KINWELMERSH, Francis (1538-c.1580), of Gray's Inn, London.

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

bap. 18 Oct. 1538, s. of Richard Kinwelmersh or Kyndelmershe of All Hallows, Bread Street, London. educ. G. Inn 1557. ?m. Cicely, issue.

Offices Held


Kinwelmersh was a minor Elizabethan poet and playwright whose name appears on the Gray’s Inn admission register next to that of the 2nd Earl of Bedford, whose admission was honorary. It was presumably Bedford who was responsible for Kinwelmersh’s return to Parliament for Bossiney in 1572. His patron at Droitwich has not been ascertained. The name Kinwelmersh occurs in London, Essex, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, but no adequate pedigree of the family survives, and the identification suggested here is conjectural. Kinwelmersh was presumably related to the man responsible for ‘Kyndelmarshes buildings’ in Gray’s Inn; at least one of the Kinwelmershes resident in the Inn in the 1560s was this man’s son.

Kinwelmersh was dead by 16 May 1580. Nine years later the undated will of one Francis Kinwelmersh of Charlton, Shropshire, was proved. If this was the poet’s will, he died in financial straits, his only visible asset, his lease of Charlton itself, being mortgaged. All his property he bequeathed to his wife Cicely, praying her to be good to their poor children.

DNB; A Paradise of Dainty Devices (1929), ed. Rollins, p. liv; C. T. Prouty, George Gascoigne, Elizabethan Courtier, Soldier and Poet, 32-3; Reg. All Hallows, London; G. Inn Adm. Reg. 27, Pens. Bk. i. 10; N. and Q. (ser. 8), xii. 423-4; PCC 79 Leicester.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.