WHALLEY, Richard (c.1558-c.1632), of Kirton and Screveton, Notts.

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. 1558, 1st s. of Thomas Whalley of Kirton by Elizabeth, 1st da. and coh. of Henry Hatfield of Willoughby. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1577; Barnard’s Inn; G. Inn 1583. m. (1) Anne, da. of George Horsey of Digswell, Herts., 1s., (2) Frances, da. of Sir Henry Cromwell alias Williams*, 4s. 3da. suc. gd.-fa. 1583.

Offices Held

J.p. Notts. from c.1591, sheriff 1595-6, commr. musters Dec. 1596; steward of manor of Clapton, Leics. 1587.


There were several branches of the Whalley family in Nottinghamshire. Whalley’s grandfather had been comptroller of the household to the 1st Earl of Rutland, and about 1581 a Thomas Whalley was styled ‘servant of the Earl of Rutland’ in a summons to the county musters. This was presumably the same man who wrote on business matters to the 3rd Earl in 1573 and the following year, from Belvoir and Screveton, and so, very likely, Whalley’s father. There is no evidence that Whalley himself was a servant of the 5th Earl of Rutland, who, however, may have supported him for the county in 1597. He had two brothers-in-law in this Parliament, Oliver and Richard Cromwell. Whalley was appointed to committees on the poor law (22 Nov. 1597) and on mariners (9 Dec. 1597). As knight of the shire he could also have sat on committees concerned with enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), armour and weapons (8 Nov.), penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.) and the subsidy (15 Nov.). There is no evidence as to how he came to be returned for Boroughbridge: perhaps it was through the council in the north.

Whalley was described by a local historian as ‘a man of high character and superior attainments as well as of great wealth and influence’. The Nottingham borough accounts record a gift of 10s. which he made to the poor during the plague of 1592. But ‘an unfortunate obstinacy of disposition, the result of pride or ... overwhelming self-esteem’, led him into lawsuits which necessitated the sale of a number of manors, partly from his ancestral estates and partly bought in his earlier and more prosperous years. He died, ‘much reduced in circumstances’, about 1632; no will or inquisition post mortem has been found. One of his sons, Thomas, died before him; another, Edward, was a regicide; a third, Henry, become a judge advocate.

C142/203/39, 275/376; Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 116-18; Vis. Notts. (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xiii), 64; APC, xxvi. 389; E315/309/63; HMC Rutland, i. 98, 102, 124; iv. 307-8, 320, 326, 334; D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 561, 570; T. Bailey, Notts. Annals, ii. 524, 559, 589; Nottingham Recs. iv. 237.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge