CHARNOCK, Roger (c.1588-1645), of St. Mary Aldermanbury, London and Elston, Lancs.

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.1588, 3rd s. of Robert Charnock (d. 20 Jan. 1616),1 of Charnock and Astley, Lancs. and his 1st w. Isabel, da. of Sir William Norris of Speke, Lancs.; bro. of Thomas*.2 educ. G. Inn, 1605, called 1622.3 m. Elizabeth, 2s. 2da.4 d.1645.5 sig. Roger Chernock.

Offices Held

Freeman, Preston, Lancs. by 1602;6 collector, impost money, Chester, Cheshire 1638-9.7

Reader, Barnard’s Inn 1624.8


Charnock was the godson of Richard Fleetwood of Penwortham, uncle of Sir Richard, Baron of Newton.9 As a youth he carried letters between his father, grandfather Sir William Norris, and ‘uncle’ Sir Thomas Tyldesley, on business involving the Fleetwoods.10 Trained as a lawyer, Charnock subsequently proved useful to his kinsmen, many of whom were Catholic sympathizers, including his brother Thomas, whom he occasionally represented, and their stepmother, Elizabeth (neĆ© Fleetwood). Together with his Gray’s Inn companion and close friend, Edmund Breres*, Charnock defended her suit to protect the manor of Heath Charnock from encroachments by a neighbour in 1616-17, and he frequently served as counsel in cases before the duchy court.11 Charnock’s connection to the Fleetwoods explains his election for Newton in 1614. He made no impression on the records of that brief Parliament.

Charnock became deeply indebted in the early 1620s as a result of having stood as surety for Tyldesley, a fellow Gray’s Inn lawyer. The expenses of serving as reader at Barnard’s Inn may also have contributed to Charnock’s financial difficulties.12 He sued Tyldesley and his fellow surety Breres in February 1624 for non-payment of loans totalling around £8,000.13 Elston manor in Lancashire was conveyed to Charnock to help resolve the case, but a spate of further suits followed as creditors pursued him for the debts of his two bankrupt associates.14 When Breres died in 1625 his remaining estates passed to Charnock, but they were insufficient to satisfy all the creditors’ demands. A year later Charnock and his brother were sued in Chancery by Sir Richard Fleetwood, who had also lost thousands of pounds.15 Under constant pressure from creditors and the threat of imprisonment as a bankrupt, not to mention the cost of litigation, Charnock obtained royal protection in 1628, which was subsequently renewed several times.16 It was not until the late 1630s that his financial troubles seem to have lifted, and in 1638 he was granted the office of impost collector at Chester.17

Charnock’s will, dated 23 Sept. 1643, was proved in March 1645.18 The only property it mentioned was Elston manor, which was to be sold and the proceeds divided between his wife and children. Neither of his sons sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Lancs. IPMs ed. J.P. Rylands (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xvi), 37-9.
  • 2. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxii), 8-9.
  • 3. GI Admiss.; PBG Inn i. 246.
  • 4. PROB 11/192, ff. 379v-80.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Preston Guild Rolls ed. W.A. Abram (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 54.
  • 7. Add. 33378, f. 92v; CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 132.
  • 8. PBG Inn, i. 262.
  • 9. Wills and Inventories, ed. J.P. Earwaker (Chetham Soc. n.s. xxviii), 194.
  • 10. Add. 36,927, f. 39.
  • 11. DL1/269.
  • 12. Readers and Readings in Inns of Ct. and Chancery ed. J.H. Baker (Selden Soc. suppl. ser. xiii), 194, 228-9.
  • 13. DL1/297, 299.
  • 14. DL1/300, 302, 328.
  • 15. C2/Chas.I/F35/12; 2/Chas.I/F50/81.
  • 16. C66/2438; APC, 1627-8, p. 346; 1629-30, p. 111; 1630-1, p. 29; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 26; C2/Chas.I/C60/36.
  • 17. SP16/402/73.
  • 18. PROB 11/192, ff. 379v-80.