John Underhill

M, b. 1450, d. 29 November 1518
FatherNicholas Underhill
MotherMiss (?) Batte
     John was born in 1450 in Wolverhampton, Stratfordshire, England.1 John was raised at the family manor of Wolverhampton, and he inherited the manor from his father. He remained there after marrying his first wife. He were blessed with only one child with his first wife. John married 2nd Agnes Porter, daughter of Thomas Porter, circa 1481 in Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, England.2 He and Agnes were blessed with only one known child. John moved his residence to Ettingham, the inheritance of Agnes. He had no reason to regret the move as this area has some of the most beautiful countryside in England even to this day. For more than thirty years the couple and their family lived in a home which is no longer identifiable, but in 1509 they secured a lease of the manor house from the Shirley family which was renewed for the next 100 years by his heir in 1541. John and his wife were quite wealthy as transcripts of wills show of the plushness of their manor house. Even with the extensive land holdings at both Wolverhampton and Ettington, this couple aggressively sought out and purchased other properties in this same geographic area. One such purchase was effected in November of 1500 when they purchased from Sir Thomas Pulteney the manor of Hunningham. This purchased meant an outlay of cash of 1800 pounds a large sum for the day. There is record of another purchase of similar outlay of cash as well as other purchases. There is no doubt as to the wealth of this couple. Their holdings and monetary wealth was equal to or greater than many of their contemporary noble families. The purchase of Hunningham had a purpose as their son Thomas was coming of age, and this was intended to be his residence upon reaching his age of majority.3 John departed this life on Friday, 29 November 1518.

Family 1


Family 2

Agnes Porter b. c 1460, d. 1526


  1. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, Page 1-2...In 1450 the head of the family was Nicholas Underhill, whose eldest son, John, was born about that date... ...Until he had passed his thirtieth year, John Underhill dwelt on the family estate at Wolverhampton.
  2. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, page 2 - ... That was an example for a young widower mating with a young widow, for Agnes had been the few years' wife of one John Norwood.
  3. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, pages 3-5 - …John Underhill can have had no cause to regret that his marriage with Agnes Porter had occasioned his removal to such an idyllic countryside. For more than thirty years John and Agnes Underhill had their Ettington home in a building which, if it has not utterly vanished, is beyond identification; but in 1509 they secured a lease of the manor from the Shirley family and were there in doubtless able to remove to the manor house. …What is established, however is that the Shirley family was willing to lease their possession to John Underhill for eighty years from the date given above and that in 1541 a new lease for a hundred years was granted to his heir. It was a grandson of that heir, it may be noted, who sold his property of New Place in Stratford-on-Avon to William Shakespeare in 1597.