BULSTRODE, Henry (1578-1643), of Horton, Bucks.

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. 28 Dec. 1578, 1st s. of Edward Bulstrode of Upton, Bucks. and Cicely, da. of Sir John Croke† of Chilton, Bucks.1 educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1592; I. Temple 1595.2 m. (1) Mary (d. 13 Dec. 1614),3 da. of Thomas Read of Barton, Berks., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. (2 d.v.p.);4 (2) 20 July 1615, Bridget (d. 29 Oct. 1631), da. of Henry Evans, wid. of John Allen of London, s.p.5 suc. fa. 1598.6 bur. 10 Aug. 1643.7

Offices Held

J.p. Bucks. 1618-d.;8 commr. sewers, Colne Valley 1618, 1622-6;9 sheriff, Bucks. 1631-2;10 commr. oyer and terminer, Norf. circ. 1635-42, Bucks. and Beds. 1635-40,11 defence, Midland Assoc. 1642, assessment, Bucks. 1643-d., sequestration of delinquents 1643, levying of money 1643.12

Col. of ft. (parl.) 1642-d.;13 gov. Aylesbury, Bucks. 1643, Henley, Oxon. 1643.14


Bulstrode was descended from a Household official who acquired the Buckinghamshire manor of Chalvey by marriage and represented the county in 1472.15 Little is known of Bulstrode himself before he was returned for Helston in 1614 on the recommendation of his brother-in-law, James Whitelocke*; the borough’s patron, Sir Robert Killigrew*, had initially offered the seat to Whitelocke, but was happy to accept Bulstrode as his substitute.16 Bulstrode played no recorded part in the Parliament until after the Easter recess, when attention turned to impositions. No doubt influenced by Whitelocke’s defiant stance on these duties, Bulstrode declared himself fully convinced on 5 May that the king had ‘no power to impose’, but favoured proceeding by petition rather than by bill.17 James’s subsequent refusal to allow the Commons to debate impositions perhaps confirmed the misgivings Bulstrode and many Members already had about courtly ‘undertakings’ to pack and control the Parliament. On 9 May Bulstrode moved that the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, Sir Thomas Parry*, who was accused of securing the return of his nominees at Stockbridge by force, should at once reveal with what misdemeanours he could charge the petitioners.18 When doubts were raised whether Secretary Sir Ralph Winwood* had given James misleading reports of the Commons’ proceedings, Bulstrode insisted on 27 May that ‘the king hath been oft misinformed’.19 By this time it was clear that the session might soon be cut short, and when the Commons was criticized by Bishop Neile for its uncooperative conduct, its Members reacted on 1 June with great anger and produced evidence that the bishop had shown favours to a recusant. Bulstrode seconded the motion of Sir James Perrot to send for the recusant concerned, and moved for a committee to frame a petition to the king.20

Bulstrode had inherited a manor in Horton, Buckinghamshire, to which he added by purchase in 1617, obtaining grants of court leet and free warren.21 This expansion of his estate seems to have increased his local standing, and soon afterwards he was appointed to the commission of the peace. In 1622 he refused to pay the Palatinate Benevolence, and was summoned before the Privy Council.22 He did not enter Parliament again until 1625, when he was returned as a Buckinghamshire knight of the shire. He was appointed to two bill committees on religion, concerning the Sabbath (22 June) and recusancy (23 June).23 On 22 June he moved ‘to supply the king amply and quickly’ for the war with Spain, and urged a petition for the better execution of the penal laws, particularly against Jesuits, since there was ‘more cause to fear the plague of our souls than of our bodies’, with reference to the epidemic then threatening London.24 His only other contribution, on 23 June, was to urge the establishment of a ‘good and learned ministry to teach the people’.25

Bulstrode never sat in Parliament again. He continued to enlarge his Buckinghamshire estates, acquiring Chalfont manor in 1626 and redeeming Chalvey manor and other ancestral property from mortgage in 1636.26 At the outset of the Civil War he took up arms for Parliament, and served briefly as governor of Aylesbury and Henley.27 He died intestate, and was buried in the family vault at Upton on 10 Aug. 1643.28 No later member of the family entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Lipscomb, Bucks. iv. 572.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; I. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. Lipscomb, iv. 572.
  • 4. Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 13.
  • 5. Lipscomb, iv. 572.
  • 6. C142/253/69; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 364.
  • 7. Lipscomb, iv. 572.
  • 8. C231/4, f. 61; C66/2858.
  • 9. C181/2, f. 317v; 181/3, ff. 76v, 202v.
  • 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 9.
  • 11. C181/4, f. 197; 181/5, ff. 4, 176, 218v.
  • 12. A. and O. i. 50, 90, 110, 140, 146, 227.
  • 13. HMC 5th Rep. 55.
  • 14. B. Whitelocke, Mems. of Eng. Affairs, i. 224, 359, 534.
  • 15. VCH Bucks. iii. 315-16.
  • 16. Liber Famelicus of Sir J. Whitelocke ed. J. Bruce (Cam. Soc. lxx), 41.
  • 17. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 148, 157.
  • 18. Ibid. 181.
  • 19. Ibid. 369.
  • 20. Ibid. 404, 409.
  • 21. VCH Bucks. iii. 283.
  • 22. SP14/127/46.
  • 23. Procs. 1625, pp. 215, 227.
  • 24. Ibid. 216.
  • 25. Ibid. 230.
  • 26. VCH Bucks. iii. 195, 315-16.
  • 27. HMC 5th Rep. 55; HMC Portland, i. 83, 89, 93.
  • 28. Lipscomb, iv. 572.