John Machell
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John Machell (abt. 1502 - 1558)

John Machell
Born about in Kirkbie Kendal, Westmorland, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half] and [half]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 56 in St. Mary Magdalen, London, Englandmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Mary Helen Dunnam private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 28 Aug 2009
This page has been accessed 3,802 times.


Disputed Parents

According to Burke's Landed Gentry, vol. 2 (1871), p. 851, John Machell was the fourth son of Hugh Machell of Crackenthorpe.

However, there seems to be no evidence to support this claim, which is contradicted by the much earlier 1634 Visitation of Essex, showing John Machell to be the son of another John Machell by a wife surnamed Leybourne. [1] It would appear that this Leybourne was a sister of James Leybourne of Curswick, Westmorland. James Leybourne's mother's family estate of Burnside (which John Machell eventually bought) was, like the Leybourne estate of Cunswick, near the town of Kirkby Kendal, the alleged birthplace of John Machell.

The 1634 pedigree is followed by Edward Bellasis, the Lancaster Herald, in a pedigree chart at the end of the PDF file (p. 61) of The Machells of Crackenthorpe (1886). Bellasis cites a 1551 letter from Harry Machell of Crackenthorpe to "his singular and especial good Brother John M., dwelling in Fleet St., &c."

This Harry Machell would appear to be the Rev. Henry Machell of Thirsk Hall, whose inventory mentioned a brother Hugh. In 1515 this Henry mediated a dispute between (his presumed brother) Guy Machell and Sir Richard Garnet.

"Guy and Hugh Machell, sons of John, joint lords of Crackenthorpe, held a court, 11 Dec., 3 Henry VIII (1511)."[2]

Thus, John Machell of London (this profile), who made his will in 1558, was the brother of Rev. Henry (who also had a brother Hugh); and since John's father was named John, he was presumably the younger brother of the brothers Guy and Hugh, whose father was also named John. This father John was born around 1455, as he was of age when he and his own father witnessed a land record in 1475. He held courts through 1504. His sons Guy and Hugh held court together at Crackenthorpe in 1511; it would appear that they were twins, born 21 years earlier in 1490. Guy died 1536. Hugh died 1555/6, fitting his mention in the inventory of Rev. Henry Machell, who was still alive when he wrote to John Machell in 1551.


The senior branch of the Machell family at Crackenthorpe bore "Sable, three greyhounds courant in pale argent, collared or." [3] [4]

John Machel the London Alderman, progenitor of the junior branch of the family, bore the Machell arms counterchanged, indicating that he was a half brother of his father's heir. John's arms were recorded at his burial as "Per pale argent and sable, three grey-hounds courant counterchanged, collared gules."[5]

The descendants of John Machell's sons John and Mathew bore the original Machell arms, with a bordure.[6][7]


"John apprenticed to a shearman in London in 1523/24, and was admitted to the Freedom of the Clothworkers in 1530/31. In 1538 he was the Quarter Warden, in 1541 the Second Warden, and in 1547 the Master of the Clothworkers."[8]

According to Burke's Landed Gentry, vol. 2 (1871), p. 851, Sir John Machell, 4th son of Hugh Machell of Crackenthorp, married Jane Luddington and "had, with other issue, three sons, viz. 1. John of Hatfield, master of the horse to Queen Elizabeth; 2. Thomas, of Tunstead; and 3. Matthew, of Hatfield...[9] Thomas was actually the third son, and Matthew the second son, per John Machell's will.

Children of John Machell in the International Genealogical Index:

Isabella, daughter of John "Mechell," was baptized 2 Nov. 1539 at Elm, Cambridge.
Joan, daughter of John "Mechell," was baptized 26 Jan. 1541 at Elm, Cambridge.
An unnamed child of John "Machell" was baptized 17 Sept. 1542 at St. Peter Westcheap, London.
(?) Nycholas, son of John "Mychyl," was baptized 8 Sept. 1545 at St. Michael Bassishaw, London.
John, son of "Machell," was baptized Aug. 1546 at St. Peter Westcheap,


Elizabeth, daughter of John "Machell," was baptized 13 May 1551 at St. Peter Westcheap, London.
Ann, daughter of John "Machell," was baptized 5 Oct. 1553 at St. Peter Westcheap, London.
A child of "Alderman Machell" was baptized 16 Dec. 1554 at St. Peter Westcheap, London.

The pedigree of the Machell family of Kendal at the end of Edward Bellasis's The Machells of Crackenthorpe (1886) states that Sir John Machell, "Sheriff of London and Middlesex, Master of Cloth Workers Co., 1547-48, Alderman for Wintry Ward 1553, transferred to Bassilaw ward, 26 Nov. 3 & 4 Ph. and Mary [1556/7], born at Kirkby Kendal."[10] If accurate, this would suggest that John's mother returned to her mother's home to give birth. Kendal is about 25 miles southwest, as the crow flies, of Crackenthorpe in Cumbria.

