BELLINGHAM, Henry (c.1564-1637), of Chichester, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1564, 3rd s. of Edward Bellingham (d. c.1589), of Newtimber, Suss. being 1st s. by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of John A’Wood of Hamsey, Suss. educ. Broadgates Hall, Oxf. 1580, aged 16. unm.1 bur. 27 Sept. 1637.2

Offices Held

?Servant to Robert Sackville*, 2nd earl of Dorset by 1609.3


Bellingham’s father, Edward, whose half-brother was returned for Lewes in 1572, lived in the parish of Newtimber in Lewes Rape and was a long serving Sussex magistrate. Bishop William Barlow described Edward in 1564 as a ‘misliker of religion and godly proceedings’, but he apparently subsequently reconciled himself to the Reformation, despite one of his daughters being recorded as a recusant in the 1630s.4 Bellingham’s elder half-brother was the father of Richard Bellingham I*.

Bellingham was bequeathed £100 in his father’s will, proved in February 1590.5 He subsequently settled in Chichester, where he came to own property. His mother lived there until her death in 1609, and it is possible that he inherited the property from her. He also leased land in Aldrington, Sussex, from his nephew Sir Edward Bellingham, and property in Oxford that had belonged to his uncle Richard.6

Bellingham was probably the ‘honest servant’ to whom the 2nd earl of Dorset bequeathed £50 in 1609, although he had several namesakes, related or unrelated, including his uncle, an Elizabethan sea captain.7 If so it would explain how he became connected with the family of Dorset’s brother-in-law, Anthony Browne, 2nd Viscount Montagu. He was a trustee in the 1628 marriage settlement of Montagu’s daughter, Frances Browne, and was also named as a ‘good friend’ by the viscount’s mother, the widow of Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st bt.*, in her will in 1637.8 There is nothing, however, to suggest that Bellingham remained in the service of the Sackvilles after Dorset’s death and, as a bachelor, he seems to have been able to live on his property and investments. Both his brother Edward and his sister Dorothy, who kept house for him, entrusted to him their modest portions of £200, perhaps suggesting that he was active as a moneylender.9

Bellingham was returned to the third Caroline Parliament for Chichester. He made no recorded speeches and was named to only one committee, on 14 Apr., to consider a bill to lessen the penalties of excommunication, but he evidently paid careful attention to the proceedings of the House:10 in October 1628 he and his fellow-Member, William Cawley, were summoned before the Privy Council for leading the resistance to billeting in Chichester and for allegedly warning the civic authorities ‘to take heed what you did, for that the Parliament would call you to account for it’. However, the Council, which may not have realized initially that they were Members of Parliament, discharged them on 15 Oct. 1628, the day after their appearance. Bellingham left no mark on the records of the second session.11

Bellingham drew up his will on 22 Sept. 1637 and was buried five days later, according to his request, in Chichester cathedral, where his mother had been interred. He gave £5 towards the cathedral’s repair, and £5 to be distributed to the poor of the city parish of St. Peter the Great at his funeral. For his niece Mary Bellingham he provided a portion of £300 out of his lands in Surrey, and he desired his nephew William Muschamp* to purchase plate ‘that may remain to the house in memory of me’ out of money due from two Cambridgeshire debtors. The residuary legatee was a namesake, his nephew and godson. No later member of this branch of the family sat in Parliament.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Suss. Gens.: Lewes Cent. comp. J. Comber, 11; Al. Ox.; VCH Suss. vii. 207.
  • 2. St. Peter the Great, Chichester par. reg. (Soc. Gen. transcript).
  • 3. PROB 11/113, f. 182.
  • 4. HP Commons, 1558-1603, i. 426; R.B. Manning, ‘Catholics and local office holding in Elizabethan Suss.’, BIHR, xxxv. 56; C2/Chas.I/B1/52.
  • 5. PROB 11/75, f. 63.
  • 6. St. Peter the Great, Chichester par. reg.; PROB 11/175, f. 316; VCH Suss. vii. 275; H.E. Salter Survey of Oxford ed. W.A. Pantin and W.T. Mitchell (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. xx), 222.
  • 7. VCH Suss. ii. 149; PROB 11/113, f. 182.
  • 8. ‘Cal. of the Deeds and other Docs. in the possession of the Suss. Arch. Soc.’ comp. E.H.W. Dunkin, Suss. Arch. Colls. xxxvii. 48; PROB 11/175, f. 240v.
  • 9. PROB 11/152, f. 497; 11/175, f. 316.
  • 10. CD 1628, ii. 444.
  • 11. APC, 1628-9, pp. 187, 197.
  • 12. PROB 11/175, ff. 315v-16v; St. Peter the Great, Chichester par. reg.