yeovil people

sir john horsey

Lord of Hendford Manor


Sir John Horsey (d 1546) was Lord of the Manor of Clifton Maybank and a knight of Henry VIII.
He was born the son of Sir John Horsey and Elizabeth Turges. He married Joan Mawdley by whom he had two sons, Sir John Horsey (1510-1565) and Roger Horsey, and two daughters, Mary and Joan.

He served as a Justice of the Peace in Somerset and Dorset, and served as Sheriff for those counties for 1537 and 1544. He was elected knight of the shire (MP) for Dorset in 1539.

In 1538 Sir John obtained the lease of the lordship and parsonage of Yeovil for an annual fee of £45. His descendants kept the Lordship of the Manor of Hendford in the family until 1610.

When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 16th century, Sir John, intending to collect a large share of the monastic property from the Crown, bribed Thomas Cromwell to appoint the compliant John Barnstable Abbot of Sherborne Abbey. Barnstable was elected in 1535, and surrendered the monastery in 1539. The deed was acknowledged by his signature and those of 16 monks, who all got pensions.

In 1539, the demesne lands of the monastery including the Great Court, the Abbot's Garden, West Garden, Pyggy's Barton and the Prior's Garden, all in Sherborne, were given to Horsey by the king, for which Horsey paid £1,242 3s 9d plus £16 10s 6d (around £900,000 at today's value) for "the site of the church, steeple, campanile and churchyard of the monastery," and other property.

Horsey subsequently sold Sherborne Abbey to the vicar and townspeople of Sherborne.
Both Horsey and his son are buried in Sherborne Abbey: an "impressive" tomb with life-size effigies of the two in medieval armour is to be found there in the Wykeham Chapel.

The Horsey family name is perpetuated in Horsey Lane.