ASSHETON, Ralph (c.1500-59), of Great Lever, Middleton, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1500, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Ralph Assheton of Great Lever by Eleanor, da. of Adam Hulton of The Park, Lancs.; bro. of Richard m. Margaret, da. of William Orrell of Turton, Lancs., 3s. 4da.1

Offices Held

Commr. in local disputes, Lancs. 1540, 1551, chantries 1550, goods of churches and fraternities ?1552; j.p. by 1550-d.; receiver, duchy of Lancaster, Lancs. and Cheshire 6 Nov. 1558-d.2


Ralph Assheton was almost certainly of the family of Great Lever, being probably the Ralph Assheton who died in 1559, grandson of the first of his line, himself a younger son of the Asshetons of Middleton. However, this Ralph Assheton’s son and namesake was about 30 years old in 1553, so that either could have sat in the first Parliament of that year, although there is no reason to think that the son should have taken precedence over the father.3

The elder Ralph Assheton sat on various local commissions and attended the Lancashire sessions on 13 occasions during the 1550s. He was one of the commanders of Salford Hundred when the musters were taken in 1553. His appointment as receiver for the duchy of Lancaster shortly before his death suggests that he was a duchy nominee at Liverpool: his name is inserted in a different hand in the indenture and his fellow-Member, William Bromley, was probably the 3rd Earl of Derby’s nominee. Assheton’s death was reported at the court leet held at Manchester on 4 Oct. 1559. He appears to have left no will and may have been a victim of the prevailing epidemic. His son Ralph, then about 36, succeeded him as duchy receiver.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from that of son, VCH Lancs. v. 184n. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. cx), 206-7; (lxxxi), 28 corrected by VCH Lancs. v. 184n and J. B. Watson, ‘Lancs. Gentry 1529-58’ (London Univ. M.A. thesis, 1959), 205.
  • 2. Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xxxv. 143; xl. 120; VCH Lancs. ii. 96-97; Somerville, Duchy, i. 297, 496; Watson, 539.
  • 3. Watson, 206; VCH Lancs. v. 184; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Rep. Lancs. 180.
  • 4. Watson, 206; Chetham Soc. xlix. 2; C219/20/70; Manchester Ct. Leet Recs. i. 49 where he is incorrectly identified.