Uvedale, John (DNB00)

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UVEDALE or Woodhall, JOHN (d. 1549?), contractor and official, sprang, according to a sixteenth-century manuscript formerly preserved at his seat of Marrigg or Marrick Priory, Yorkshire, from the same parent stock as that of the family of Uvedale of Titsey, Surrey, and Wickham, Hampshire. The name of John's family, however, which had its origin in 'the northe countrie,' was at first Woddall or Wooddehall, and the affiliation of John Woodhall or Woddall with the ancient family of Uvedale of Titsey and Wickham is 'purely legendary,' though John himself always signed his name Uvedale. On 17 Aug. 1488, as 'John Uvedale,' he was commissioned to provide wagons, carts, horses, and oxen for the carriage of the royal household (Campbell, Materials, ii. 345), and probably he was entrusted with the commissariat at Flodden (September 1513). His discharge of his duties in this capacity was sufficiently meritorious to recommend him to Henry VIII for promotion to the dignity of esquire and for an augmentation to the coat-of-arms of Uvedale, which he seems to have assumed with the consent of Sir William Uvedale [q. v.] That his claim to the name of Uvedale and to kinship with Sir William's family was already of some standing appears from the commission of 1488, and he afterwards strengthened the connection by making himself useful to that family in a matter of business (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, iv. ii. 4313–6).

In 1516 he obtained the place of clerk of the pells in the receipt of the exchequer, with a life pension of 17l. 10s. per annum, perhaps through the influence of Thomas Howard, first duke of Norfolk, to whose will, dated 31 May 1520, he was a witness (Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta, 1826, ii. 604). Probably while holding this post his attention was directed to the profits to be derived from crown leases of mines, speculations in which he afterwards engaged. In 1525 he was appointed secretary to Henry VIII's son, the Duke of Richmond (Henry Fitzroy [q. v.]), who at the age of six had been nominated the king's lieutenant-general north of the Trent (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, iv. 392). In 1528 Uvedale seems to have been recalled by Wolsey, who employed him to represent his views on Irish policy to Henry VIII, at the time absent from London (ib. ii. 136). In September 1533 he was secretary to Queen Anne Boleyn (ib. 1176), his preferment being probably due to Cromwell. In January 1535 he received a grant of the suppressed hospital of Newton Garth, Yorkshire (ib. viii. 149, 30). It is probable that about this time he was retransferred to the office of secretary of the Duke of Richmond's council in the north (ib. xi. 164, 4). On Richmond's death in July 1536, Uvedale became secretary to the council in the north, and as such assisted in the examinations of the northern rebels and seditious persons in 1537–8 (ib. XII. i. 615, 870, 917, 991, ii. 316, 369, 1, 5, 422, 918, XIII. i. 365, 487, 533, 568, 1326, 1428; State Papers, Henry VIII, v. 86). In May 1537 he was placed upon the special commission for taking indictments for treason in Yorkshire (ib. XII. i. 1207). Perhaps by way of regularising his position he was put on the commission of the peace for the three Ridings of Yorkshire in 1538 (ib. 1519, 38, 39, 40); for the West and North Ridings in 1539 (ib. XIV. i. 1192, 1354); and for the North Riding in 1540 (ib. xv. 942, cf. 612). While in the north the members of the council generally resided together in the deanery of York (ib. XIII. ii. 768). Here Uvedale became on terms of great intimacy with Thomas Howard, second duke of Norfolk [q. v.] (ib. xii. 291, 1192). The duke, in advising Henry as to the reconstitution of the council of the north, wrote, ‘Wodall is fit to be secretary’ (State Papers, Hen. VIII, v. 108). He appears to have been a full councillor as well as secretary, but his signature always occupies the last place among those of the councillors. Meanwhile Uvedale received marks of the favour of Cromwell, whose ‘old, true, and steadfast friend’ he declared himself to be (Letters and Papers, XII. ii. 1192).

Uvedale, however, disliked his position in the north as intensely as his friend the Duke of Norfolk himself (ib. XII. ii. 291, 1192), and on 10 Dec. 1537 vainly begged Cromwell to find him some place under the king or with the prince; he ‘had rather serve there for 40l. a year than here for 100l.’ (ib. p. 1192). On 15 Sept. 1539 he, together with Leonard Bekwyth, acted as royal commissioner to take the surrender of the priory of Marrick (ib. 175), and he was similarly employed in the same month at the priories of Swine and Nunkeeling (ib. 141, 147).

On 30 Sept. 1539 Uvedale was despatched by the president of the council, Holgate, bishop of Llandaff, to inform Cromwell of the condition of affairs in the north (ib. 249). Returning northwards at the close of the year, he was again employed to take surrenders of religious houses—of Watton Priory on 9 Dec., and of Malton Priory on 11 Dec. 1539. Uvedale was put in possession of Marrick priory on 25 March 1541, though no formal lease was delivered till the following 6 June, and it was only after litigation with other claimants that his full ownership was acknowledged.

In June 1540 Uvedale's patron, Cromwell, fell. In 1542 Uvedale was appointed one of a council of four to advise the Earl of Rutland as to the Scottish borders. While there he was appointed treasurer of the garrisons of the north. In 1545, on the further reconstitution of the council of the north (State Papers, Henry VIII, v. 403), Uvedale was again appointed secretary and keeper of the signet (cf. Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, XII. ii. 915, 1016), and also sworn a master of chancery for taking recognisances. Late in 1545 Uvedale replaced Sir Ralph Sadleir as ‘treasourer for payment of the garryson and other thinges in the northe.’

Uvedale's will, dated 24 Oct. 1546, was proved by his son and executor, Alvered or Avery Uvedale, on 2 March 1549–50. He perhaps died early in the preceding January, the acts of the privy council for 28 Jan. 1549–50 speaking of him as ‘late Thresaurer in the North.’ He married a lady named Brightman, and left, besides his son Avery, a daughter Ursula, married to Gilbert Cladon.

[Brewer and Gairdner's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII; State Papers, Henry VIII, 11 vols.; Acts of the Privy Council, 1542–47, 1547–50; Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, v. 239–53; Surrey Archæological Collections, iii. 66–9; Select Cases from the Court of Requests (Selden Soc. 1898).]

I. S. L.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.269
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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75 i 9f.e. Uvedale, John: for Swinhey and Nunkelyng read Swine and Nunkeeling