HURLESTON, Ralph (c.1529-c.87), of the Inner Temple, London and York.

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. c.1529, 2nd s. of Thomas Hurleston of Hurleston, Lancs. and Picton, Cheshire by Elizabeth, da. of Adam Birkenhead of Huxley, Cheshire; bro. of Richard. educ. Eton; King’s, Camb. scholar 1543; I. Temple 1553, called 1568. m. Margaret, wid. of one Longland, s.p.

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple 1569, auditor, steward’s account 1570, 1572, 1574, treasurer’s account 1571, Summer reader 1573, Lent reader 1581; member, council in the north Nov. 1582-7; j.p. Cumb., co. Dur., Northumb., Westmld., Yorks. (all tidings) from 1583.1


Hurleston was a lawyer employed by the council in the north, whose president, the 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, returned him for Aldborough. What moved Hurleston to enter Parliament so late in life was his religion, for he was one of the small group of extremists (Peter Wentworth, Anthony Cope, Edward Lewknor and Robert Bainbridge were the others) who formed a sort of parliamentary caucus of the puritan movement outside the House, intent on overthrowing the Elizabethan Church settlement and establishing presbyterianism. Hurleston himself spoke in support of Cope’s ‘bill and book’, 27 Feb. 1587, for which he was sent to the Tower, 2 Mar. The others were released after the end of the Parliament, but Hurleston probably died there, for he is not heard of again.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.


  • 1. Ormerod, Cheshire, ii(2), p. 815; Harl. 474; Reid, Council of the North, 495.
  • 2. Neale, Parlts. ii. 148-165; D’Ewes, 410, 411; EHR, xxxix. 46-54.