This chart shows that John Machell had three daughters by his first wife Ellen Castlelocks (widow of Thomas Lodge), and children John, Matthew, Thomas, and four daughters (including Jane, wife of Richard Rich) by his second wife Jane Luddington.

John Machell's second wife Jane, daughter of Henry Loddington, was the step/adopted daughter of Sir William Laxton, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1544-45. John's eldest son John, by Jane, was baptized in 1546, suggesting their marriage around 1545.

Land Transactions

John Machell purchased "The Bryk Place" (now Sutton House) in Hackney from Ralph Sadleir in 1550,[11]

"By 1551 the manor of Willoughbies, consisting of a toft, 130 a., and 40s. rent in Edmonton and Tottenham, was in the hands of Jasper Phesaunt, who conveyed it in that year to John Machell. Machell's son, John, conveyed it in 1597 to Peter Collet (d. 1607), merchant tailor of London. [12]

"Alfordscroft, 5½ a. between the path and Hackney brook [just outside the village of Hackney, Middlesex].... In 1551 Sadler sold the land, including two houses and a cottage, to John Machell the elder (d. 1558), an alderman of London and once thought to have been the builder of Sutton House."[13]

"1552 John Fitz-William, Elizabeth his wife and George Rythe, esq., and Elizabeth his wife passed by fine to John Machell, citizen and cloth worker of London, the manor of Burnedshed alias Burnyshed and tenements and rents in Burnyshed, Strikland Ketyll, Strikland Roger and Kendall; ib., Trin. term, 6 Edward VI."[14] Burneside Hall passed "to John Fitzwilliam, who in 1552 sold it to John Machell of Kendal and London (Sheriff of London 1555-6). His heirs sold it to the Braithwaite family..."[15]

Death and Burial

"Death of alderman Machell. John Machell, sheriff in 1556. Arms, Per pale argent and sable, three grey-hounds courant counterchanged, collared gules. (Wm. Smith, Rouge-dragon.) He married Jone daughter of Harry Lodyngton, and she was remarried to sir Thomas Chamberlen knight, and she died 28. April 1565." (MS. Harl. 897, f. 24.)[16]

"The xij day of August at mydnyght ded (fn. 3) good master Machyll, altherman of London, clothworker, and marchand of Muskovea, the wyche was a worshephulle man, and a godys (fn. 4) man to the pore, and to all men in the parryche of Maremaudlyn in Mylkestrett, (where he lived in) the sam howse that master Hynd ded, and was ys plasse. [If] he had levyd, he had byn mayre next yer folohyng....The xxj day of August at after-non was bered in the parryche of sant Mare Maudelyn, in Mylke strett, master Machyll, altherman and sqwyre and clothworker, with v pennons of armes and cott armur, and iiij dosen torchys, and iiij branche tapurs, dobyll store, with armes and penselles apon wax, and all the chyrche hangyd with blake and armes, and the strett with blake and armes, and the plase; and ther was my lord mayre and the althermen, and a C. in blake; and a viij dosen skochyons, and iiij dosen penselles; and a C. pore men in mantylle fryse gownes; and the morow iij masses song, ij of pryksong, and the iij of requiem, and a sarmon, a good man a grayfrer; (fn. 8) and there my lord mare and the althermen whent to dener, and all the mornars and lades, the wyche was a nobull dener as has bene sene, for ther lakt no good mett boyth flesse and fysse, and a xx marche-paynes."[17][18]

Inquisition Post Mortem (London)

The following is quoted from 'Inquisitions: 1 Elizabeth I (1558-9)', in Abstracts of Inquisitiones Post Mortem For the City of London: Part 1.

John Machell.

Inquisition taken at the Guildhall, 21 October, 1 Elizabeth [1559], before Thomas Leigh, knight, Mayor, and James Talke, esq., escheator, after the death of John Machell, citizen and haberdasher of London, by the oath of Thomas Lytton, John Haddon, Robert Davys, Thomas Dewxall, Robert Shurlocke, Henry Roberts, John Jackson, Robert Lee, Andrew Kempe, Robert Danby, William Swanson, Henry Callys, Guy A Wood, Walter Mekyns, Thomas Popelwell and Michael Smythe, who say that

John Machell was seised of 12 messuages, 2 rooms, and 4 gardens in Warwyck Lane, in a place there called Warwyck Inne, in the parish of Christchurch within Newgate, in the City of London; 1 messuage in Fleetstrete within the gate of the late House of the Carmelite Brethren there; 2 messuages situate at Lugate Hill and in the Olde Bayly in the parish of St. Martin within Ludgate; 1 messuage and 2 cottages situate near London Wall, in the parish of St. Alphage in the ward of Crepulgate; and 1 cottage and 14 gardens in the parish of St. Sepulchre, London, in a place there called Turmellstrete.

