HORSEY, George (1526-88), of Digswell, Herts.

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

1st s. of Jasper Horsey of Exton, Devon and bro. of Edward. m. (1) c.1546, Mary (d.1551), da. and h. of Thomas Perient of Digswell, wid. of Amphibalus Rowlett; (2) 1552, Anne, da. of Sir Ralph Sadler, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1546, bro. Edward 1583.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Herts. from c.1559, dep. lt. Nov. 1569, sheriff 1572-3; receiver-gen. duchy of Lancaster Oct. 1577; commr. musters, Herts. by 1588


Horsey owed everthing to two fortunate marriages. His first wife’s estates were close to Standon, the home of Sir Ralph Sadler (chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster from 1568) whose daughter Horsey married in 1552. Horsey’s career and seats in Parliament for three duchy boroughs were due to Sadler, and even his appointment as deputy lieutenant was due to Sadler’s being sent to help suppress the rising in the north. A protestant, described in 1564 as ‘earnest in religion’, Horsey, unlike many officials of this period, may have refrained from speculating with government money in his care. Described as ‘extraordinarily attendant’ in delivering money remaining in his hands, he stipulated in his will that his ‘executor shall not have the keys of the great coffer where the Queen’s majesty’s treasure lieth, before the said treasure be delivered out by her Majesty’s warrant’.

His name appears only once in the records of the House, when he was appointed to a committee concerning the preservation of game (18 Feb. 1581).

On 6 Feb. 1588 Burghley wrote to Walsingham that Horsey was ‘like to die’. He did so that same day, and was buried on the 15th. As well as his Hertfordshire estates Horsey held the lordship and chase of Cranborne, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Clutterbuck, Herts. i. 321; ii. 322; C142/202/178; Lansd. 46 f. 193; 53, f. 168; 56; f. 168 seq.; HMC Hatfield, i. 445; Somerville, Duchy, i. 404, 405; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 30; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 373; 1581-90, p. 462; APC, xii. 301; CJ, i. 128; PCC 12 Rutland.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.