CAVE, Francis (d.1583), of Baggrave, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Richard Cave of Stanford, Northants, by his 2nd w. Margaret, da. of John (or Thomas) Saxby of Northants.; bro. of Sir Ambrose. educ. Doctors’ Commons, adv. and LLD by 1533. m. by Nov. 1543, Margaret, da. of Thomas Lisle of Surr., wid. of Edmund Ashton, 6s. inc. Thomas 2da.

Offices Held

Servant of Thomas Cromwell by 1537; commr. for monasteries by 1538; j.p. Leics. by 1544, q. by 1554, custos rot. by 1562.1


Cave acquired considerable ex-monastic property during his period in Cromwell’s service. He was a commissioner for church goods under Edward VI, and continued to hold office under Queen Mary until about 1555, when he may or may not have gone abroad. Nothing has been ascertained about his university education. He may have practised as a civil lawyer from his town house or lodgings in Paternoster Row, but not after 1558, from which time his recorded activities are those of a country gentleman. He sat on commissions to take the oaths of the clergy and to enforce the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, and was classified by his bishop in 1564 as ‘earnest in religion’.2

Cave sat in only one Elizabethan Parliament, as knight of the shire for Leicestershire at the time his brother the chancellor of the duchy was knight of the shire for Warwickshire. He is not mentioned in its proceedings. The Leicester chamberlain’s accounts show presents of wine to him on a number of occasions, once, in January 1567, when he ‘sat in commission for the subsidy’.3

Cave died in 1583 and was buried in Hungerton parish church. His will, made in March and proved in November of that year, left bequests to his large family. Five of the sons were appointed overseers, and one, Thomas, a co-executor with Cave’s brother Brian. The preamble echoes the words used by his brother Ambrose 15 years earlier:

As charity moveth me to begin at myself, so with all my heart and power I will bequeath and commend my soul [to God]. I faithfully without doubt believe and perfectly know that I am one of the lively members of the ... holy catholic church [one of the] elect and chosen [who longs to hear Christ] pronounce the long-thirsted-for sentence, ‘Come, come to me, you blessed of my father’.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 120, 122, 126-7; LP Hen. VIII, vi. no. 1092; xii(1), p. 541 et passim; xii(2), p. 197; xiii(2), p. 80; xx(1), p. 319; CPR, 1550-3, p. 394; 1553 and App. Ed. VI, pp. 414, 416.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiii(2), p. 80; xiv(1), p. 610; xviii(2), p. 237; Nichols, Leics. i(2), App. 114; CPR, 1548-9, p. 141; 1549-51, p. 369; 1550-3, p. 394; 1553 and App. Ed. VI, pp. 414, 416; 1553-4, p. 282; 1557-8, p. 49; 1558-60, pp. 28, 118; C142/204/145; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xxvi. 88; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 30.
  • 3. Leicester Recs. iii. 93; Lansd. 8, f. 79.
  • 4. PCC 15 Butts; Nichols, iii, 284.