So seised, the said John Machell made his will 6 February, 1558, whereby he bequeathed to Margaret, his wife, in full recompence of her dower, the messuage situate within the Great Gate of the late White Friars (fratrū albor[z]), in the tenure of Michael Aleson, with the shop thereof, extending to the highway, in the tenure of the said John Machell, 1 tenement at Ludgate Hill in the tenure of Thomas Edlyn, cutler, 1 other tenement adjoining on the north part of the last mentioned messuage, in the tenure of Lodowick Barbor, 1 messuage and garden within Warwick Inne, in the tenure of Master Boogyn, gent., and 1 tenement in the tenure of Robert Cooper, to hold for her life. The residue of all his lands and tenements he bequeathed to the said Margaret until John, his son, should attain his age of 24 years: out of which lands testator willed that his said wife should give to his said son £10 yearly, to find for him an exhibition at one of the Universities, and to his daughter Alice £40 on her marriage day.

After the said legacies had been paid the said John Machell, senior, gave all the said premises to his said son John and his heirs; and for default, he gave to Thomas Machell, his brother, the premises lying at London Wall near Moore Gate, then of the yearly value of £5: to hold to him and his heirs male for ever. Testator willed the residue of all the premises, for default of issue of his said son John, to remain to the said Alice at her age of 24, and to her heirs; for default, then the same to remain to Margaret, his wife, for her life, with remainder after her decease to the said Thomas Machell, his brother, and his heirs male for ever.

The said Margaret to be executrix.

The said premises in Warwyke Lane are held of the Queen by socage, as of her manor of Nonsoche, co. Surrey, by fealty only and not in chief. The messuage in Fleetstreet is held of the Queen in free socage, by fealty only and not in chief. The 2 messuages at Ludgate Hill and in the Old Bayly are held of the Queen by fealty only, in free burgage and not in chief. The premises near London Wall are held of the Master and Scholars of the College of Eyton, co. Berks, by fealty only and the yearly rent of 18d. The said cottage and 14 gardens are held of the Queen in socage, by fealty only and not in chief. All the said premises are worth per ann., clear, £46 14s. 8d.

John Machell died 23 February last past [error: this appears to have confused the date of the will with the date of death, unless the burial took place six months after his death] ; John Machell is his son and next heir, and is now aged 14 years and more. The said Margaret Machell still survives in Fleetstreet.

Inq. p.m., 1 Elizabeth, p. 1, No. 79.

John Machell mentioned in list of son's lands in various counties

John Machell, Alderman of London, and wife Jone, were identified as the parents of John Machell of Hackney, Middlesex, who sued Matthew Machell sometime between 1587 and 1591 regarding the "manors of Guilden Sutton, Cheshire; and Burneside [Burnside],Westmorland; and property in Wood Street, St Peter Westcheap and elsewhere in London; Tottenham, Middlesex; Hatfield, Hertfordshire; Hinton Admiral, Hampshire and Dorset; Sandbach, Holmes Chapel and Goostrey, Cheshire."[19]


John Machell married Elizabeth Ludington (b: c1530 Kendall, York, England) and they had 2 children.

He died on 12 Aug 1558.


