BELLINGHAM, Sir Henry, 1st Bt. (c.1594-1650), of Helsington and Over Levens, Westmld.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.) - 11 Oct. 1645
1644 (Oxf. Parl.)

Family and Education

b. c.1594,2 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir James Bellingham of Over Levens, Westmld. and Agnes, da. of (Sir) Henry Curwen† of Workington, Cumb.3 educ. Queens’, Camb. 1609; M. Temple 1611.4 m. c.1613, Dorothy (d. 23 Jan. 1627),5 da. of Sir Francis Boynton of Burton Agnes, Yorks., 1s. 6da. (4 d.v.p.).6 cr. bt. 30 May 1620; kntd. 31 May 1620;7 suc. fa. 1642.8 d. Oct. 1650.9

Offices Held

J.p. Westmld. 1625-44;10 commr. Forced Loan, Westmld. 1626-7,11 oyer and terminer, Northern circ. 1639-41,12 assessment, Westmld. 1641-4,13 disarming recusants, 1641;14 scandalous ministers 1642,15 sequestration 1643, levying money 1643.16

Col. ft. (roy.) 1644-5, 1648.17


One of Bellingham’s ancestors, of Northumbrian origin, crossed the Pennines to marry an heiress in the reign of Edward II, and another member of the family represented Cumberland in 1449.18 Bellingham himself obtained a baronetcy and won four county elections in his father’s lifetime; he resided at Helsington until he inherited Over Levens. Despite his senior social standing he gave precedence to John Lowther I as knight of the shire for Westmorland in the first and second Caroline Parliaments, in which his uncle, Patricius Curwen, and under-age nephew Ralph Assheton also sat. Bellingham left no trace on the parliamentary record in 1625; but undeterred by the plague in Westminster he took the opportunity while he was there to represent his father in a Star Chamber case concerning the Northern custom known as tenant-right.19 In the 1626 Parliament he was appointed to the committee for a private bill to enable the son of Lord Bergavenny (Sir Henry Neville II*) to make a jointure out of entailed land (17 Mar. 1626).20

Bellingham did not stand at the general election in 1628, but served again as junior knight of the shire in both the Short and Long Parliaments of 1640. Having tried to avoid commitment in the Civil War, he eventually sided with Charles, attended the Oxford Parliament, and commanded a regiment against the invading Scots in the aftermath of Marston Moor.21 In 1646 his estates were sequestered.22 He died soon after making his will on 15 Oct. 1650, but his only son and heir, James, also died a few days later, perhaps of the same sickness.23 Bellingham’s great-nephew, Alan, represented the county as a Whig in the Exclusion Parliaments.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. CJ, iv. 304a.
  • 2. STAC 8/34/4.
  • 3. Vis. Cumb. and Westmld. ed. Foster, 9.
  • 4. Al. Cant.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 5. J. Nicolson and R. Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. i. 196.
  • 6. Vis. Cumb. and Westmld. 9.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 75; CB, i. 145.
  • 8. Nicholson and Burn, i. 205; Wills at York (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. iv), 94.
  • 9. PROB 11/216, f. 197.
  • 10. C231/4, f. 190; C66/2858; SP16/405, f. 69.
  • 11. C193/12/2, f. 61v; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145.
  • 12. C231/5, p. 274; C181/5, ff. 128, 203.
  • 13. SR, v. 89, 156; A. and O. i. 95, 543.
  • 14. LJ, iv. 358b.
  • 15. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 105.
  • 16. A. and O. i. 117, 151, 236.
  • 17. Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. x. 108; CCC, 521, 1867.
  • 18. Nicolson and Burn, i. 125-6.
  • 19. Ibid. i. 57.
  • 20. Procs. 1626, ii. 305.
  • 21. Docquets of Letters Patents 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 178.
  • 22. SP23/197, pp. 425, 427-9; 23/253, p. 49.
  • 23. PROB 11/216, f. 197; Bellingham Diary ed. A. Hewitson, p. viii.