HELE, Nicholas (c.1583-1640), of Easton in Gordano, Som.
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Family and Educationb. c.1583, 6th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir John Hele† (d.1608) of the I. Temple and Wembury, Devon and Mary, da. and coh. of Ellis Warwick of Holbeton, Devon; bro. of John* and Sir Warwick*.1 educ. New Coll., Oxf. June 1601, aged 18, BCL 1607.2 m. (1) by 1617, Dorothy, da. and h. of Edmund Stradling of Easton in Gordano, 1s. 2da.;3 (2) pre-nuptial settlement 28 Sept. 1633, Mary (admon. 21 May 1667), wid. of John Doughty* (d.1630) of Bristol, Som. s.p.4 d. 27 Dec. 1640.5
Hele received only 500 marks in his father’s will, and was doubtless intended to pursue a legal career. The financial imperative was removed by his first marriage, which brought him a small landed estate in Somerset and Monmouthshire, but he conceivably supplemented his income by practising as a civilian in the Bristol diocesan courts.6 His brother, Sir Warwick, leased Liskeard Park in 1619, and provided him with a seat at the neighbouring borough in the next three parliaments.7 On 10 Mar. 1621 Hele gave evidence in support of Sir Warwick’s estate bill. In 1624 either he or his cousin Sampson was nominated to a legislative committee concerned with the naturalization of three Scots (4 May). However, he left no trace in the records of the 1625 Parliament, and never sat again after his brother’s death in the following year.8In 1624 Hele was granted three manors and other property in Cornwall by Sir Warwick, who also left him £500 in his will. Now a man of some substance, he paid £18 13s. 4d. as composition for knighthood in 1631, and at his death owned at least 400 acres in four counties, including shares of two additional manors.9 Sick in body, he drew up his will on 8 Aug. 1640, requesting decent burial ‘without pomp or unnecessary charge’. He provided a £1,000 dowry for his unmarried daughter, though this lavish bequest meant that he could leave his widow only £50, a diamond chain, and a silver basin and ewer to supplement her jointure. He died in the following December. His son John, whose wardship was purchased for 1,000 marks by a near kinsman, Sir John Hele, sat for Reigate in 1659 and 1660.10
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Paul Hunneyball
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 464.
- 2. Al. Ox.
- 3. Vivian, 464; PROB 11/111, ff. 208-9; 11/185, f. 45.
- 4. C142/606/75; PROB 11/324, f. 38v; Adams’s Chronicle of Bristol ed. F.F. Fox, 224.
- 5. C142/606/75.
- 6. PROB 11/112, f. 240; 11/111, f. 208v; C142/606/75.
- 7. Parl. Survey of Duchy of Cornw. ed. N.J.G. Pounds (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. n.s. xxv), 78.
- 8. CJ, i. 548a, 783b. Another nomination of 1 May 1624 concerning a Herts. estate bill should probably be assigned to William Nyell (Neale): ibid. 696b, 782a.
- 9. C142/423/80; 142/606/75; PROB 11/148, ff. 1v-2; E178/5310.
- 10. PROB 11/185, f. 45r-v; Sale of Wards in Som. ed. M.J. Hawkins (Som. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 176-7.