LASSELLS, Brian (c.1532-1613), of Gateford, Notts.

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. c.1532, 1st s. of George Lassells of Sturton and Gateford by Dorothy, da. of Geoffrey Paynell of Boothby Pagnell, Lincs. m. Isabel, da. of Sir Edward Montagu of Boughton, Northants., 9s. 5da. suc. fa. 1558. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Notts. from 1579, sheriff 1584-5, 1599-1600, commr. musters 1596.1


Implicated in the Norfolk conspiracy in October 1571, Lassells admitted visiting Tutbury, where Queen Mary was imprisoned, and that he had brought her greetings from the Duke, and a ring. Sent to the Tower, he submitted a petition claiming that he had fought against the northern rebels in 1569, and pleading his

service of my country northwards to my great danger and charges in every occasion of service that hath happened now sithence the first year of Queen Mary.

Imprisonment was leading to the spoil

of that little living I have which should be for the relief of me, my wife, and bringing up of half a score young children that God hath sent us, with half-a-dozen brethren and sisters that doth wholly rest upon me and yet unbestowed.

He was heavily in debt, the greater portion, £500, being shortly due, while he was also engaged in a lawsuit with another Nottinghamshire gentleman, Richard Whalley, upon which 1,000 marks depended.2

Lassells later led a life normal for a country gentleman, being put on the commission of the peace and serving as sheriff. In December 1587 he wrote to the 4th Earl of Rutland from his home at Gateford to report on the state of the militia in his part of the country, and by 1592 he was a commissioner for recusants in Nottinghamshire. The archbishop of York unsuccessfully asked for his removal from the commission of the peace in 1587 on the grounds that he was

a man full of quarrels and contentions. One that maketh divisions, maintaining evil causes; bolstering out evil matters; ever in law, and one that only liveth by other men’s losses.

Lassells served once as knight of the shire. Perhaps his candidature was helped by the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom he had written in 1586: ‘My service shall be wholly your honour’s, as I protest before God it hath been’. Lassells is not mentioned in the known surviving records of the House of Commons. He was knighted by James I on the journey south to London in 1603. He died at Gateford on 6 May 1613.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. C142/124/152; Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 59; SP12/121/f. 22; 145, f. 29; APC, xxvi 312, 389.
  • 2. CPR, 1558-60, p. 73; HMC Hatfield, i. 547-8, 551-2; SP12/85/61; C2.Eliz/W1/49.
  • 3. HMC Rutland, i. 234; Cath. Rec. Soc. xviii. 240; Strype, Annals, iii(2), 465; Neale, Commons, 62-3; Lodge, Illus. ii. 287; C142/332/152.