PURCELL, Nicholas (by 1503-59), of Dinthill, Salop.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1503, 1st s. of Richard Purcell of Shrewsbury by Anne, da. of John Gittons alias Lloyd of Shrewsbury. m. (1) by 1526, Anne, da. of Randolph Beeston of Shrewsbury, 3s. inc. Richard 1da.; (2) Gwen, da. of Maurice ap Gwilym ap Gruffydd Decwas, 1s. 1da.; 2s. 3da. illegit. suc. fa. 1524.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Shrewsbury 1532-3, 1536-7, 1540-1, 1544-5, 1550-1, 1554-5, alderman 14 Sept. 1534- d. ; master, drapers’ co. 1545-6; j.p. Mont. in 1544, 1558/59; commr. relief 1550; sheriff 1554-5.3


Sprung from a cadet branch of an ancient Shropshire family, Nicholas Purcell inherited lands in or near Shrewsbury which made him a leading townsman there, and others in Montgomeryshire, where in 1549 he was himself to add the manor of Talerddig, qualifying him to play a part in the administration of that shire. He followed his father, who had also been bailiff of Shrewsbury, into the drapers’ company in 1524 and it was evidently to further his trade that in 1536 he joined with others in claiming the right of foreign burgess-ship in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire: nine years later, having served as steward and assistant to the wardens, he was elected master of the drapers’. He sat in seven of the ten Parliaments summoned between 1539 and 1558 but all that is known of his activity in the Commons is that in April 1554 he and his partner Richard Mytton were asked by the Vintners’ Company to support the repeal of the Licensing Act of 1553 (7 Edw. VI, c. 5).4

Purcell sued out a pardon early in 1559 as of Dinthill, near Shrewsbury, and on 28 June he added a codicil to the will he had made when ill on 20 Aug. 1556. He probably died on the same day and the will was proved on the following 29 Aug.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Salop RO, 215/56.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 413; PCC 22 Bodfelde, 40 Chaynay.
  • 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), iii. 255-64; (ser. 4), ix. 269-77; x. 193, 195, 198; xii. 183-4; Shrewsbury Guildhall 75(4); CPR, 1553, p. 363.
  • 4. W. V. Lloyd, Sheriffs Mont. 69-80; Mont. Colls. ii. 429; LP Hen. VIII, xvi, xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 376, 387; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), iii. 146, 234; iv. 207, 215, 229-30; xii. 183; Guildhall Studies in London Hist., i. 48-49.
  • 5. CPR, 1558-60, pp. 201, 360; PCC 40 Chaynay. Only the day of death (28th) can be read on Purcell’s i.p.m. C142/127/24.