RADCLIFFE, Sir Humphrey (c.1509-66), of Elstow, Beds.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1509, 3rd s. of Robert Radcliffe, 1st Earl of Sussex, by his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham; half-bro. of Sir John. m. Isabel or Elizabeth (d.1594), da. and h. of Edmund Harvey of Elstow, 2s. Thomas and Edward 3da. Kntd. by June 1536.1

Offices Held

Gent. pens. by 1540; lt. of pensioners by 1553; j.p. Beds. from 1554, q. by 1562; sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 1558-9; steward, manor of Elstow 1563.2


Radcliffe’s father-in- law, Edmund Harvey, acquired the manor of Elstow, with the site of the convent and its demesne lands, at the dissolution of the monasteries, and Radcliffe himself gained possession in July 1553. At Elizabeth’s accession his wife, jointly with their younger son Edward, received a grant of the manor of Houghton Grange, Bedfordshire. Having represented Bedfordshire repeatedly before the opening of this period, voting against a government bill in the 1555 Parliament, Radcliffe found himself ineligible for the county in 1559 through being sheriff, and instead was returned for Maldon through the influence of his nephew, the 3rd Earl of Sussex. In 1563 he was considered for both Liverpool and Bossiney, where his name was finally erased from the Crown Office list, and he was left out of the House altogether: a strange parliamentary career. Radcliffe’s support of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary indicates that he had no strong religious views and he was in fact classified as indifferent in 1564. That the puritan Edward Underhill thought he had ‘always favoured the gospel’ is interesting but inconclusive. Radcliffe died intestate 13 Aug. 1566, aged 57.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Doyle, Baronetage, iii. 481; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 48, 65; CPR, 1558-60, p. 2; LP Hen. VIII, x. 509; CP, viii. 524.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, iv(1), p. 871; xv. p. 5; Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii), 128; Narr. Reformation (ibid. lxxvii), 161, 168; CPR, 1553-4, p. 17; 1560-3, p. 518.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xvi. p. 728; xix(1), pp. 161-2; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 232; VCH Beds. iii. 293; C193/32/4-6; Liverpool Town Bks. ed. Twemlow, i. 216 seq.; Narr. Reformation, 161; Guildford Mus. Loseley mss 1331/2; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 28; Beds. N. and Q. i. 126 seq.; Vis. Beds. 48, 65; PCC admon. act bk. 1567, f. 122.