BASKERVILLE, Sir Humphrey (1586-1648), of Eardisley, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. 26 Oct. 1586, o.s. of John Baskerville of Eardisley and Anne, da. of Richard Southwell of Horsham St. Faith, Norf.1 educ. travelled abroad 1605-8, 1611-12.2 m. Elizabeth (d.1665), da. of Sir Thomas Coningsby† of Hampton Court, Herefs., 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1589;3 kntd. 7 Mar. 1609.4 d. 3 Apr. 1648.5
Sheriff, Herefs. 1610-11,6 capt. of militia ft. 1612-at least 1625,7 j.p. by c.1609-26;8 commr. sewers, Wye valley 1621,9 subsidy, Herefs. 1621-2, 1624, 1641-2;10 sub-commr. exacted fees, Herefs. 1623;11 recorder, Leominster, Herefs. 1630-41.12
Baskerville’s ancestors had acquired the lordship of Eardisley, in western Herefordshire, in 1251, and first represented the county in 1300.13 Baskerville succeeded as an infant, but when he was 16 Sir Herbert Croft* proved a tenure for the Crown and was granted a lease of the estate for £80 by the Court of Wards.14 On returning from his travels, Baskerville was recommended for a militia commission, and nominated for Leominster by his father-in-law, Sir Thomas Coningsby, Croft’s bitterest enemy. He left no trace on the records of the 1614 Parliament. That same year he signed a letter from the Herefordshire gentry thanking the earl of Somerset for his support in their continuing campaign against the jurisdiction of the Council in the Marches.15
In the couple of years following the 1614 Parliament Baskerville evidently suffered a major financial crisis, although the cause is unknown. When Coningsby made his will in August 1616 he bequeathed a rent-charge to Baskerville’s wife and son, groaning: ‘Oh, my God, how far am I short in that I aimed in the match of this dear child, to have need of a poor pension out of her brother’s estate’.16 According to Richard Symonds, writing in 1645, Baskerville’s income fell from £3,000 p.a. to one-tenth of that figure.17 This decline may explain Baskerville’s removal from the bench in October 1626. The small gifts which he received from Leominster corporation, and his later appointment as recorder there, must have been welcome.18 He was regarded as a passive royalist in the Civil War, though his son was obliged to fly the county for his fidelity to Parliament. He was buried at Eardisley, the last of his family to sit in the Commons; no will or grant of administration has been found.19
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Ben Coates
- 1. C142/221/107; C.J. Robinson, Hist. Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 107.
- 2. SO3/3, unfol. (25 June 1605); SO3/4, unfol. (July 1610); SO3/5, unfol. (27 Mar. 1611).
- 3. Robinson, 107.
- 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 147.
- 5. Robinson, 107.
- 6. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 61.
- 7. Add. 11050, ff. 81, 90.
- 8. C66/1822; C231/4, f. 210v.
- 9. C181/3, f. 33.
- 10. C212/22/20-1, 23; SR, v. 62, 85, 152.
- 11. Add. 70001, unfol. (7 July 1623).
- 12. G.F. Townsend, Town and Bor. of Leominster, 292.
- 13. Robinson, 105.
- 14. HMC Hatfield, xv. 369.
- 15. SP14/78/77.
- 16. PROB 11/148, f. 292.
- 17. Richard Symonds’s Diary of Marches of Royal Army ed. C.E. Long (Cam. Soc. lxxiv), 196.
- 18. Townsend, 79, 93-94.
- 19. CCC, 2070; Robinson, 107.