BESELEY, Reginald (d.1562/4), of York.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

educ. M. Temple. m. Alice, 1s. 2da.

Offices Held

Recorder, Scarborough by 1547; clerk of county and castle of York bef. 1555.


The greater part of Beseley’s considerable parliamentary career lies outside the Elizabethan period. As he was recorder of Scarborough, his return to the 1559 Parliament is readily explained. It is not so easy to determine what his religious beliefs may have been. As one of the first representatives of the newly enfranchised borough of Knaresborough in October 1553, he must have been nominated either by the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, president of the council in the north, or by Sir Robert Rochester, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, both of whom were Catholics. By profession he was a York lawyer, a notary and proctor of the spiritual court who also conducted a private practice. By Elizabeth’s accession he had already suffered a serious illness, and he died between 20 Nov. 1562, when he made his will, and 26 Jan. 1564, when it was proved by his widow Alice. His property, which included his York residence and Furness House in the suburbs, was bequeathed first to his widow and then to his daughter Agnes and her heirs, on the condition that her husband Edward Beseley should pay an annuity of 40s. to Reginald’s son George. Beseley’s other daughter, Anne, and her husband Thomas Walker also received small bequests.

DL1/75/A14; OR, i. 377; St. Ch. 4/2/4; York Wills (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xiv), 13; York Civic Recs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. cx), 131-3; Foster, Vis. Yorks. 218; CPR, 1557-8, p. 390.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière