BASHE, Edward (1506/7-87), of London and Stanstead Abbots, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1506/7, 1st s. of Richard Bashe of Worcester by Joyce, da. of Thomas Bolte of Worcs. m. (1) by 1545, Thomasin, da. of one Baker, s.p.; (2) aft. 1564, Jane, da. of Sir Ralph Sadler of Hackney, Mdx. and Standon, Herts., 2s.1

Offices Held

Dep. sec. council in the marches of Wales c.1538; usher, ct. gen. surveyors 1546; jt. surveyor of victuals for the navy 1547, surveyor gen. 1550-d.; constable, Portchester castle and lt. Southbere forest, Hants 1557-60; j.p. Herts. 1561-d., Mdx. 1562-d.; sheriff, Herts. 1571-2, 1584-5.2


Edward Bashe was born in Worcester, where according to an anonymous libel of the 1570s his father made shoe-horns. He made his own career in the service of the crown. It was as ‘a right toward young man’ that Bashe— the name has been questioned but it appears to be correct— was commended by Cromwell in a letter of 1538 calling for his reinstatement as deputy to the secretary of the council in the marches of Wales, a position which he had lost by quarrelling with the secretary’s son. He was probably reappointed, for the next trace of him, seven years later, is the repayment to a yeoman of Ludlow of 45s.6d.‘paid this quarter unto Edward Bashe for his use beforehand’. It was, however, as Edward Bashe of London that in July 1545 he and his wife Thomasin were granted the manor of Oare in Berkshire, formerly belonging to Abingdon abbey, which he surrendered in the following year. In January 1546 he joined Richard Smith, who had until then held the office on his own, as usher of the court of general surveyors, but before the death of Henry VIII he had begun what was to become his life-work, the supply of provisions for the navy.3

His new sphere of activity continued to occupy Bashe during the early years of Edward VI, and on 18 June 1550 his services were rewarded, and his authority formalized, by his appointment as surveyor general of victuals for the King’s ships at an annual fee of £50. This patent he surrendered on 23 Dec. 1560, to receive on the following day a life grant of the same office, jointly with another, in survivorship. His co-patentee was to change more than once, and new grants were to be issued, but Bashe remained in harness until the end of his long life. His promotion to surveyor general was followed in December 1550 by a grant of arms.4

It was clearly in virtue of his office that Bashe was returned to Mary’s third Parliament for Rochester, hard by the developing naval base at Chatham. Nothing is known of his part in its proceedings save that he was not among those Members who withdrew from it before its close. He was not re-elected to either of Mary’s remaining Parliaments, although his name does occur in connexion with that of 1558. On the official list of Members he was first entered as one of the Members for Portsmouth but his name was struck through and replaced by Edward Cordell’s. Unless it was a clerical error which was thus corrected, Bashe had presumably been returned for Portsmouth, a suitable alternative to Rochester for a navy official, and then superseded by another nominee. The reason for the change, if such it was, can only be guessed at. Speculation naturally fastens on the course of the French war, and in particular the loss of Calais, as an explanation: whether or not Bashe shared in the obloquy which followed that disaster he was certainly immersed in its consequences, and both he and his superiors could well have decided that his place was in his office, not in the House of Commons.5

Always returned as an official nominee, Bashe was never elected within his own county of Hertfordshire. He made his residence at Stanstead Abbots, of which he had a grant in November 1559. He had already taken a stake in the county in 1552, when a London haberdasher was licensed to sell him and his wife the manor of Cullings, and it was as of London alias of Waltham, Hertfordshire, that he sued out a general pardon on the accession of Elizabeth. In November 1556 he had been granted special admission to the Inner Temple and in the new reign he was made a justice of the peace for both Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and was twice pricked sheriff of Hertfordshire. He died on 2 May 1587.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Aged 80 at death, Chauncy, Herts. i. 383. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix, x), 98 followed in preference to Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 125; LP Hen. VIII, xx; CPR, 1563-6, p. 143.
  • 2. Merriman, Letters, Thos. Cromwell, ii. 163; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1549-51, p. 309; 1557-8, p. 149; 1558-60, p. 390; 1560-3, p. 63; M. Oppenheim, Admin. R. Navy, 103; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 409.
  • 3. Arundel Harington Mss, ed. Hughey, i. 225-33; LP Hen. VIII, xx, xxi; Chauncy, i. 383; W.C. Richardson, Tudor Chamber Admin. 364n.
  • 4. APC, ii. 176; CPR, 1549-51, p. 309; 1560-3, p. 63; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 409; Econ. Hist. Rev. xii. 40-42; Grantees of Arms (Harl. Soc. lxvi), II, 17.
  • 5. C193/322.
  • 6. CPR, 1550-3, p. 246; 1558-60, pp. 176, 359; 1560-3, p. 172; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 188, 219; C142/215/269.