CECIL DAVID, (c.1460-?1540), of Stamford, Lincs.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1460, 3rd s. of Richard Cecil ap Philip Seisyllt of Alt-yr-Ynys, Herefs. by Maud, da. of Philip Vaughan of Tillington, Herefs. m. (1) Alice, da. of John Dicons of Stamford, Lincs., 2s. inc. Richard; (2) Jane, da. of Thomas Roos of Dowsby, Lincs., wid. of Edward Villers of Flore, Northants., 1da.6

Offices Held

Commr. grain, Rutland 1496, tenths of spiritualities 1535, to survey monasteries 1536; member of the second Twelve, Stamford by 1500, of the first Twelve by 1503-d., alderman 1504-5, 1515-16, 1526-7; yeoman of the chamber by 1506-d.; jt. (with Sir David Philip) keeper Kings Cliffe park, Northants. 1506; bailiff, Whittlesea Mere Northants. 1506, manors of Skellingthorpe, Lincs., Essendine, Preston and Uppingham, Northants. 1509; serjeant-at-arms 17 Nov. 1513-d.; steward, manor of Collyweston, Northants. 1523, Nassington, Upton, and Yarwell, Northants. by 1534; escheator, Northants. and Rutland 1514-15, Lincs. 1529-30; j.p. Rutland 1532-d.; sheriff, Northants. June 1532-Nov. 1533.7


Their family’s humble origin was to be often used to denigrate William and Robert Cecil. Its fortunes were founded by David Cecil’s service with Sir David Philip, who may have been his uncle. After perhaps fighting alongside him at Bosworth, Cecil settled near Philip at Stamford and married a kinswoman of his wife; Philip stood godfather to Cecil’s second son, was associated with him in grants of office and appointed him an executor. What Philip’s standing with Henry VII and the King’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, did for his progress at court Cecil’s marriage to the daughter of an alderman of Stamford did for his local advancement; it was during John Dicons’s third term in the office that he was made a freeman of the borough and ten years later he became alderman himself. He had by then already sat for Stamford in Henry VII’s last Parliament and he was to be re-elected to the first four summoned by Henry VIII. The fact that he was not re-elected in 1529 probably reflects his advancing years.8

In 1526 Cecil entertained Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, during his visit to Kings Cliffe Park. On Sir William Spencer’s death in June 1532 he was chosen sheriff of Northamptonshire, and in spite of some objections on the score of his uncertain temper he was pricked for the following year after Cromwell and Sir Thomas Audley, who thought well of him, had suggested his transfer to Rutland. In his will of 25 Jan. 1535 he styled himself esquire. He asked to be buried in the church of St. George, Stamford, and left the incumbent a stipend of £5 to sing for his soul. He made provision for his wife and children, for the expenses of his funeral and for the payment of his debts. The executor, his son Richard, was granted probate of the will on 16 Mar. 1541, and it is likely that Cecil had died on the previous 14 Sept.; he is last included among the first 12 comburgesses of Stamford for the year 1535-6, but Richard Cecil did not succeed to any of his offices until 1541.9

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, f. 80.
  • 2. Ibid. f. 88.
  • 3. Ibid. f. 91.
  • 4. Ibid. f. 96v.
  • 5. Ibid. f. 106.
  • 6. According to his grandson he was over 80 at death, HMC Hatfield, v. 69. D. Powel, The historie of Cambria (1584), 142-7; Blore, Rutland, 80; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 78-79.
  • 7. CPR, 1494-1509, pp. 92, 358, 409, 467, 498; CCR, 1500-9, p. 250; LP Hen. VIII, i, iii-v, vii, viii, x; Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, ff. 56, 76; R. Butcher, Stamford (1646), 41-42.
  • 8. VCH Northants. Gen. Vol. 21-22; C. Read, Cecil, 17-19; PCC 13 Adeane, 41 Butcher; VCH Rutland, ii. 282; Subsidy Coll. Diocese of Lincoln, ed. Salter, 166; Last Days of Peterborough Mon. (Northants. Rec. Soc. xii), pp. xlix, li.
  • 9. LP Hen. VIII, iv, v, vii, viii; PCC 3 Spert cited in Test Vet. ed. Nicolas, 690-1; Stamford hall bk. 1461-1657, f. 28; HMC Hatfield, v. 69.