WEST, Leonard (by 1518-78), of Burghwallis, Yorks.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1518, 3rd s. of Thomas West, 8th Lord la Warr, by 2nd w. Eleanor, da. of Roger Copley of Roughey, Suss. and Gatton, Surr. m. by 1540, Barbara, da. of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, Yorks., 3s. 4da.1

Offices Held


The youngest of Lord la Warr’s sons, Leonard West was bequeathed the manors of Hasilden and Sutton Mandeville, Wiltshire, and Bradell, Dorset, although they were to remain with his mother until he became 18. In 1539 he sold Bradell, and the impression of financial difficulty is strengthened by (Sir) William Shelley’s decision, when adding a codicil to his will of 1548, to remit all West’s debts to him. West was included as a remainderman in the Act of 1540 (32 Hen. VIII, c.74) confirming an exchange of lands between his half-brother the 9th Lord la Warr and the King. In 1552 he benefited by the will of his brother-in-law Thomas Gascoigne, whose dislike of his own brother and affection for his sister led him to leave the Yorkshire manors of Burghwallis and Thorpe to the Wests in the event of his dying childless. On Gascoigne’s death West braved the brother’s threat to murder one of West’s servants, who was to support the will for probate, by reading it twice in the courtyard at Burghwallis before taking possession, and when after his departure the brother turned out his servants he brought the dispute before the court of requests. In November 1555, after an intervention on the brother’s behalf by his kinsman Michael Wentworth, the court awarded Burghwallis to West and remitted the claim to Thorpe to judgment at common law.2

It may have been in the interest of furthering his cause that West obtained a seat in the Parliament of April 1554 (one of his fellow-Members being Wentworth), although as one who styled himself the Queen’s servant and who was to help bear the canopy at her funeral he could have received a royal recommendation. The opening at Shoreham he owed to his half-brother, joint lord lieutenant of Sussex, who on this occasion nominated both Members, presumably by arrangement with the aged 3rd Duke of Norfolk, the customary patron. La Warr’s death in the following autumn probably cost West the chance of re-election, and with his right to Burghwallis established in the following year he lost that inducement to seek it. A ‘Mr. West’ was among the patentees of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk who on 9 Nov. 1555 ‘exhibited a bill for their assurance’ in the Commons and were granted a copy of the bill enabling the 4th Duke to dispose of his lands notwithstanding his minority, but this may have been Leonard West’s nephew William. After 1558 he is scarcely heard of, having presumably settled at Burghwallis which he continued to hold until his death on 17 June 1578.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. J.W. Swales


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first land transaction. Comber, Suss. Genealogies (Lewes), 306.
  • 2. PCC 2 Porch, 41 Hogen, 25 Populwell, 10 Ketchyn; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxix. 38; LP Hen. VIII, xv; CP40/1102/9, m.7; Req. 1/10, ff. 15v-17; 2/23/110.
  • 3. SP12/1, f. 71; CJ, i. 43; CPR, 1569-72, pp. 358-9; E150/266/107.