SLANNING, Nicholas (1523/4-83), of Plymouth and Bickleigh, Devon.

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. 1523/4, 1st s. of Nicholas Slanning of Ley in Plympton St. Mary by Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Maynard of Sherford. m. by 1564, Margaret, da. of William Amadas, 1da. suc. fa. bet. 1560-68.

Offices Held

Town clerk, Plymouth by 1546, coroner by 1552, mayor 1564-5.


The Slannings had acquired land in eastern and southern Devon at the dissolution of Buckland abbey and Plympton priory. At the time of the 1559 election Slanning’s father had only recently inherited the bulk of this property from his brother John, and Slanning himself was as yet unprovided with landed estates. His father made this good by settling various manors on him in May 1559 and October 1560. Slanning was still living in Plymouth in 1561 when he contributed 13s.4d. toward the establishment of the grammar school, and in 1564-5 when he was mayor. In 1568 he settled the manors of Bickleigh and Shaugh and the advowson of Bickleigh upon his wife Margaret for her life, and in 1579 entailed all his estates on his brother John, with remainder to the heirs of his brother William. Slanning died 8 Apr. 1583, leaving one daughter Agnes, to whom he bequeathed £200 and an annuity of £10. To his nephew Nicholas, son of his youngest brother William, he left the mansion house of Marystow. He also made numerous charitable bequests: to the inhabitants of the almshouse of Plymouth and the sick in the Magdalens of Plymouth and Plympton and to the poor of Bickleigh, as well as 20s. for the repair of the parish church of Bickleigh, of which he had been patron and where he was buried. The executor of the will was his brother and heir, John, who proved it a week after his death.

Vivian, Vis. Devon, 687; Vis. Devon 1564, ed. Colby, 189; Trans. Dev. Assoc. xix. 452-5; lxx. 232, 246-50; Plymouth, receiver’s accts.; CPR, 1550-3, p. 435; 1558-60, pp. 75, 409; Plymouth Recs. 50; PCC 63 Noodes, 18 Rowe; C142/200/11(2).

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy