HARVEY, Francis I (1534-1602), of Cressing Temple, Witham, Essex.

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. 1534, 2nd s. of John Harvey of Ickworth, Suff. by Elizabeth, da. of Henry Pope of Mildenhall, Suff. m. (1) 1564, Mary, da. and coh. of Thomas Neville of Holt, Leics., wid. of Sir John Smith; (2) Camillia, da. of Vincent Guiccardini, Florentine merchant, wid. of Thomas Darcy of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex, 1da.

Offices Held

Bailiff of liberty of Witham 1569; j.p. Essex from c.1569; gent. pens. 1559.


Harvey owned land in Leicestershire and Berkshire as well as Cressing Temple, which came to him through his first wife. It may have been some relationship with the Earl of Oxford that first obtained him a seat at Colchester, but, more likely, it was his own local standing. In any case he would have been acceptable to Walsingham, recorder of the borough in 1584 and 1586, because he was ‘in service’ of the government (and hence unable to serve on the Essex commission of the peace). It was presumably Walsingham who provided for him at Knaresborough, and Anthony Mildmay who found him a seat at Chippenham in 1593, by which time Walsingham was dead. Harvey may have been the Mr. ‘Harne’ appointed to the committee of a bill concerning common informers, 9 Dec. 1584, and he was put on a committee concerned with cloth, 15 Mar. 1593, not an impressive record for five Parliaments. Soon after his last he went to live ‘near the English exchange, Middleburg’ for three years.

Harvey died in 1602. His will, drawn in February and proved in July of that year, made detailed provision for ‘obsequies and orderly observances’ at the funeral. Black mourning gowns or cloaks were to be given to friends and relatives, and mourning liveries provided for his servants. He left £20 to be distributed to the poor at the funeral and a similar sum for the erection of a ‘fair white marble or touchstone table’ over the grave in Witham church, beside his first wife. The widow was appointed sole executrix, and to his daughter he bequeathed £2,000 in gold.

Essex Rev. iv. 242; Vis. Essex (Harl Soc. xiii), 215; (xiv), 582; Essex RO, assize file 35/11/4, 35/13/1; E407/1/16; LC2/4/2; Neale, Commons, 299-300; Colchester Recs. ass. bk. 1576-99; CP, xii(2), p. 559; D’Ewes, 337, 501; CSP Dom. 1601-3, pp. 173-5; PCC 40 Montague.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.H.