Pollard, John (DNB00)

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POLLARD, Sir JOHN (d. 1557), speaker of the House of Commons, was second son of Walter Pollard of Plymouth, by Avice, daughter of Richard Pollard of Way, Devonshire. The pedigree of the Pollard family is very complicated, as the family was widespread in the west of England, and other branches are found in the fourteenth century in Yorkshire, Essex, and other counties; the main branch was seated at Way, and Sir Lewis Pollard [q. v.], the judge, was a col- lateral relation of Sir John. John Pollard may have been the Pollard who, without Christian name, is mentioned as entering at the Middle Temple on 3 June 1515; but it may be that this entry is that of Lewis Pollard, son of Sir Hugh Pollard and grandson of Sir Lewis Pollard the judge. John was appointed autumn reader of the Middle Temple in 1535, and became serjeant-at-law in 1547. After 1545 he received, possibly through the influence of a relative, Richard Pollard, who had taken part in the suppression of the monasteries, a grant of the manor of Nuneham Courtney, where he afterwards lived. He was relieved by patent of 21 Oct. 1550 from his office of serjeant-at-law, in order to become vice-president of the council for the Welsh marches. He was elected member for Oxfordshire in the parliaments of 1553 and 1554, and for Wiltshire in that of 1555. He seems to have been knighted on 2 Oct. 1553, although he is described as merely armiger in the returns of 1554 and 1555. He was chosen speaker of the House of Commons in 1553, and held the office till the close of the parliament of 1555. He was described as 'excellent in the laws of this realm.' He died in August 1557, and was buried on 25 Aug. He married Mary, daughter of Richard Gray of London, but left no issue. His estates passed in great part to his brother Anthony, after the death of his widow. The inquisition post mortem is numbered 4 and 5 Phil, and Mary, No. 139. His will was proved in the probate court of London, P.P.C. 37, Wrastley, on 13 Oct. 1557.

[The late Mr. Winslow Jones made extensive researches into the history of the Pollard family, and placed his materials at the disposal of the present writer. See also Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, viii. 87, 149, 312; Manning's Speakers of the House of Commons; Machyn's Diary (Camd Soc.), pp. 148, 335; Dixon's Hist. of the Church of England, passim.]

W. A. J. A.