  1. 1634 Visitation of Essex, p. 441.
  2. Edward Bellasis, The Machells of Crackenthorpe, in "Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archeological Society, Volume 8 (1886), p. 425.
  3. A Dispaly of Heraldry. John Guillim, Pursuivant at Arms. The Sixth Edition. London: Printed by T.W. in St Paul's Church-Yard, in the Temple. 1724. Pg. 195. Google Book : (accessed 24 Jan 2024).
  4. Burke's Landed Gentry (1898), p. 965.)
  5. 'Notes to the diary: 1558', in The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, 1550-1563, ed. J G Nichols (London, 1848), pp. 362-369. British History Online [accessed 9 March 2018].
  6. Machell pedigree in the Visitation of London (1633-35), with a visual representation.
  7. Machell pedigree in the 1634 Visitation of Essex, p. 441: "Sable, three greyhounds courant in pale argent, collared or, a bordure of the second."
  8. [ 2013 post at "rootschat" by BridgetM, apparently based on a book of records of the clothworkers' guild. A better source is needed.
  9. Burke's Landed Gentry, vol. 2 (1871), p. 851.
  10. Edward Bellasis, the Lancaster Herald, The Machells of Crackenthorpe (1886) -- p. 61 of the PDF file.
  11. Victor Belcher, Richard Bond, Mike Gray & Andy Wittrick, eds., Sutton House: A Tudor Courtier's House in Hackney (London: National Trust/ English Heritage, 2004), p. 91, cited at this soc.gen-medieval thread.
  12. A P Baggs, Diane K Bolton, Eileen P Scarff and G C Tyack, 'Edmonton: Manors', in A History of the County of Middlesex': Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham, ed. T F T Baker and R B Pugh (London, 1976), pp. 149-154. British History Online [accessed 9 March 2018].
  13. 'Hackney: Homerton and Hackney Wick', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10, Hackney, ed. T F T Baker (London, 1995), pp. 51-59. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2018].
  14. 'Strickland Roger', in Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 1, ed. William Farrer and John F Curwen (Kendal, 1923), pp. 265-275. British History Online [accessed 9 March 2018].
  15. Burneside Hall article at wikipedia.
  16. 'Notes to the diary: 1558', in The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, 1550-1563, ed. J G Nichols (London, 1848), pp. 362-369. British History Online [accessed 9 March 2018].
  17. 'Diary: 1558 (Aug - Dec)', in The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London, 1550-1563, ed. J G Nichols (London, 1848), pp. 169-184. British History Online [accessed 10 March 2018].
  18. "Cripplegate Ward" in A Survey of London also gives St. Mary Magdalen parish on Milk Street as John Machell's place of burial in 1558.
  19. "Machell v Machell. Plaintiffs: John Machell , esq of Hackney, Middlesex...", in the National Archives website.



  • Machell-14 was was created by Mary Helen Dunnam through the import of Foster - Hall - May 2014.ged on 26 May 2014.

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Comments: 5

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Shouldn't the wrong IPM be removed as it's now shown to be a different John? Sharing link (London Wills)

John Machell, Citizen and Haberdasher of London written 6 February 1558, no probate date
Margaret wife, John son, Alys daughter, Astyn? sister's daughter, Thomas brother, John Gregorye brother in law, Anne Gregory sister in lawe.

John Machell Citizen and Alderman of London written 26 July 1558, proved 10 October 1558 (not all names extracted)
property in Westmorland, Hampshire, Dorset, Cheshire & Middlesex
Town of Kendal in Yorkshire [sic] where I was born
Johane/Joanne wife
John Machell, son
Mathew Machell, second son
Thomas Machell, third son
Katherine, Anne and Johane Machell, my 3 daughters
Leonard Machell, brother
Rouland, Anthony, Launcelott & John Machell his sons
Thomas Lodge, brother in law
Nicholas Luddington, brother in lawe
posted by Gill Whitehouse
edited by Gill Whitehouse
John Machell mentioned here in 1552. Feet of Fines, p.83, Premises in Cowcrosse strete and Tourmolstrete, in the parish of of St. Sepulchre, London. Retrieved from the Internet Archive (Here;) Accessed 9 Mar 2023.
From Bridget Machell:

I was just looking at John Machell’s biography, and noticed a few errors. Two John Machells died in London in 1558. Both left wills and both have IPMs. All the documents can be found in the National Archives. One John Machell was the Master of the Clothworkers; the other was a Haberdasher. I suspect there is a relationship between the two John Machells, but what that relationship is I don’t yet know.

John the Clothworker is the brother of my ancestor, Leonard Machell, who died in Whinfell, near Kendal, in 1560, and left a will. (Leonard and his children are mentioned in John’s will.)

John had at least two other siblings, Robert and Katherine. Katherine left a will.

I did quite an in depth search of the Machells of Kendal, and have all 3 pedigrees: Bellasis, Poulton, and the New England pedigree. I then ordered all the documents mentioned in the Bellasis pedigree from tNA. II actually found some of Bellasis’s notes in the Kendal Record Office!) It was clear from all the original documents I looked at that Bellasis went horribly wrong. I contacted Mr Hunt, the Lancaster Herald at the College of Arms, hoping to find the rest of Bellasis’s notes. According to Mr Hunt, there are no notes. He then told me that Bellasis had gone mad, and spent his remaining days in an asylum. I’m hoping his research on the Machells didn’t drive him mad! Bridget Machell

posted by Mary Helen (Foster) Dunnam
edited by Mary Helen (Foster) Dunnam
Machell-14 and Machell-4 appear to represent the same person because: It looks like they are meant to be the same person - difference in wife forename to investigate
posted by Steve Hunt
Machell-8 and Machell-4 appear to represent the same person because: they have the same birth year (1502) and were married to the same woman (Jane Liddington) although there are 2 profiles for her that need to be merged. Please merge.
posted by Chet Snow

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