WADHAM, Sir Nicholas (by 1472-1542), of Merrifield, nr. Ilton, Som.

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 1472, 1st s. of Sir John Wadham of Merrifield by Elizabeth, da. of Hugh Stukeley. m. (1) Joan, da. of Robert Hill of Halsway, Som. and Bridport, Dorset; (2) Margaret, da. of John Seymour of Wolf Hall, Wilts.; (3) by June 1517, Isabel, da. of Thomas Baynham of Clearwell, Glos., wid. of Sir Giles Brydges (d.1511) of Coberley, Glos., (4) Joan, da. of Richard Lyte, wid. of William Walton; 5s. 2da. suc. fa. 20 Apr. 1502. Kntd. 18 Feb. 1504.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Som. and Dorset 1498-9, 1534-5, Devon 1501-2, 1514-15, Wilts. 1516-17; esquire of the body by 1503; j.p. Som. 1503-d., Hants 1515, Dorset 1521, western counties 1540; capt. I. o. W. May 1509-20; commr. array, Hants 1511, musters Southampton 1512, Portsmouth 1514, subsidy, Hants, Som. 1512, Som. 1514, 1515, 1524; v.-adm. 1522.2


Sir Nicholas Wadham’s life was divided between the court and the west country, with an interlude in the Isle of Wight. Pricked sheriff before succeeding to the headship of his family and put on the bench not long after he was active in island administration before being appointed governor there by Henry VIII. Although he is not known to have fought in the French and Scottish campaigns of 1512 and 1513 he helped to muster troops at Southampton and Portsmouth. In 1520, the year that he surrendered his governorship, he went with the King to the meetings with Francis I and Charles V. Four years later he received an honorary admission to the Middle Temple.3

Elected to the Parliament of 1529, he came to stand well with Cromwell and, n