FORTESCUE, Francis (c.1563-1624), of Salden, Bucks.

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

b. c.1563, 1st surv. s. of John Fortescue I of Salden by his 1st w. Cecily, da. of Edmund Ashfield of Ewelme, Oxon.; bro. of Thomas II and William. educ. sp. adm. I. Temple 1580. m. 1589, Grace, da. of John Manners of Haddon Hall, Derbys., 8s. 5da. KB 1603. suc. fa. 1607.1

Offices Held

Commr. musters, Bucks. 1596; j.p.q. and custos rot. 1600; esquire of the body to Queen Elizabeth; surveyor, Bucks. 1606, sheriff 1608-9.2


Fortescue owed his parliamentary seats to his family’s standing in the county. In 1597 he was named to a committee concerning armour and weapons (8 Nov.), and in the following Parliament he was appointed to the committee on privileges and returns (31 Oct.). As knight for Buckinghamshire in 1601 he was eligible to serve on committees concerning the order of business (3 Nov.) and monopolies (23 Nov.). On 30 Nov. he was granted leave to depart.3

Little information has been found about his earlier years. He may have been the Francis Fortescue who served in the Earl of Leicester’s train in the Netherlands. By 1596 his father was seeking on behalf of Francis and himself a grant of the bailiwick of Wychwood forest in Oxfordshire. Two years earlier, Francis had acquired a lease of three royal hundreds in Newport, Buckinghamshire. Fortescue’s marriage linked his family with that of the earls of Rutland. His father-in-law Sir John Manners not only took over the education of one of his children, but was also a candid counsellor in the years following his succession to his father, as when in 1608 he advised him ‘not to be noted as a man opposed to the King’s proceedings’. In 1612 Fortescue appears on a list of Oxfordshire recusants, ‘and most of the officers under him ... convicted recusants or non-communicants’. His stepmother made no provision for any member of the Fortescue family in her will, proved 1620. By 1621 he was disposing of his properties, several of them to Sir George Villiers, later Duke of Buckingham. He died apparently intestate 29 Jan. 1624, and administration of his goods was granted to his son and heir John, 4 Mar. the same year.4 An inquisition post mortem was taken at Buckingham 25 Sept.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: H.G.O.


  • 1. C142/305/132; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 58; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 430; VCH Bucks. iv. 162.
  • 2. APC, xxv. 385; LC 2/4/4(4); PRO Index 4208; Lansd. 171, f. 396.
  • 3. D’Ewes, 553, 622, 624, 649, 658.
  • 4. R. Strong and J. A. Van Dorsten, Leister’s Triumph, 117; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 497; 1595-7, pp. 314, 566; 1603-10, pp. 570, 649; HMC Rutland, i. 284, 285, 407, 409, 412, 417; iv. 211; PCC 11 Dale; VCH Bucks. iii. 440, 466; iv. 411, 444; Lipscomb, iii. 389; iv. 317, 327; Trinity, Camb. mss R.5. 14, article 6; PCC admon. act bk. 1624, f. 83d; C142/407/105.