FARNHAM, Francis (by 1525-57), of the Overhall, Quorndon, Leics.

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



Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1525, 1st s. of Robert Farnham of the Overhall, Quorndon by Mary, da. of Robert Langham of Gopsall. educ. Lincoln, Oxf. by 1539, BA 1540; M. Temple. m. Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Cave of Stanford, Northants., s.p.3

Offices Held

Recorder, Leicester 1553-d.4


After Oxford Farnham followed his father to the Middle Temple where he is first mentioned as master of the revels in 1552. His early appointment as recorder of Leicester was perhaps less a measure of his ability than of his backing: to his own family’s influence he could add the support of the Caves, into whose ranks he married, while the vacancy in the stewardship of the honor of Leicester, not filled since the Duke of Suffolk’s overthrow, may have excluded interference by local magnates. His Membership of three Marian Parliaments was a by-product of the recordership; Leicester regularly returned its holder, and even in March 1554, when there took place the only known contested election, custom prevailed and Farnham was elected. He was informed against in the King’s bench for leaving the Parliament of November 1554 without licence and after being distrained for failure to appear was granted a delay: no further process is recorded. He was not one of those who opposed a government bill in the Parliament of 1555. He was paid for attendance at his first and last Parliaments, although at only half the statutory fee on one occasion and at a somewhat lesser rate on the other; unfortunately, there is no evidence of payment for the Parliament of November 1554 such as might have thrown light on his premature departure.5

Before the Queen called her fifth and last Parliament Farnham was dead, perhaps a victim of the prevailing epidemic, thus predeceasing his father. By his will he left all his real and personal property, after bequests to servants, to his wife on condition that she discharged his debts; his goods and chattels were valued at just under £30. He died on 11 Apr. 1557 and was buried, as he had wished to be, in Farnham church under an alabaster slab.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Leicester Recs. ed. Bateson, iii. 85.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from education. Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 199; Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 77.
  • 4. Leicester Recs. iii. 459.
  • 5. M. T. Recs. i. 82, 87-88; Leicester Recs. iii. 77, 79, 85; KB27/1176, rex roll 17, 26.
  • 6. Quorndon Recs. ed. Farnham, 24.