SHERARD, George (by 1499-1575), of Stapleford, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. by 1499, 1st s. of Thomas Sherard of Stapleford by Margaret, da. and h. of Sir John Helwell. educ. L. Inn, adm. 22 Nov. 1514. m. by 1537, Rose, da. of Sir Thomas Pulteney of Misterton, 2s. 6da. suc. fa. 6 Mar. 1538.1
Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 1537-8; sheriff, Rutland 1544-5, 1554-5, 1562-3, Leics. 1567-8; j.p. Rutland 1547-62, Leics. 1558/59-d.; commr. relief Leics. and Rutland 1550, goods of churches and fraternities, Rutland 1553; other commissions 1538-59.2
George Sherard came of a family which had been established at Stapleford for over a hundred years. His father, a merchant of the staple, had been several times sheriff and had represented Leicestershire in Parliament in 1491-2. He sent his eldest son to acquire some knowledge of the law, and in this George Sherard may have acquired some proficiency, for in later years he was to serve regularly on commissions of gaol delivery and oyer and terminer. He led a modest contingent to the war in France in 1544 and added to his estate by buying the rectory and tithes of Stapleford and adjoining parcels there, and two manors in Scalford.3
Sherard was to die a firm Protestant, declaring in his will that he had ‘no confidence in masses, trentals, dirges or in any ceremonial things or rites, or in any Romish or popish customs or such like’. If he had already reached this conclusion in middle life, his election to Mary’s last Parliament may have been something of a protest against the regime. He may, indeed, have been patronized by the 2nd Earl of Rutland, whose support would have reinforced a claim based on local standing and connexions with families such as Digby, Pulteney and Turpin. Of his role in the Commons we know nothing but as he was not to reappear there in the more congenial atmosphere of the years ahead it is likely to have been a modest one.4
Under Elizabeth, Sherard remained active locally and he was nearly 70 when pricked sheriff for the fourth time. He died on 6 Aug. 1575 and was buried at Stapleford. By his will, made on 14 July in that year, he had left all his lands in tail male to his elder son Francis, with reversion in default of issue to his five daughters, who also received a life interest in the manor of Wissendon. His descendants became earls of Harborough.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m. C142/59/114. Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 10; PCC 15 Dyngeley.
- 2. CPR, 1547-8, p. 88; 1553, pp. 356-7, 415; 1553-4, p. 23; 1560-3, p. 439; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xv, xvi.
- 3. CPR, 1553-4, pp. 381, 499; 1554-5, pp. 106, 151, 290, 415; 1558-60, p. 278; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xv, xix; G. F. Farnham, Leics. Med. Village Notes, iv. 5n.
- 4. PCC 34 Pyckering.
- 5. C142/171/65.