ELLERKER, Edward (c.1537-86), of Risby, nr. Beverley, Yorks.

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. June 1537, 1st of Sir Ralph Ellerker by Katherine, da. of Sir John Constable of Holderness. m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Robert Constable of Everingham, 4 or 5s. suc. fa. Sept. 1558.1

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks, (E. Riding) from c.1562; mayor, Beverley 1573; a ‘governor’ of Beverley 1573.2


Through his mother and by his own marriage Ellerker was related to the parliamentary family of Constable, many of whose members sat in the Commons during the sixteenth century. His return for Beverley, however, obviously owed little to any outside influence, his estate at Risby being only three miles from the borough, of which he was shortly to become the first mayor under the 1573 charter of incorporation.

Ellerker had a large house and grounds, Haldenprice, in Hull, with extensive lands at Brantingham, Ryhill and Camerton in the surrounding district. In 1572 his uncle William sold him the manor of Ellerker, near Brantingham, unless this was a disguised mortgage. The title to the Ryhill property caused legal complications. Ellerker conveyed the manor to John Thornton in 1566, but counterclaims to it were still being raised by both parties as late as 1577. He increased his lands in 1580 by buying, with John Samon, all Roger Beckwith’s rights in the manor of Selby. These included the annual fair and weekly markets. He had long been an active county official, responsible at the time of the northern rebellion for collecting 200 loyal troops from Hull and the surrounding area. In March 1572 he was again raising men in the East Riding, this time for an unspecified purpose.3

In common with other Yorkshire gentry, he was involved in the quarrels at York between Sir John Constable and John Vaughan I. During the illness of Archbishop Young in 1567, Vaughan called a meeting of the council of the north and committed Ellerker and Ralphe Crooke to prison as allegedly responsible for an affray in the county. The archbishop declared the meeting unconstitutional, and discharged Ellerker, whom he described as ‘a gentleman of worship in his country, a knight’s son and heir, apt for her Majesty’s service in the wars, and of so good behaviour and quietness in his country, that I never heard evil of him heretofore’. He considered the cause of Vaughan’s attack was that ‘the said Edward Ellerker is a nigh cousin and a very friend to Sir John Constable’.4

Ellerker died on 28 Dec. 1586. His will, drawn up on 20 Sept. the same year, was proved in March 1587 at York. He asked to be buried in the chancel of Rowley parish church near Beverley, with his wife, ‘in the sepulchre of my ancestors’. Almost all the legacies were to his sons, the eldest of whom, Ralph, aged 22, was made sole executor. Two of Ellerker’s brothers, Ralph and Robert, were joined as supervisors with Philip and (Sir) Henry Constable.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/118/43; R. Clover, Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 136-7, 179.
  • 2. HMC Beverley, 58, 82, 182; G. Poulson, Beverlac, pp. ii. 11; G. Oliver, Hist. Beverley, 190; Beverley Recs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. lxxxiv), pp. vi, 14.
  • 3. C142/118/43, 213/122; Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. ii), 319; (v) 109, 152; York Civic Recs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. cxii), 172; Lansd. 13, f. 127.
  • 4. Lansd. 10, f. 2 seq.
  • 5. York prob. reg. 23/396; C142/213/122.