property to her children, and to certain public charities. The Will is set forth at length in the brochure of the Rev. John Holding. He says: "There is every indication that previous to his advent at Edworth. John resided at St.Albans, where he was held in such high esteem as to be chosen one of the first chief burgesses of that town, and as such is named in the Royal charter granted to that town by King Edward VI in 1533."

From research made by Mr. Holding it appears that John Spencer occupied a farm of about 600 acres at Edworth, as lessee of Robert Parry of Ellington, who was then lord of the Manor. Writing of the Will of Anne Spencer, Mr Holding says: "It is interesting as showing the position in life she occupied, and her kindly, thought nature. The enumeration of stock and chattels, and her bequests certainly show that the family was at least that of a prosperous gentleman." "She nowhere makes mention of land or tenements belonging to her. There is only the lease of the farm which evidently refers to the ones of which she was then the tenent, and which is handed on to her oldest son Michael."

Regarding the Edworth farm Mr Holding says: "Edworth is a parish on the borders of Hertfordshire, and is situated half way between Baldock and Biggleswade. There have always been two large farms in Edworth, comprising really the whole land in the parish, with the exception of about 8 acres glebeland attached to the rectory, giving a total of about 1122 acres." "So that the Spencer farm would cover about 600 acres in extent, a large farm even at that present time, and gave employment to half the laboring poor of the place. The Hall, where the Spencers resided, is still standing, although much modernized. It is now occupied a gentleman named 'Smyth'."

In 1923, H.R. Spencer, author of The Spencers of East Haddam, visited Edworth. The old church is still standing, in the same shape as when John and Anne Spencer worshipped there. The old Baptismal font is still in use--the same font at which the Spencer children were christened. The church register is still in a good state of preservation, and dates back several hundred years prior to the time when John and Anne Spencer resided there. Original entries show the dates of christening the Spencer children, and the date of the death of both John and Anne Spencer. There is nothing in the churchyard to indicated at what precise spot John and his wife are buried. On the interior wall of the church H.R. Spencer placed a brass tablet containing the words: In Memoriam John and Anne Spencer 1558-1560

BIRTH & DEATH & MARRIAGE: Title: The Four Spencer Brothers Their Ancestors and Descendants Author: Jacobus, Donald Lines Date: 1951 Text: p. 80 -------------------- Alternate birth location: Stotfold, Central Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom

view all 31

John C Spencer, II's Timeline

Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
Age 3
Of, Edworth, Bedford, Eng
Age 24
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
May 27, 1530
Age 28
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
Age 28
London, Middlesex, England
Age 35
Age 41
Edworth, Bedfordshire, , England
Age 43
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
June 9, 1558
Age 56
Ofadrian, Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
June 9, 1558
Age 56
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England