BELLASIS, Henry (1555-1624), of Newborough, Yorks.

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

b. 1555, 2nd, but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Bellasis of Newborough by Margaret, da. of Sir Nicholas Fairfax of Gilling-in-Walton. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1572. m. Ursula, da. of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, Yorks., 1s. Thomas. Kntd. 1603; suc. fa. 1604; cr. Bt. 1611.

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks (N. Riding) c.1586-7, c.1594-6, 1601-d.; sheriff, Yorks. 1603-4; member, council in the north 1603-d.


Bellasis was a member of a North Yorkshire gentry family, related by marriage to the Fairfaxes and other local magnates. His family influence was no doubt sufficient to ensure his elections at Thirsk. At Aldborough he may have owed his seat to his father-in-law, a member of the council in the north. His name is only mentioned once in the records of the House of Commons, as serving on the committee for the erection of workshops for the poor (18 Nov. 1597). However, in 1593 he may have served on two committees in his capacity as burgess for Thirsk: cloth (23 Mar.) and weirs (28 Mar.).

His name was omitted several times from commissions of the peace, perhaps because his religion was suspect. However, in 1587 he was sent to the Scottish border in command of 100 footsoldiers, and a correspondent of Burghley’s thought highly enough of him: ‘all the justices of that part are glad to [fetch] light at his torch. And indeed since the death of old Dalton [there is] no man more sufficient of skill in the north of this shire’.

Knighted by James I at York 17 Apr. 1603, during the royal journey to London, he received one of the first baronetcies. He kept up a considerable household at Newborough, and his hospitality was famed throughout Yorkshire. As a member of the council in the north he probably spent much of his time in York: he was buried at St. Saviour’s there 19 Aug. 1624, and a monumental inscription in the minster commemorates him. His will, drawn up in February 1622, was proved at York.

J. Foster, Yorks, Pedes. ii.; GEC Baronetage, i. 43; Lansd. 54, f. 184; 121, f. 71; 152, f. 16; pat. rolls 36, 38, 42 Eliz.; Reid, Council of the North, 497; D’Ewes, 507, 512, 557.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.C.H.