WORSLEY, Sir Robert (c.1512-85), of Booths, Lancs.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1512, 1st s. of Robert Worsley of Booths by Alice, da. and coh. of Hamlet Massy of Rixton. m. (1) Alice, (sep. by Sept. 1547), da. of Thurstan Tyldesley of Wardley, 1s. Robert; ?(2) Margaret Beetham, 3s. suc. gd.-fa. 1533. Kntd. at Leith 1544.

Offices Held

J.p. Lancs. from c.1540, sheriff 1548-9, 1559-60; commr. musters 1553; dep. lt.; commr. eccles causes, diocese of Chester 1562.


Worsley had recently come of age when his grand-father died, leaving him considerable estates at Booths, Urmston, Hulme, Ashton-under-Lyne, Rusholme and Farnworth. Later he acquired other land in Lancashire, mainly at Pemberton and Orrell; he also owned property in the Yorkshire manors of Coulton, Holthorpe and Hovingham. But the family was declining. Soon after Elizabeth’s accession Worsley began to sell houses and land, and to settle estates on members of his family. His doubtful title to the manor of Orrell, Lancashire caused expensive legal proceedings in the duchy of Lancaster courts, and about 1570 he quarrelled with his son Robert about a conveyance. Nothing is known of him in his one Elizabethan Parliament, and nothing of his religious views. He presumably conformed throughout the ecclesiastical changes of the period; he supported the Elizabethan settlement, and was a member of the commission which in 1562 inquired into the keeping of the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity in the Chester diocese. The circumstances of his separation from his first wife are obscure. Her father’s will reads in part:

Notwithstanding that my son-in-law Sir Robert Worsley, knight, is married to Margaret Beetham, his wife yet living, yet I remit and pardon to him [a debt of] £7 10s., upon condition that he give yearly unto my daughter Alice his wife £5 or more for her exhibition during her absence from him, or upon condition that he take his said wife into his company and entreat her as he ought to do.

Worsley died in December 1585, and was buried at Eccles. No will or inquisition post mortem has been found.

VCH Lancs. iii. 428; iv. 80, 82, 90, 345, 383; Chetham Soc. xxxiii. 100-1; xlix. 2; l. 108-9, 131; lxxxviii. 340; pal. Lancaster feet of fines, bdle. 25, m. 1; DL7/7/5; LP Hen. VIII, xix(1), p. 238; xxi(2), pp. 422-3; CPR, 1560-3, pp. 280-1.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


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