HUSSEY, William III (1523/24-70), of North Duffield and Harswell, Yorks.

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



Family and Education

b. 1523/24, 1st s. of George Hussey of Harswell by Anne, da. of Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough. educ. ?M. Temple. m. Agnes, da. of Sir William Babthorpe of Osgodby and Flotmanby, ?2s. suc. fa. 10 Aug. 1538.1

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Yorks. (E. and W. Ridings) 1553, 1555, Yorks. 1555.2


William Hussey’s grandfather and namesake, a younger brother of Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, hailed from Lincolnshire and sat for Stamford in the Parliament of 1512, but his marriage to Anne Salveyn brought him land in Yorkshire where the family later settled. Hussey may have been a lawyer: one of his name was admitted to the Middle Temple (where several of Hussey’s near kinsmen were members) and was active there during the reign of Mary. He evidently owed his return for Scarborough in 1555 to his relationship with the Constables and through them with Sir Richard Cholmley, constable of Scarborough castle, and with the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, president of the council in the north, but he would have made an even more acceptable Member if he was resident in London for the study or practice of law. Nothing is known of his role in the House save that he is not to be found in the list of Members who followed Sir Anthony Kingston’s lead in opposing one of the government’s bills. During the Parliament he secured an exemplification of a charter of 1294 whereby the Salveyns had held a market and fair at Duffield.3

In April 1559 the Privy Council instructed Hussey to deliver up a Scots prisoner, but his Catholicism prevented his further employment under Elizabeth. In 1565 he joined with Thomas Ogle and Robert Tempest in the purchase of five Northumberland manors from Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, and later in the same year Archbishop Young reported to the Queen that Hussey was among the friends of the Earl and Countess of Lennox, many of whom were Hussey’s kinsmen. Hussey was one of those commissioned to make sales and leases of the earl’s lands but Young, not believing their claim that the Queen had licensed these transactions, bound those concerned ‘to intermeddle no further with these matters’ and Hussey, as ‘a great friend and counsellor that way, and also no favourer of religion, but a misliker of this time’, to be forthcoming upon demand from his house and to be of good behaviour. Two months later Young and the council in the north again singled out Hussey, who was then ‘in ward’, as an ‘obstinate and stubborn person’ for his religious disaffection. Hussey’s particular offense seems to have been the possession of Catholic books and the harbouring of a priest. He probably remained in confinement for the rest of his life, at first in York castle and later in the house of William Coupland, although he was released for short periods in 1567 and 1569 to take the waters at Buxton and Bath. He died on 22 Mar. 1570 and, although some pedigrees attribute two sons to him, his heir was his brother John, then aged 36 and more.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/61/11. Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 168; Glover’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 92, 600; C142/153/39.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 35; 1554-5, pp. 109-11.
  • 3. VCH Yorks. (E. Riding), iii. 94-95; M.T. Recs. i. 103, 107, 114, 118; CPR, 1555-7, p. 160.
  • 4. APC, vii. 89; CPR, 1563-6, p. 264; SP15/12/68 i and ii, 79; H. Aveling, Post Ref. Catholicism in E. Yorks. (E. Yorks. Local Hist. Soc. 1960), 19; J. T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 21; Cath. Rec. Soc. monograph ser. ii. 32, 33n; J. A. Williams, Bath and Rome, 9; C142/153/39.