MORE, Francis (by 1525-?75).
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Family and Education
b. by 1525. ?m. by 1548, at least 1s.1
The Francis More, gentleman, who was elected junior Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme to the second Marian Parliament, was a servant of Francis, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, who doubtless exercised his patronage to secure More the seat. First found doing business for Shrewsbury in 1546, when he bought 200 hundredweight of ling in London for the earl’s household, More was the subject of a request by Thomas Wharton I, 1st Baron Wharton, to Shrewsbury in May 1550 after he had lodged a complaint against Wharton’s son-in-law Penning, and in March 1554, shortly before his election, he wrote to Shrewsbury recounting his efforts to obtain the Queen’s answer to a letter from the earl. His absence from the later Parliaments of the reign may be explained by Newcastle’s attempt to comply with Mary’s request for resident Members, for he had no known personal connexion with the town.2
Where More did come from has not been discovered. His sharing of a christian name with his master suggests that he may have inherited his place in Shrewsbury’s household, and if he followed that example by naming his own son after the earl’s, he is probably to be identified with the Francis More, gentleman, who died on 5 Oct. 1575 leaving a 26 year-old heir George. This Francis More had leased manors in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for his and his son’s lives from Francis Babington of Dethick, with remainder in default of issue to Thomas, son of (Sir) William Cordell. No other link between More and Cordell has been found, nor a will or other evidence which might have thrown light on his family. None of his namesakes is known to have been connected with either the Earl of Shrewsbury or Newcastle-under-Lyme, although there had been one living at Stramshall, Staffordshire, in the 1530s: other namesakes included a member of the Oxfordshire family of More who died in 1592 (and who it has been suggested may have been the Member), a gentleman of Taunton, Somerset, who died during 1594-5, and a Yorkshireman who in 1573 was reported to be a religious exile in Spain. The Francis More who was to sit in three Elizabethan Parliaments was of Berkshire origin.3
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. C142/174/8, 46.
- 2. HMC Shrewsbury and Talbot, i. 114, 118; ii. 344, 346.
- 3. C142/174/8, 46; Staffs. Rec. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 4; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 341; T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 40; PCC 2 Nevell, 49 Scott; Strype, Annals, i(2), 54; ii(1), 495; ii(2), 596.