FEILDING, Basil (c.1567-1633), of Newnham Paddock, Warws. and Martinsthorpe, Rutland

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.1567, 1st s. of Sir William Feilding of Newnham Paddox and Dorothy, da. of Sir Ralph Lane of Hogshaw and Horton, Northants.1 educ. Coventry free sch; King’s, Camb. 1582.2 m. by 1585, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Walter Aston of Tixall, Staffs. 3s. 1da.3 suc. fa. 1607, bro. Michael 1613.4 d. Aug. 1633.5 sig. Basill Fylding.

Offices Held

J.p. Rutland by 1604-d., Warws. by 1608-d.; sheriff, Rutland Feb.-Nov. 1606, Warws. 1610-11;6 commr. enclosure riots, Warws. and Coventry 1607, depopulations, Warws. 1607, subsidy, Rutland and Warws. 1608, 1621-2, 1624, aid, Rutland 1609;7 dep. lt. Rutland by 1616-at least 1623;8 commr. oyer and terminer, Midland circ. 1622-d., Forced Loan, Rutland and Warws. 1626, knighthood composition, Warws. 1631.9


While William Dugdale and other seventeenth-century antiquaries made strenuous efforts to verify a spurious claim that the Feildings were descended from a cadet branch of the Habsburg family, they actually originated in Leicestershire. They lived on the manor of Lutterworth during the fourteenth century, purchased Newnham, Warwickshire, only four miles distant, in 1433, and William Feilding, the first MP in the family, acquired Martinsthorpe, Rutland by marriage.10 His descendants accrued further property and were among the leading families of Warwickshire and Rutland by the death of Elizabeth.11 However, none sat in Parliament during the Tudor period, possibly because the distribution of their estates left them without sufficient influence to secure a seat in any single shire.

Feilding probably spent his early adult life at Martinsthorpe: he was appointed to local office in Rutland before his father’s death; and his daughter-in-law was granted a jointure interest there in 1606. He was apparently not present at the controversial Rutland election of 1601, but was close to one of the protagonists, his neighbour Sir Andrew Noell†, who named him as one of the executors of his will in December 1605. Feilding resigned this trust to Noell’s son Sir Edward† in 1608, and it was probably on the latter’s interest that he was returned to the Commons for Rutland in 1614. He left little trace on the records of his only Parliament, being named to a single committee for a bill to bar brewers and alehousekeepers from the commission of the peace (31 May).12

Feilding’s family prospered at Court over the next decade on the strength of their connection with the king’s new favourite, George Villiers, whose sister Susan had married Feilding’s eldest son, William, who acquired important positions at Court and in the Navy.13 William’s children made prestigious marriages, and his brother Roger became an equerry in the royal stables, but Feilding derived no personal benefit from the Villiers connection.14 There is no indication that Feilding stood at the general election of December 1620: his former patron, Noell, had been elevated to the peerage in 1617, and played no part in subsequent Rutland elections. Feilding could undoubtedly have been nominated elsewhere by Buckingham, but may have been reluctant to step down from a county seat to a borough. Alternatively, he may have thought that the viscountcy his son received as part of the preparations for the 1621 Parliament ruled him out of contention.

Although Feilding sought no share in his son’s success at Court, he remained active in local affairs, helping to arbitrate disputes over the dyeing of cloth in Coventry in 1627 and access rights to a coalmine at nearby Bedworth in 1628. In 1631 he was appointed to two of the commissions to compound for knighthood, having paid his own fine of £25 the previous autumn, and he was among those appointed to investigate rumours of a planned rising in Rutland in the same year.15 He also became embroiled in the financial affairs of his relative Anthony Feilding, acting as a trustee for the sale of the latter’s Nottinghamshire estate in the 1620s.16

Feilding died intestate in August 1633. His estate does not appear to have been the subject of an inquisition post mortem, perhaps because, before his death, he assigned his lands to his heir, now earl of Denbigh. Granted administration of his goods in the following December, Denbigh was later involved in a dispute over the repayment of a debt of £300 Feilding owed a London merchant at his death.17 The family sold Martinsthorpe in the 1750s, but still reside at Newnham.18

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. C142/302/112; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 11-12; Vis. Northants. ed. W.C. Metcalfe, 32-3, 185-6.
  • 2. T. Sharp, Coventry, 174; Al. Cant.
  • 3. C142/211/194; Vis. Warws. 182; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 7-8; Nichols, County of Leicester, iv. pt. 1, pp. 292-3.
  • 4. C142/302/112; PROB 11/122, ff. 282-3.
  • 5. C2/Chas.I/C20/47, f. 4.
  • 6. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 114, 147.
  • 7. C181/2, ff. 35, 42v; C205/5/4; SP14/31/1, 14/43/107; C212/22/20-3; E179/283, ‘commrs. for the aid’.
  • 8. HEHL, HA10612, misdated in HMC Hastings, iv. 192; Leics. RO, DG21/228.
  • 9. C181/3, f. 62; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145; E178/5687, ff. 5, 9.
  • 10. Warws. RO, Feilding F97, 101; Nichols, iv. pt. 1, pp. 273-90; VCH Rutland, ii. 85; E. Acheson, Gentry Community, 230-1; G. Tyack, Warws. Country Houses, 148.
  • 11. C142/211/194; PROB 11/42B, f. 437; 11/68, ff. 39-40; HMC Denbigh, v. 1-3.
  • 12. Warws. RO, Feilding F29; PROB 11/111, ff. 356, 358-9; CJ, i. 503b.
  • 13. CP (Bar. Noel, Visct. Feilding, earl of Denbigh).
  • 14. R. Lockyer, Buckingham, 63, 75, 116-17; CSP Dom. 1619-23, pp. 8, 258, 335; LC2/6, ff. 48, 61.
  • 15. APC, 1626, p. 383; 1626-7, pp. 80-1, 297, 363; 1627-8, pp. 113-14; 1628-9, p. 118; 1629-30, pp. 288-9; 1630-1, pp. 227-8, 257-8; CSP Dom. 1629-31, pp. 516-17; E178/5687, ff. 5, 9; E407/35, f. 187.
  • 16. C2/Jas.I/D4/73.
  • 17. PROB 6/14, f. 209; C2/Chas.I/C20/47.
  • 18. VCH Rutland, ii. 85; Tyack, 151-2.