John Fortescue of Salden

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Sir John Fortescue

Sir John Fortescue (ca. 1531 or 1533 – 23 December 1607) of Salden Manor, near Mursley, Buckinghamshire, was the seventh Chancellor of the Exchequer of England, serving from 1589 until 1603.


Fortescue was the son of Adrian Fortescue who was martyred and has been beatified. Sir John was a great-grandson of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London (1457), and thus a second-cousin of Queen Elizabeth I.[1] His mother was Anne Reade, daughter of Sir William Reade.[1] He was descended from Sir Richard Fortescue, 3rd son of Sir John Fortescue (died after 1432), Captain of the Castle of Meaux, of Shepham in the parish of Modbury, Devon.[2]

Marriage & progeny[edit]

Fortescue had six children with his first wife, and a seventh with his second wife after the death of his first wife. Many of his children followed his path in politics, holding positions in Parliament.[3]


Fortescue led a largely undistinguished career in Parliament prior to his accession to the chancellorship, serving in several districts (including for Wallingford), and he continued to serve in Parliament after losing that title. Fortescue also held the position of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1601 to his death. Fortescue served under Queen Elizabeth I and was knighted in 1592. When King James I came to the throne in 1603, Fortescue advocated restrictions on his power, in part in order to limit the appointment of Scottish people. These reforms were not implemented, and as a result, James dismissed him from his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He retained, however, his position in Parliament and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as well as the keeper of the great wardrobe.[4]

Death & burial[edit]

Fortescue was buried in Mursley Church in Buckinghamshire, where a monument has been erected in his honour.[3]


  1. ^ a b FORTESCUE of Salden (Sir Knight)
  2. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.352-3
  3. ^ a b Sir John Fortescue of Salden by Jorge H. Castelli, accessed 16 July 2006
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fortescue, Sir John" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 678.
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Mildmay
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
George Home
Preceded by
Arthur Grey
Custos Rotulorum of Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
Francis Fortescue
Preceded by
Robert Cecil
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Parry
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Francis Goodwin
John Borlase
Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire
With: Thomas Tasburgh 1588–1589
Sir Robert Dormer 1593
Francis Goodwin1597–1598
Succeeded by
Francis Fortescue
Alexander Hampden
Preceded by
Sir Robert Wroth
Sir John Peyton
Member of Parliament for Middlesex
With: Sir Robert Wroth
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Wroth
Sir W. Fleetwood