LAWSON, Wilfred (1545-1632), of Isell, Cumb.

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. 1545, 2nd s. of Thomas Lawson of Little Usworth, co. Dur. by Elizabeth, da. of Constantine Darrell of Wilts. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1562; G. Inn 1564. m. bef. 1575, Maud Redman, da. of Richard Redman of Cumb., wid. of Thomas Leigh of Isell. Kntd. 1604.

Offices Held

J.p. Cumb. by 1587, sheriff 1588-9, 1597-8, 1606-7, 1612-13, lt. honour of Cockermouth and capt. Cockermouth castle c.1591; border commr. 1605.


Like his uncle Robert Lawson, this Member owed his estates and his standing in the county to a fortunate marriage, which also brought him the advowson of Isell church. Lawson was presenting there by 1575. At some point he attracted the attention of Thomas Scrope, 10th Lord Scrope of Bolton, who was responsible for his posts at Cockermouth and perhaps also for his election as junior knight of the shire to the Parliament of 1593. At any rate Lawson was so elected and as such could have attended the subsidy committee appointed 26 Feb. and a legal committee appointed on 9 Mar. Both the Cumberland Members were granted leave of absence on 19 Mar. On handing over his wardenry of the west march to his deputy Henry Leigh in 1597, so that he himself might attend Parliament, Scrope recommended Leigh to attend to Lawson’s advice, as he was an experienced man and one of his ‘very friends’. In 1596 and 1597 Lawson sat on inquiries into law and order in the west march and he signed the petition of 1600 urging necessary reforms. He was convener to the royal commission established to govern the borders in 1605 and remained active until his death at an advanced age in 1632.

Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 184; Durham Vis. Peds. ed. Foster, 209; Hist. Northumb. (Northumb. Co. Hist. Comm.), ii. 96; D’Ewes, 474, 496, 503; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. Arch. Soc. n.s. xxiv. 17 and tract ser. ii. 47; Nicolson and Burn, Hist. Cumb. ii. 98; HMC 10th Rep. IV, 240-1; Border Pprs. ii. 276, 311-12, 400, 690; VCH Cumb. ii. 282.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: B.D. / P. W. Hasler