LEVESON, Walter (1551-1602), of Lilleshall Abbey, Salop and Trentham, Staffs.

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. 1551, 1st s. of Sir Richard Leveson of Lilleshall by Mary, da. of Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire. educ. Shrewsbury 1562. m. (1) Anne, da. of Sir Andrew and sis. of Richard Corbet II, 1s.; (2) Susan, da. of John Vernon of Hodnet, s.p. suc. fa. 1559. Kntd. 1587.1

Offices Held

J.p. Salop from 1575-c.93, Staffs. from c.1577-c.93; sheriff, Salop 1575-6, Staffs. 1586-7; commr. musters.

Biography

Leveson’s father had been granted Lilleshall abbey at the suppression of the monasteries. On his father’s death, his lands were valued at £313, and his wardship was sold to Sir Francis Knollys. Until 1587 his life passed peacefully enough: he was prominent in local affairs, engaged in a lawsuit with Dr. Joseph Hall, later bishop of Norwich, and in 1587 he was acting as deputy vice-admiral to the Earl of Leicester in North Wales. But in December 1587 allegations were made that he had seized Danish goods from a port in Norway, and in January 1588 his servants were accused of piracy in the North Sea. The Admiralty court ordered him to be imprisoned until £2,300 compensation had been paid, but presumably he was released in time to take his seat in Parliament, 4 Feb. 1589. As senior knight of the shire he was entitled to attend the subsidy committees on 24 Feb. 1585 and 11 Feb. 1589. The rest of his life was a story of debt, family strife, and accusations of sorcery, poisoning and piracy. He was out of the 1593 Parliament, but came in for his local borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1597, when his creditor