PALMES, Brian (by 1467-1519), of Naburn, 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. by 1467, 1st s. of William Palmes of Naburn by Ellen, da. of Guy Roecliffe of Roecliffe. educ. M. Temple. m. (1) by 1488, Anastasia (?Heslerton); (2) lic. 15 Nov. 1493, Ellen, da. of John Acclom of Moreby, at least 1s.; (3) by 1506, Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Markenfield of Markenfield, wid. of Christopher Conyers of Sockburn, co. Dur.; at least 4s. 6da.2

Offices Held

Bencher, M. Temple by 1504, Lent reader 1504.

J.p. Yorks. (E. Riding) 1494-1514, (W. Riding) 1501-14, liberties of Beverley and Ripon 1507, (N. Riding) 1514, Cumb., Northumb. and Westmld. 1514, York 1515, Lincs. (Holland) 1519; commr. musters, Yorks. (E. Riding) 1495, Yorks. 1511, (W. Riding) 1512, subsidy, Yorks., Kingston-upon-Hull and York 1512, 1514, 1515; other commissions, Northumb., Yorks. and Westmld. 1494-1516; recorder, York 23 Dec. 1496-1509; serjeant-at-law 1510; justice of assize, northern circuit 1514-15, midland circuit 1516-d.3


Brian Palmes came of a family which had held the manor of Naburn, near York, since at least the reign of John, but a provision in his will suggests that he was born at his mother’s home at Roecliffe near Boroughbridge. It was probably about 1480 that he and his younger brother Guy entered the Middle Temple, where both were to do well. In 1496 he became recorder of York in succession to Sir William Fairfax, and in the following year was made a freeman; he proved more diligent in attending the York council than some recorders, twice supervising elections when a mayor died in office. It was a measure of the city’s satisfaction that in 1504 it appointed his brother, who was already a serjeant, to be ‘of counsel’ at 20s. a year. His and his first wife’s membership of the city’s Corpus Christi guild, and his own of the merchants’ guild, suggest that he engaged in trade. When in December 1509 Palmes was elected to Parliament he at once resigned the recordership. The city rarely elected its recorder and the choice of Palmes may have been influenced by his recent despatch to London with two aldermen, one of them his fellow-Member William Nelson, on unspecified business. Unlike Nelson, he was not to be re-elected, perhaps because he was made a serjeant in 1510, but his continued standing in the city and shire is reflected in his appointment to nine subsidy commissions between 1512 and 1515. Little of a personal nature has come to light about his later years. In 1515 he presented his son George (later Wolsey’s confessor and a canon of York) to the living of Sutton-upon-Derwent, Yorkshire, and in the following year he was named executor by his brother.4

In his own will of 31 Oct. 1519 Palmes asked to be buried in his parish church of St. George, York, whither his body was to be escorted by friars from the four York houses and by members of the Corpus Christi guild, and to have prayers said for him and his family locally for seven years and at Roecliffe for ever. He made numerous bequests of lands and goods to his family, and named as executors and residuary legatees his wife, Sir William Bulmer and Sir Guy Dawny, Thomas Langton and James Duffelde, gentlemen, Richard Ellis, clerk, and William Marshall. The will was proved on 11 Jan. 1520 and an inquisition post mortem held at York castle on 27 (?)Apr. 1520 found that Palmes had died on 1 Oct. (sic) 1519 leaving as his heir a 20 year-old son Nicholas. At his death Palmes held the manors of Naburn and Gate Fulford, and lands, some of them acquired recently, scattered over a wide area of Yorkshire.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. M. Palliser


  • 1. York Civic Recs. iii. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. cvi), 31.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Reg. Corpus Christi Guild, York (Surtees Soc. lvii), 123n; Test. Ebor. v (Surtees Soc. lxxix), 103-6.
  • 3. CPR, 1485-94, pp. 478, 506; 1494-1509, passim; LP Hen. VIII, i-iii; Statutes, iii. 85, 86, 112, 117, 175; York Civic Recs. ii. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. ciii), 128.
  • 4. Reg. Freemen, York, i (Surtees Soc. xcvi), 221; Test. Ebor. v. 81, 104-6; York Civic recs. iii. 8, 11, 12, 25, 28, 31; York pub. lib. R. H. Skaife ms, civic officials, ii. 548.
  • 5. York wills 9, ff. 90v-91; Test. Ebor. v. 103-7; C142/35/7; E150/222/10.