MANTELL, Matthew (bef.1550-89), of Milton, Northants.; Monks Horton and Hythe, Kent.

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. bef. 1550, 1st s. of Sir Walter Mantell (exec. 1554), of Horton, by Mary or Jane, da. of Sir James Hales of Canterbury. educ. I. Temple 1568 or 9. m. Lucrecia, da. of John Wake of Hartwell, Northants., 2s.1

Offices Held


Mantell, the eldest of four sons named in order after the evangelists, was born into a good family whose misfortunes began in 1541 when Mantell’s uncle, the heir to the estates, was executed for the murder of a park-keeper. In 1554 Mantell’s father and his cousin, Walter, were attainted and executed for their part in Wyatt’s rebellion. Next, in the same year his maternal grandfather, Sir James Hales, committed suicide, and all his goods, chattels and leases went to the Crown, including those brought to him by his marriage with Margaret Wood, Mantell’s paternal grandmother.2

Mantell was evidently brought up in his grandmother’s household. While she lived, the family had still some means of support, for she retained the lands settled on her and the considerable estates she held in her own right as heir to her father, Oliver Wood. Her youngest son claimed that even in such circumstances his mother did not abate one whit of her ‘great housekeeping’, so Mantell no doubt lived in an environment of luxury and increasing debt.

In 1571 Elizabeth restored to him his father’s property, including the reversion of Horton, but he was apparently never restored in blood. In the same year, at a time when he was living on his grandmother’s estates in the county, but with the backing of no obvious patron, Mantell was twice returned to Parliament for Brackley, leaving no trace upon the records. He was one of the Kent gentlemen who petitioned the archbishop of Canterbury in 1584 for the reinstatement of their suspended puritan preachers, departing in anger when the archbishop was unmoved by their plea. In 1573 Mantell’s grandmother died, whereupon he took possession of such lands as he could in the face of an opposing claim from his uncle Thomas Mantell, and in 1583 they were again at odds over manors at Milton and Collingtree seized as concealed lands. Finally Mantell took up residence at Hythe in Kent, where he died in 1589. In the briefest of wills he bequeathed all his goods to his wife. His male heirs continued to live at Monks Horton.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Add. 5521, f, 43; Berry, Co. Genealogies, Kent, 332; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 87; Assoc. Architectural Soc. Reps. vi (1861-2), ped. between pp. 18-19.
  • 2. Add. 5521, f. 43; Baker, Northants. i. 182. 183; CPR, 1560-3, p. 261; DNB (Hales, James).
  • 3. CPR, 1569-72, p. 206; Add. 5521, ff. 17-18; Add. 27984, f. 5; DNB (Hales, James), where wife is wrongly identified; Hasted, Kent, viii. 60-1; Bridges, Northants. i. 350; Collinson thesis, 443-5; Lansd. 43, f. 7; PCC 74 Leicester.