BEDELL, Arthur, ?of Lichfield, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

educ. Christ Church, Oxf. BA 1553, MA 1556, BCL 1565, DCL 1569.

Offices Held

?Canon of Lichfield 1564, chancellor of diocese of Lichfield by 1565.


A James Bedell was an official in the household of the 1st Lord Paget, who probably had a hand in the restoration of the franchise at Lichfield, some four miles from his seat of Beaudesert. However, no connexion has been established between this man and the Arthur Bedell who represented the borough in 1572, and who has not been identified. Possibly he was the ‘very learned civilian’ the chancellor of Lichfield diocese. A ‘Mr. Bedell’ is recorded as serving on two committees and making four speeches during the session of 1572. The committee of 21 May 1572 for the Earl of Kent is very probably to be attributed to Richard Bedell, by reason of his connexion with the 2nd Earl of Bedford. The second, dealing with tellers and receivers, is also probably one which can be attributed to Richard Bedell by virtue of his legal training. The speech against keeping the assizes only at Stafford, and not elsewhere in the county (25 June 1572), may reasonably be attributed to Arthur. ‘Stafford’, he said, ‘already pilleth and polleth [practises extortion]: if [the assizes] be tied to that place certain it will pill and poll more’. Of the other speeches, two concerning legal matters were probably by Richard Bedell. The third, made 9 June 1572, during the debate on the bill against Mary Queen of Scots, could have been by either: in it the speaker warned against a loose use of words, thought ‘many would speak more liberally if it were not for fear’, and suggested that it was ‘as necessary to provide for the feet as for the head, for if the feet be taken away the head is in danger’.1

The Mr. Bedell who was a pall bearer at Archbishop Parker’s funeral in 1575 was presumably William, clerk or registrar to the court of high commission.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. PCC 27 Chayre; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 323, 342, 373-4; DNB (Bedell, William and Bedyll, Thomas); Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. n.s. ix. 211, 212, 213; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 135; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. f. 66; sources cited under BEDELL, Richard.
  • 2. Strype, Parker, ii. 433; CPR, 1560-3, p. 280.