HARCOURT, Michael (d.c.1597), of Ellenhall, Staffs. and Leckhampstead, Bucks.

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

3rd s. of Sir John Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxon. and Ellenhall and Ronton Abbey, Staffs. by Margaret, da. and coh. of Sir William Barentyne of Little Haseley, Oxon.; bro. of Robert and Simon. m. Jane, da. and h. of John Tylney of Leckhampstead, wid. of Richard Greenway of Shalstone, Bucks., s.p.

Offices Held

J.p. Northants. and Bucks. by 1577; sheriff, Bucks. 1594-5.


Harcourt owed his return in 1563 to his brother Simon. Through his marriage, he acquired an interest in the Tylney estate at Leckhampstead, less than four miles from Buckingham, where his wife’s family standing obtained him a parliamentary seat in 1584. His life was that of a country gentleman until May 1586, when he was given the task of transporting 200 men from Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to the Low Countries for military service, and his name is among those in the Earl of Leicester’s train in the Netherlands that autumn. He was therefore presumably the Captain Harcourt who was sent with a company to Rotterdam early the following year.

In his will, dated 20 May 1591, he asked to be buried in the church at Leckhampstead and left the bulk of his estate to his stepson, Anthony Greenway, on condition that he paid £700 to Harcourt’s executors within six weeks of the testator’s death. This money, if forthcoming, was to be divided between members of the Ward family of Northamptonshire, one of whom was otherwise to take over the property, paying his relatives himself. Harcourt appointed his wife and George Ognell of Walton Grange, Staffordshire, sole executors. The will was proved 20 Apr. 1597. No inquisition post mortem has been found.

G. Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 24, 147; iv. 590-1; R. A. Strong and J. Van Dorsten, Leicester’s Triumph, 119; CSP For. 1585-6, p. 700; 1586-7, pp. 83-4; 1587, p. 490; APC, xiv. 115; CSP Dom. Add. 1580-1625, p. 179; PCC 31 Cobham.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.