Sir John Gage
Portrait of Sir John Gage, by Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1535–1540)
|Preceded by||The Lord Darcy of Chiche|
|Succeeded by||Sir Edward Hastings|
|Born||28 October 1479|
Burstow, Surrey, England
|Died||18 April 1556 (aged 76)|
Firle Place, East Sussex, England
|Resting place||Firle, East Sussex, England|
Sir John Gage KG (28 October 1479 – 18 April 1556) was an English courtier during the Tudor period. He held a number of offices, including Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1542–1547), Comptroller of the Household (1540–1547), Constable of the Tower (1540–1556) and Lord Chamberlain (1553–1556).
An Esquire of the Body to both Henry VII and Henry VIII, he served offices in the Pale of Calais, becoming Comptroller in 1524. After receiving a knighthood in 1525, he moved to the post of Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in 1526, leaving court in 1533. He also represented Sussex three times (1529, 1539 and 1542) in the parliaments of Henry VIII.
He remained active, attending, in 1537, the baptism of Prince Edward and the funeral of Jane Seymour. He returned to favour, and 1540 saw his appointment as Comptroller of the Household, Constable of the Tower and as a Privy Counsellor. In his role as Constable of the Tower, he supervised the arrangements for the execution of Catherine Howard.
In 1541 he became a Knight of the Garter and in 1542 he succeeded as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1544 he undertook an important role for the invasion of France, organising transport and supplies for the army, and he became a knight banneret.
Present at the funeral of Henry VIII, he was appointed one of the executors of the king's will and a member of Edward VI's Regency Council. Differences soon arose between him and The Duke of Somerset, who expelled him from the council and from his posts of Comptroller and Chancellor when he became Lord Protector in 1547. He re-joined the council, before resigning upon the accession to power of The Earl of Warwick, later Duke of Northumberland. He was suspended as Constable for not supporting Northumberland's attempt to install Lady Jane Grey as Edward's successor. The accession of Mary I saw his restoration as Constable and appointment as Lord Chamberlain. He bore her train at her coronation and at her marriage to Philip of Spain. As Constable, he guarded Princess Elizabeth in 1555; he was described by Heylyn as "her bitter enemy, but more for love of the Pope than for hate of her person".
Gage died at his house, Firle Place, on 18 April 1556, and was buried on 25 April at West Firle Church next to his wife. Their alabaster altar tomb in the north chapel of that church is the work of Gerard Johnson the elder (1541–1611) and, along with monuments for some other members of their family, was erected in about 1595.
His will, made on 20 February 1555/6, was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 10 June 1556. A lengthy and detailed household inventory was added as a schedule to the will and points to the wealth and lifestyle that Sir John enjoyed. An introduction and transcription of the inventory has been published.
There does not appear to be a biography of Sir John Gage in the form of a book. However, the following lengthy and profusely referenced article provides extensive information about him and discusses his role in contemporary public life:
The Lord Sandys
| Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Next known title holder:Sir William Kingston
Sir William Kingston
| Comptroller of the Household
Sir William Paget
| Constable of the Tower
The Earl of Southampton
| Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Sir William Paget
The Lord Darcy of Chiche
| Lord Chamberlain
Next known title holder:Sir Edward Hastings