HALSWELL, Nicholas (c.1510-64), of Halswell and Goathurst, Som.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1510, 1st s. of John Halswell of Halswell and Goathurst by Mary, da. of Henry Est of Yardley, Worcs. educ. M. Temple. m. bef. 1534, Margery, da. and coh. of John Tremayle of Cannington, 4s. 3da. suc. fa. by 1528.

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Som. 1539, 1544, 1550; j.p. from Jan. 1543; escheator, Dorset, Som. 1547-8; feodary, Som. from 1555.


Halswell had grown rich through his court of wards post in Somerset, where he was employed surveying manors, taking depositions and serving on commissions of inquisition post mortem. He lived near Bridgwater, gave legal advice to the borough, and may have been its recorder. He died 11 Oct. 1564, before the second session of the 1563 Parliament, possessed of estates in Essex, Hampshire, Norfolk and Somerset. By his will, dated 18 Nov. 1562, and proved 28 Nov. 1564, he left Goathurst, Lexworth and other lands to his wife, as her jointure, together with half his plate and household stuff and a considerable amount of livestock. In return, she was to assure her own manor of Blackmoor and lands in Cannington to their son and heir, Robert. The three younger sons were provided with leases, annuities and rich wards. Hugh, for example, received the wardship of Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Hugh Verney, so that he might take the profits of the wardship and possibly marry her. Halswell had a good marriage in mind also for his eldest daughter, Joan, who was to receive 200 marks if she married with her mother’s consent and 200 more if she made a match ‘whereby both she and the issue coming of her body shall be advanced’. The younger daughters were left £20 apiece.

Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 28; Bridgwater corporation mss 1459, 1533, 1698, 1700, 2065, 2067; LP Hen. VIII, xviii(1), 100 g. 32; CPR, 1547-8, p. 89; 1553 and App. 359; 1558-60, p. 147; 1560-4, pp. 35, 396, 443; CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, p. 437; PCC 33 Stevenson; C142/141/18.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.