CASTILION, Francis (1561-1638), of Benham Valence, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 27 May 1561, 1st s. of (John) Baptist(a) Castiglione, Italian tutor to Princess Elizabeth and groom of the privy chamber to Queen Elizabeth, by Margaret Allen, wid., da. of Bartholomew Compaigne, of Florence, Italy. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1581. m. (1) c.1597, Elizabeth (d.1603), da. of William St. John of Farley Chamberlayne, Hants, 1s. 2da.; (2) 17 Dec. 1606, Anne, da. of one Calton, wid. of John James, merchant taylor of London, and of William Masham (d.1605). suc. fa. 1597. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

Gent. pens. to Jas. I.

J.p. Berks. from 1601; freeman, Southampton 1610.


Castilion’s father, an old servant of the Queen, was rewarded with a number of valuable leases in Kent, Somerset and Berkshire, not far from the Wiltshire border. Three of his sons fought in Ireland and two of his daughters married into the Hyde family of West Hatch, Wiltshire. Francis, as eldest son, inherited Benham Valence and Speen, granted to his father in 1565. He sat in Parliament once, for the Seymour borough of Great Bedwyn, but only the most tenuous connexion with the Seymours has been established, which is that one of the manors granted to his father had previously been held by Anne Duchess of Somerset. Probably, like his fellow-Member, Anthony Hungerford, Castilion was returned for Bedwyn as a local man while the Seymour influence was in eclipse following one of the Earl of Hertford’s spells in the Tower. Most of Castilion’s career falls outside the Elizabethan period. He became a courtier, and received an honorary degree from Oxford and an honorary admission to his father’s inn of court, the Middle Temple, both in 1605. He was buried at Speen 8 Nov. 1638.

Genealogist, n.s. xvii. 73-7; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 91-4; VCH Berks. iv. 105; HMC 11th Rep. III, 23; CPR, 1563-6, p. 336; 1566-9, p. 431; 1569-79, p. 467.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler