FREVILE, George (1536-1619), of Sedgefield and Hardwick, co. Dur.

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

b. 1536, s. of Nicholas Frevile. m. Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Jenison of Walworth, auditor in Ireland, s.p. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

Servant of the Earl of Sussex by 1569; j.p. co. Dur. from c.1579; keeper of Raby and constable of Brancepeth castles by 1607.


Of a Staffordshire family, Frevile was a namesake and distant relation of the second baron of the Exchequer, who sat in the 1547 Parliament. During the northern rebellion he served as clerk of the ordnance and was employed by Sussex, the president of the council in the north, on confidential missions. Presumably it was Sussex who had him returned for Appleby. In February 1573 he received a crown lease of the capital messuage of Hardwick, formerly the property of one who had been attainted, and in May 1590 he was granted the manor. He bought Shotton from Sir William Bowes and obtained leases from the dean and chapter of Durham which were found to be invalid. Enlisting the aid of Sir Francis Walsingham and the Privy Council, he was promised compensation. When musters were held at Durham in 1584 he was rated as worth 200 marks in land. In the course of the next decade he extended his estates at Middleham and bought a close in Elwick for £1,200.1

Though he married into a Catholic family—three of his brothers-in-law were notable recusants, and one of them married a sister of Father Gerard—he is not known to have sympathized with the old religion. His will, made 18 Nov. 1619, provided legacies for friends and the poor of several parishes, and left his estate to his youngest nephew, Nicholas Frevile. He died at Walworth 23 Nov. 1619 and was buried at Sedgefield two days later. Shortly before his death he assigned most of his lands to feoffees in trust: Sir John Calverley, Francis Brakin, Francis Burgoyne, Gilbert Frevile and Thomas Jenison.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Sharp, Memorials of the Rebellion, 14 and n.; Surtees, Durham, iii. 4, 34, 36, 48, 89; Durham Wills (Surtees Soc. cxlii), 3, 233; APC, xii. 76-7, 125-6, 237; xiii. 33, 51, 62-3, 65, 72-3; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 89; 1603-10, pp. 390, 514, 549; Border Pprs. i. 162.
  • 2. A. M. C. Forster, ‘A Durham family: Jenisons of Walworth’, Biog. Studies (now Recusant History), iii. 2 seq.; Durham Wills, 225; Surtees, iii. 34; Dur. 3/189/25.