MUSGRAVE, Christopher (b.c.1553), of Hartley Castle, Westmld.

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.1553, 1st s. of Sir Simon Musgrave. educ. ?Jesus, Camb. 1567. m. Jane or Joan, da. of Henry Curwen of Workington, Cumb., 1s. Richard 3da.

Offices Held

Capt. Bewcastle by 1585-May 1586.


Musgrave’s return for Carlisle, while probably still in his teens, may be attributed to Henry, Lord Scrope, warden of the west march. Musgrave made no mark on the surviving records of the 1571 Parliament. In fact the only references to him are either to his participation with his father in various land transactions or to his martial exploits on the borders. In 1568 he appeared before Lord Scrope to answer for his part with Francis Dacre in a riot in Carlisle. In January 1583 Scrope reported to Walsingham that the execution of three ‘notable thieves’ taken by Musgrave had been followed by forays in the Liddesdale-Bewcastle section of the border, the defence of which was becoming increasingly difficult. Another letter from Scrope, dated 23 July 1585, reported that Musgrave and a Captain Case, acting contrary to treaties and his own strict orders, had led a punitive expedition across the frontier, rescuing some English prisoners and capturing nearly 40 Scots. Scrope asked how he should proceed against the offenders who, while acknowledging their ‘great oversight’, pleaded that they had thought only of safeguarding the frontier. For example’s sake, some action was called for, but as both gentlemen had done good service the warden hoped ‘their former good deeds’ might not be ‘cast into oblivion, to their disgrace and discouragement hereafter’. It is not known whether any action was taken. Musgrave probably died or was killed soon afterwards, as in May 1586 his brother Richard, and in 1589 another brother, Thomas, became deputy to Sir Simon at Bewcastle.

Vis. Westmld. 1615 ed. Bridger, 8-9; Nicolson and Burn, Hist. Cumb. and Westmld. i. 596; Yorks. Fines, Tudor period (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser.), ii. 25, 61, 103; Later Records relating to N. Westmld. (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. rec. ser. viii), 350-1; CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, pp. 54-6; Border Pprs. i. 93-4, 188, 224; H. Pease, Lord Wardens of the Marches, 54.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge