HOLE, Christopher (by 1511-70), of Dorchester, Dorset and London.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1511. m. by 1548, Dorothy, wid. of William Normanvile of London, 1da.2

Offices Held

Under sheriff, Som. and Dorset 1543-4; commr. gaol delivery, Winchester castle, Hants 1547; recorder, Dorchester by 1565.3


Christopher Hole was of Devon birth and inherited a messuage and some land at South Tawton in that county; although he sold these in 1532, he was to buy other property there, which he left to his nephew George Robinson. By profession he was a lawyer with a mainly Dorset clientele. His migration from Devon to the adjoining shire was perhaps to please Sir Thomas Trenchard of Wolveton, who owned the manor of South Tawton and who until his death in 1550 was high steward of Dorchester. Trenchard doubtless had a hand in Hole’s return to the Parliaments of 1545 and 1547 as well as in his appointment as recorder, although no reference to him holding the recordership earlier than 1565 has been discovered. Hole probably sat in all the Parliaments between 1545 and 1558, save that of 1555 when two outsiders were returned for Dorchester. He used his time while in London for Parliament to sue men in the common pleas for money owed to his wife’s first husband. Of his own part in the Commons all that is known is that he was found to be absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555. After a writ of venire facias had been issued he appeared in his own person in the King’s bench during the Michaelmas term of that year to ask for a day to present his case the following term, which was granted. There was no further process against him until Trinity term 1557 when he was distrained 6s.8d., after which the case against him lapsed. As a freeholder in Dorset he took part in the election of the knights of the shire at Dorchester in October 1554. At the advent of Elizabeth, Hole sued out a general pardon as ‘of Dorchester, late of London’. He seems at first to have been considered suitable for the Dorset bench by the new Queen and his name was originally included in the liber pacis for the regnal year 1558-9 but was then crossed out. He was, however, commissioned to examine a dispute between Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in 1559 and to hold two other inquiries in Dorset in 1561. By a will made on 30 July 1570 and proved three months later he asked to be buried in St. Peter’s church, Dorchester, ‘near unto my wife Dorothy, ubi simul resurgamus in novissimo die’. All his property in the town he left to his daughter Margaret and her husband Stephen Brent, whom he named executors.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 30 Lyon; CP40/1139, r. 394.
  • 3. C1/1110/21; 219/23/47; CPR, 1547-8, p. 74; C. H. Mayo, Recs. Dorchester, 39.
  • 4. St.Ch.2/32/57; 5M30/14; PCC 20 C oode, 30 Lyon; Mayo, 39, 362, 363; Weymouth and Melcombe Regis mss, Sherren pprs. 25; CP40/1138-78; KB27/1176, 1183; CPR, 1558-60, p. 221; 1560-3, p. 121; Lansd. 1218.