LESTRANGE (STRANGE), Sir Nicholas (by 1517-80), of Hunstanton, Norf.

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. by 1517, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Lestrange of Hunstanton by Anne, da. of Nicholas, 1st Baron Vaux; bro. of Richard. m. (1) Ellen, da. of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northants., 3s. 2da.; (2) 1547, Catherine, da. of John Hyde of Hyde, Dorset, wid. of Nicholas Mynn of Fransham, Norf., ?s.p. suc. fa. 1545. Kntd. 28 Sept. 1547.1

Offices Held

Servant, poss. of 3rd Duke of Norfolk by 1538, of 4th Duke by 1555.

J.p. Norf. 1538-54, 1559-71, rest. 1579; steward, manors of Mary, Duchess of Richmond 1547; sheriff, Norf., Suff. 1548-9; muster marshal of army in Scotland 1559-60; chamberlain to Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk by 1559-72; freeman, King’s Lynn 1566; feoffee of the Howard estates 1568.2


In the early years of Elizabeth’s reign Lestrange was one of the Duke of Norfolk’s most trusted servants. In 1559-60 he acted as muster marshal to the Duke’s army in Scotland, and was several times sent by him to report to the Privy Council. He retained some interest in the northern borders and in 1563 he and Nicholas Mynn contracted to supply grain to Berwick: two years later he was reprimanded for delay in carrying out the contract. Lestrange was also a substantial landowner in Norfolk in his own right, the bishop of Norwich considering him in 1564 one of ‘the meetest men in ... this shire’ to advise him on the reliability of the local justices. The Duke of Norfolk secured his repeated returns to Parliament for Castle Rising, near the main Lestrange property. There is no evidence that Lestrange took any active part in the business of the House of Commons.3

Lestrange, was suspected of acting as intermediary between his master and Mary Stuart, but he survived interrogation in custody during the autumn of 1571. He was put off the Norfolk commission of the peace and may have gone to join his relatives in Ireland, where his first wife’s nephew Sir William Fitzwilliam II was lord deputy. There are few references to his last years: in 1575 he was ordered by the Privy Council to pay debts due for some sales of corn; and on 19 Dec. 1579, to reply to complaints made by one Joan Lestrange. He was restored to the Norfolk commission of the peace in the year before his death, which took place at Hunstanton on 19 Feb. 1580. His will was proved in Ireland.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. DNB (Lestrange, Sir Thomas); Blomefield, Norf. x. 318; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 272; LP Hen. VIII, xx(1), p. 423; Fac. Off. Mar. Lics. (Harl. Soc. xxiv), 9; G. A. Carthew, Hundred of Launditch, ii. 481; Lit. Remains Ed. VI, Nichols (Roxburghe Club), i. 219.
  • 2. CPR, 1547-8, p. 79, 87; A. H. Smith thesis, 169, 187, app. II; Lansd. 4, f. 126; Blomefield, x. 319; Cal. Freemen of Lynn (Norf. and Norwich Arch. Soc. 1913), p. 106.
  • 3. Blomefield, i. 238; x. 319; HMC Hatfield, i. 190, 194, 214, 220; APC, viii. 239; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 58.
  • 4. HMC Hatfield, i. 533, 535, 538, 548; APC, ix. 49; xi. 339; Blomefield, x. 318; CPR, 1549-51, p. 334; Carthew, i. 215; A. Vicars, Index of Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 285; C142/232/53; Wards 7/23/146.