BEAUMONT, Nicholas (b.bef.1526-85), of Coleorton, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. bef. 1526, 1st s. of Richard Beaumont of Coleorton by Collett, da. and h. of Richard Clerke, of Bucks. m. Anne (d.1582), da. of William Saunders of Welford, Northants., 4s. inc. Henry Beaumont II. suc. fa. 1538.
J.p. Leics. from 1558, sheriff 1577-8; commr. musters 1583.
Of a family established at Coleorton since at least the beginning of the fifteenth century, Beaumont twice took a turn as knight of the shire when his relatives the Hastings were not pre-empting the seats. In 1584 he came in for Bramber, but why and by whom it was arranged has not been ascertained. Unless he was the Mr. Beaumont who served on some committees in the 1572 Parliament (and Francis would be a better guess), Nicholas Beaumont was inactive throughout his career as a Member.
A puritan, like the Hastings, Beaumont was classified as ‘earnest’ in religion in 1564. He was an overseer of the will of Thomas Farnham, whose daughter and coheiress Katherine married Beaumont’s son. Another overseer of the will, George Turpin (Beaumont’s fellow knight of the shire in both 1563 and 1572) accused Beaumont of trying to get possession of Farnham’s Stoughton estate, of which they were joint lessees. Very likely there was substance in the charge, for Beaumont was hard pressed financially through his efforts to mine coal on his estates. Between 1570 and 1576, when Beaumont tried to sell Coleorton, the mines there were worked by the coal magnate Sir Francis Willoughby. Beaumont made his will 5 July 1585, and it was proved on the 24th. The heir and executor Henry was to, and did, redeem various mortgages, and £2,000 each went to three other sons, so the financial trouble may have been a temporary shortage of working capital.
Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 60-61; Nichols, Leics. ii. 858; iii. 733, 744; v. 328; R. L. Galloway, Annals of Coal Mining and the Coal Trade, 77; Quorndon Recs. (ed. Farnham), passim; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 30; CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, p. 338; VCH Leics. iii. 32-3; C2 Eliz./W14/19; J. U. Nef, Rise of the British Coal Industry; PCC 36 Brudenell.