BRANDLING, Sir Francis (1595-1640/1), of Felling, co. Dur. and Alnwick Abbey, Northumb.

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. 16 Apr. 1595, 1st s. of Robert Brandling* and his 1st w. Jane, da. of Francis Wortley of Wortley, Yorks.1 educ. Oxf. 1613; travelled abroad 1614.2 m. (1) settlement 18 May 1618, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Ralph Grey* of Chillingham Castle, Northumb., 6s.;3 (2) settlement 4 Feb. 1638, Elizabeth (bur. 28 Feb. 1676), da. of Sir William Pitt* of Stratfield Saye, Hants, wid. of Richard Wheeler of Datchet, Bucks., s.p.4 kntd. 6/8 Aug. 1617;5 suc. fa. 1634.6 d. 1640/1. sig. Francis Brandling.

Offices Held

J.p. Northumb. 1618-d.;7 commr. inquiry, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. 1618-20, survey Crown manors, Northumb. 1621-2, subsidy 1624, recusants 1626;8 sheriff, Northumb. 1626-7;9 commr. Forced Loan, Northumb. 1626-7;10 dep. lt. Northumb. by 1640.11


Brandling’s public career began in 1618, upon his marriage to a daughter of Sir Ralph Grey*, at which time his father settled Northumberland estates worth £300 p.a. on the couple. In 1622-3 he took control of his father’s business and estates, and in 1624 was returned as knight for Northumberland, along with his brother-in-law Sir William Grey, 1st bt.12 The latter was raised to the peerage before the start of the session, and consequently, on 27 Feb., Brandling moved to issue a writ for a fresh election. Brandling was included on several committees scrutinizing legislation of local interest, including the estate bill for the Durham landowner Sir Richard Lumley (23 Mar.) and the bill to confirm the 1610 Act regulating moor-burning in the north (13 Apr.), a committee to which his father had been named in 1621. He attended one of the committee meetings for the Durham enfranchisement bill, being entitled to do so as a Northumberland MP, and was added to its named membership when the bill was recommitted (25 Mar.; 14 April).13 Following a private deal between his father and the Newcastle Hostmen’s Company in 1622, Brandling had joined one of the cartels for the shipment of Tyneside coal, but he never became a Company member. Thus it was in his own interest that, after the Hostmen secured exemption from the 1624 monopolies’ bill, he pressed for all Tyneside mine owners to be allowed to join the Company, although his plea was ignored (19 May).14

Brandling was re-elected in 1625, but left no trace on the records of the session; he may have stayed away because of the plague. He remained active in local affairs, searching the houses of Catholics for arms at the outbreak of the war with Spain in the autumn of 1625, and serving as sheriff of Northumberland in 1626-7, when he arrested his own father for failure to provide portions for his siblings. By 1640 he was a deputy lieutenant, heavily involved in defending his shire against the Scots. He presumably fled when the Covenanters invaded, and seems to have died shortly thereafter. However, the date and place of his death are unknown, nor has any will or administration been found.15 The next member of the family to sit in Parliament was Charles Brandling, who was returned for Newcastle in 1784.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. Surtees, Hist. co. Palatine Dur. ii. 90; Vis. Durham ed. Foster, 47.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; SO3/6, unfol. (Nov. 1614).
  • 3. C142/753/5.
  • 4. Surtees, ii. 90; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 195.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 164.
  • 6. C142/753/5.
  • 7. C231/4, f. 58; SP16/405.
  • 8. C181/2, ff. 310v, 340; 181/3, ff. 14, 38, 41v; C212/22/23; Northumb. RO, 1DE7/90, 106.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 99.
  • 10. C193/12/2.
  • 11. CSP Dom. 1639-40, p. 312; 1640, p. 42.
  • 12. C142/753/5; C2/Chas.I/B111/33; APC, 1621-3, pp. 437-8, 505; ROBERT BRANDLING.
  • 13. CJ, i. 722a, 747a, 764b, 766a; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE, 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 211.
  • 14. ROBERT BRANDLING; Recs. Co. Hostmen ed. F.W. Dendy (Surtees Soc. cv), 69-70; CJ, i. 706a; J.U. Nef, Rise of Brit. Coal Industry, ii. 129.
  • 15. Northumb. RO, 1DE7/85; List of Sheriffs, 99; C2/Chas.I/B111/33; CSP Dom. 1639-40, p. 312; 1640, p. 42.