John Milton Sr.

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John Milton, Sr.

Also Known As: "John Milton "Scrivener""
Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Shotover Forrest, Oxfordshire, England
Death: March 15, 1647 (84)
St Giles-without-Cripplegate, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Milton, "The Ranger" and Elizabeth Milton
Husband of Sarah Milton
Father of Poet John Milton; Tabitha Milton and Lord Christopher Milton
Brother of Henry Milton; Thomas Melton, of James City and Richard Milton

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About John Milton Sr.

John Milton Sr. composer and scrivener, was the father of poet John Milton. He was born 1563 and died 15 March 1647.

Parents: Richard Melton "the Ranger" and Elizabeth Haughton.


  1. around 1600 Sara Jeffrey (b. 1554 - d. 3 Apr 1637).[1]

8 children include:

  1. Anne md. Edw. Phillips
  2. John b. 1608 (Poet) baptized at All Hallows Church on 20 December 1608.[4] md. Marie Powell d. 1672 [9]
  3. Richard b. 1610
  4. Sara baptized 15 July 1612 and died 6 August 1612 [9]
  5. Thomas b. 1614 (said to have died young)
  6. Tabitha, baptized 30 January 1614 and died 3 August 1615.[9]
  7. Christopher b. 1615/18? baptized 3 December 1615 [9] md. Thomasine Webber 1638
  8. William

Biographical Summary

from: John Milton Biography (1608 – 1674)

Milton's paternal grandfather, Richard, was a staunch Roman Catholic who expelled his son John, the poet's father, from the family home in Oxfordshire for reading an English (i.e., Protestant) Bible. Banished and disinherited, Milton's father established in London a business as a scrivener, preparing documents for legal transactions. He was also a moneylender, and he negotiated with creditors to arrange for loans on behalf of his clients. He and his wife, Sara Jeffrey, whose father was a merchant tailor, had three children who survived their early years: Anne, the oldest, followed by John and Christopher. Though Christopher became a lawyer, a Royalist, and perhaps a Roman Catholic, he maintained throughout his life a cordial relationship with his older brother. After the Stuart monarchy was restored in 1660, Christopher, among others, may have interceded to prevent the execution of his brother.


  1. John Milton, Sr. left for London and became a scrivener apprentice in 1583. Little is known about Sara Jeffrey besides that Paul Jeffrey, her father, was a tailor[1] and her mother was Ellen, who lived with the Miltons until her death in 1611. The two married around 1600 and buried an unnamed child on 12 May 1601.[3]
  2. John Milton, Sr.'s business owned many properties and was involved in making loans.[2] He was from a yeoman family and was raised in Oxford where he trained as a chorister. However, when Richard Milton, his father and a staunch Roman Catholic, discovered that John Milton, Sr. had Protestant leanings, he disinherited his son.[1]
  3. At least twenty of his compositions survived, and most of them contain a religious theme. His works were published in many collections, including Thomas Morley's Triumphs of Oriana (1601), William Leighton's The Tears or Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soul (1612) and Thomas Ravenscroft's The Whole Book of Psalms (1621), amongst others. He also composed poetry, and two poems, never published, are known to have existed: a sonnet and a poem dedicated to John Lane.[7]
  4. from Ad Patrem / To His Father: Introduction In this poem Milton thanks his father for his continuing support, tries to answer his father's anxieties about his choice of careers, and celebrates his father's own talents as a musician and poet. Milton's father was a musician and composer, especially of songs in parts for voices; he also wrote at least one poem that was published — commendatory verses for the first folio of Shakespeare's plays in 1623. John Milton senior had been a trustee of Blackfriars Theatre, famed as the winter quarters (after 1608) of the King's Men, the company of actors for whom Shakespeare served as chief playwright and also as a performer. The first-folio commendation appears as "To the memorie of M. W.Shake-speare." on leaf A6. You may also see it from Early English Books Online.



  1. Hill, John. John Milton: Poet, Priest, and Prophet. London: Macmillan, 1979. p. 210.
  2. Shawcross, John. John Milton: The Self and the World. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993.p. 17
  3. Lewalski, Barbara K.. The Life of John Milton. Oxford: Blackwells Publishers, 2003. pp. 2–4
  4. Campbell, Gordon. "The Life Records" in A Companion to Milton. Ed. Thomas Corns. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003. p. 485
  5. Campbell 2003 p. 487
  6. Lewalski 2003 p. 3
  7. "John Milton (1562–1647), biography for the father". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2008-07-30. (requires a subscription).

Campbell 2003 p. 484 Lewalski 2003 p. 2

John Milton "Scriviner" (1564 Shotover Forrest, St. Smithins, London, England - 15 MAR 1648 England)

married his step-sister

John, was driven from home Oxfordshire by his father over the son's reading the Bible in defiance of the Catholic resistance to the church of England. John went to London, became a scrivener, married Sarah Jeffries and sired a daughter Anne and two sons, John "The Poet", and Christopher.

John Milton "Scrivener" apprenticed his nephew Richard Milton (1620 "SUPPLY"), as a Scrivener, from 1614 to September 1620, and from 1624 to 1633 in London, England. It is still not apparent if this is the Richard that arrived on the ship "Supply" in Virginia. If it is perhaps he was sent by his uncle and was still reported as in his employment even tho he was in Virginia., or perhaps Richard returned to England about 1624 and continued his apprenticeship and married, than returned to Virginia????

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John Milton Sr.'s Timeline

Oxfordshire, England
July 31, 1596
Age 33
Stoke/Teignhead, Devon, England
December 9, 1608
Age 45
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
January 20, 1615
Age 52
London, Greater London, UK
November 1615
Age 52
City of London, Greater London, UK
March 15, 1647
Age 84
London, England
March 22, 1947
Age 84
December 16, 1948
Age 84