DERING, Nicholas (by 1509-57), of Stansted, Suss. and Liss, Hants.

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. by 1509, s. of William Dering of Petworth, Suss. by Eleanor, da. and coh. of Henry Dyke of Suss. m. (1) by 1530, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Henry Owen, s. of Sir David Owen of Cowdray, Suss., 2s. inc. Thomas; (2) by 1545, Anne, da. of Robert Hall I of Ore, Suss., 7s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Gent., household of Thomas West, 9th Lord la Warr by 1539; j.p. Hants 1547-d.; commr. relief 1550.2


Nicholas Dering’s father migrated from Kent to West Sussex where he married a coheir whose dowry included lands in Hampshire. Dering entered the service of Lord la Warr and his first wife was la Warr’s niece. Although this marriage gave him a connexion both with the royal family and with some noble ones, it was of little material benefit since his father-in-law had parted with the bulk of his lands and his house at Cowdray. When in 1539 John Kingsmill informed Thomas Wriothesley of his election as one of the knights for Hampshire he advised Wriothesley to persuade ‘my cousin Nicholas Dering’ to attend the musters at Winchester in case the result provoked trouble. It was perhaps Dering’s freedom from open partisanship, as well as his link with Owen, which commended him to Sir William Fitzwilliam I, Earl of Southampton, the new lord of Midhurst; although he is known to have been returned for that borough only in 1542, the earl’s assurance to Cromwell as to the dependability of the two (unknown) men elected there in 1539 suggests that Dering had been one of them, and after Southampton’s death the same outcome could have been produced in 1545 by Dering’s relationship with William Denton, steward of the household to the earl’s heir and himself a Member for Midhurst in unbroken sequence from 1553.3

During the closing years of Henry VIII’s reign Dering added to his Hampshire properties, notably by his purchase in 1546 of the manor of Liss, which was to become the family seat, and it was in Hampshire that he became a justice of the peace. He was one of the ‘well beloved friends’ whom Sir Richard Cotton charged in the autumn of 1556 with the disposal of his residual goods, and it was while at Cotton’s house at Warblington that Dering himself died on 7 Jan. 1557. By a will made on the same day and proved in the following month he asked to be buried at Liss, provided for his second wife and children, and named his wife executrix and two of his sons overseers.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. J.W. Swales


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 105; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 210; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 38, 39, 120; CP, iv. 157; C142/104/75, 108/101; PCC 5 Wrastley.
  • 2. SP2/S, f. 206; 11/5, f. 48; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1553, p. 358; 1553-4, p. 19.
  • 3. VCH Hants, v. 268; LP Hen. VIII, xiv.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xx; NRA 10665, items 272, 273, 275; VCH Hants, iii. 27, 88; iv. 85; v. 268; PCC 23 Ketchyn, 5 Wrastley; C142/108/101.