FANE, Francis (bef.1581-1629), of Badsell, Tudeley, Kent; later of Apethorpe, Northants.

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. bef. 1581, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Fane of Badsell by his 2nd w. Mary (later Baroness le Despenser), da. and h. of Henry Neville, 6th Lord Bergavenny; bro. of George. educ. Maidstone g.s.; Queens’, Camb. c.1595; L. Inn 1597. m. 1599, Mary, da. and h. of Sir Anthony Mildmay of Apethorpe, 7s. 6da. suc. fa. 1589. Kntd. 1603; cr. Earl of Westmorland 1624; suc. to mother’s title as Baron le Despenser 1626.2

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Northants. by 1618, custos rot. 1625.3


Fane inherited all his father’s real estate, married an heiress worth £3,000 a year, and had expectations of a further £1,200 p.a. from his mother-in-law. On the eve of the 1601 parliamentary election he was described as ‘a young gentleman of great hope and forwardness, very well affected in the county already’. His chief asset in a hard-fought contest for the senior county seat, however, was the support of Henry Brooke II, Lord Cobham. His position as knight for Kent entitled him to serve on committees concerning the order of parliamentary business (3 Nov.), clothworkers (18 Nov.) and monopolies (23 Nov.). By the time of the next election Lord Cobham was in disgrace and Fane had to content himself with a borough seat at Maidstone. He remained closely associated with the borough, even after his removal to Apethorpe, the Mildmay seat in Northamptonshire.4

In his will dated 8 Dec. 1628, Fane appointed his wife sole executrix, and the bishop of Lincoln, Lord Brudenell and his brother George, overseers. He mentioned his properties in Kent, Middlesex, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire, and the lease of a parsonage in Carmarthenshire. To each of his two unmarried daughters he allotted £3,000 as a portion, and among his bequests to his eldest son Mildmay, who already enjoyed the courtesy title of Lord le Despenser, was ‘one earl’s coronet of pure gold’ worth £200. Fane died 23 Mar. 1629 and was buried at Mereworth church in Kent, where he had a house, not far from Badsell.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. CP; Collins, Peerage, iii. 294; Vis. Kent. (Harl. Soc, lxxv), 42-4, 112-14.
  • 3. Northants. Rec. Soc. vii. 174; PRO Index 4211.
  • 4. C142/223/84; PCC 10 Sainberbe; Maidstone Recs. 89; HMC 10th Rep. IV, 6, 19; D’Ewes, 624, 642, 649; Neale, Commons, 72-4; Bridges, Northants. ii. 425; APC, 1616-17, p. 44.
  • 5. PCC 37 Ridley; Collins, Peerage, loc. cit.; Al. Cant. ii. 119.