CURWEN, Nicholas (1550-1604), of Workington, Cumb.

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. 1550, 1st. s. of Henry Curwen of Workington by his 1st w. m. (1) Anne, da. of Sir Simon Musgrave of Harde Castle, 1s. 2da.; (2) bef. Oct. 1590,, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Carus of Halton, 3da. suc. fa. 1596. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Cumb. from c.1592; juror for west 1597-1600; sheriff, Cumb. 1600-1; commr. for border 1601-4.


At At the age of 18 Curwen was involved, with members of the Dacre family, in a riot in Carlisle. He was arrested, and obliged to enter into recognizances. Like his father he was loyal during the northern rising of 1569, and he was described by Thomas Scrope as a ‘gentleman loyal both to state and religion and free from cunning invention’. Elected for the county to the 1593 Parliament during his father’s lifetime, Curwen and his fellow knight of the shire were eligible to serve on the subsidy committee (26 Feb.) and a legal committee (9 Mar.). On 19 Mar. they were licensed to depart ‘for their necessary service in the affairs of her Majesty’. Following his father’s death, Curwen became more active in county and border affairs, and 1601 was one of three entrusted with the ‘charge of the country for fourteen days’ during Scrope’s absence in London. In the same year he was a member of the English party of ‘assizers’ engaged in negotiations with Scotch commissioners. He died intestate 16 Jan. 1604, and was buried in Workington church. Administration of his goods was granted in the following month. His only son Henry was the heir. A monument to his widow was set up in 1611 in the parish church of Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland.

Cumb. and Westmld. Arch. and Antiq. Soc. Trans. v. 207; Tract Ser. ii. 33; Border Pprs. 235, 276, 312, 690, 734, 750; HMC Hatfield, xvi. 127; D’Ewes, 474, 496, 503; CSP Dom. Add. 1580-1625, pp. 370-1; Yorks. Arch. Soc. (rec. ser.) xxvi. 152; Westmld. (R.C.A.M.), 136.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: H.G.O.