HALSWELL, Nicholas (by 1512-64), of Halswell and Goathurst, Som.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1512, s. of John Halswell of Halswell by Mary, da. of Henry Est of Yardley, Worcs. educ. M. Temple. m. by 1532, Margery, da. and coh. of John Tremayle of Cannington, Som., 4s. 3da. suc. fa. by 1528.2

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Som. 1539, 1544, relief 1550; j.p.1543-d.; escheator, Som. and Dorset 1547-8; feodary, Som. by 1555-d.; Recorder, Bridgwater 1556-d.3


In 1528 Nicholas Halswell’s uncle and namesake, a prebendary of York and founder-member of the College of Physicians, bequeathed to his young and fatherless nephew a chalice and some altar vestments: Halswell presumably also inherited this uncle’s lands. His career at the Middle Temple seems to have been undistinguished but he was to be fairly active in local affairs, especially under Mary, and he was probably an official of the court of wards long before he is first mentioned as feodary. He sued out general pardons in 1553 and 1559. Goathurst and Halswell are only a short distance from Bridgwater and this important local official must have carried weight in the town. As a fellow-Templar, he is likely to have enjoyed the favour of Alexander Popham, the recorder, whom he almost certainly succeeded in that office on Popham’s death in 1556.4

Halswell made one very large purchase of former monastic lands when on 1 May 1553 he and Thomas Sidney of Norfolk bought for £1,710 the manor of Milton, Hampshire, and property in Essex, Norfolk, Somerset and elsewhere. The inquisition taken after his death on 11 Oct. 1564 shows him possessed of this Hampshire manor, six in Somerset and one in Dorset as well as houses in Bridgwater and Salisbury.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 28; PCC 33 Stevenson.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xvi-xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 89; 1553, p. 359; 1553-4, p. 36; 1563-6, p. 27; Bridgwater corp. mss 1459, 1700.
  • 4. PCC 36 Porch; CPR, 1553-4, p. 427; 1558-60, p. 161.
  • 5. CPR, 1553, p. 54; C142/141/18.