BULSTRODE, Francis (by 1515-68 or later), of Brogborough, Beds. and Netherton, Worcs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1515, 1st s. of Edward Bulstrode (d. 3 Aug. 1517) of Hedgerley and Upton, Bucks. by 3rd w. Margaret, da. of Humphrey Colwick of Worcs., wid. of John Ashfield (d.1506) of Heythrop, Oxon.; half.-bro. of Edmund Ashfield. m. Anne, da. of Thomas Huncks of Radbrook, Glos., wid. of Thomas Lyttleton and of George Willoughby (d.1550) of the Inner Temple, London and Netherton, 1s.1

Offices Held

Gent.-at-arms by Feb. 1547; jt. (with Sir Francis Bryan) keeper, Brogborough park, Beds. 14 May 1547; gent. pens. by 1553-58/60.2


Francis Bulstrode came of a gentle family with a tradition of service in Buckinghamshire and in the royal household. Its wealth and position in the county passed in 1517 to his eldest half-brother George, but the younger brothers were left to maintain the tie with the Household, Francis himself being in all likelihood the Francis ‘Boulstul’ named as a gentleman pensioner in June 1558. He was the first of his family to bear this christian name, which he could have been given after Francis Bryan, a rising figure at court about the time of his birth. He settled in Bedfordshire, not far from Bryan’s home at Woburn, and in 1550 leased property at Husborne Crawley from the augmentations, but after his marriage to a Worcestershire widow he also had a residence there.3

Bulstrode’s Membership in 1555 seems to have been the summit of his career. As a gentleman pensioner he could have owed his nomination at Lichfield to the crown, but his association with Bryan may have earned him the favour of William, Lord Paget, to whom the city was amenable. His connexion through his wife with one of the knights for Staffordshire, (Sir) Edward Littleton, would also have helped, as would one with the influential Ferrers family through a half-sister. All that is known of Bulstrode’s part in the House is that he did not join the opposition headed by Sir Anthony Kingston; his attitude is likely to have pleased his Catholic kinsman Littleton as much as it disappointed such nearer relatives as his brother-in-law Robert Keilway II and his nephews Edward Unton and Henry Unton. At the accession of Elizabeth, Bulstrode sued out a general pardon. He is last heard of in March 1568 when the reversion of the keepership of Brogborough park was granted to Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon, and his son George.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from fa.’s death and from his having two younger brothers. Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 12-13, 148-9; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 81-82; E150/475/10; PCC 23 Alenger; LP Hen. VIII, i.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 212; E407/1/1; Stowe 571, ff. 31-2; LC 2/2, f. 43 ex inf. W. J. Tighe.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i, xiv; E150/475/10; 470/1/1; PCC 23 Alenger; RCHM Bucks. (South), 192; VCH Bucks. iii. 281; CPR, 1549-51, p. 321; 1558-60, p. 186; 1560-3, p. 295.
  • 4. CPR, 1558-60, p. 186; 1566-9, p. 161.