KENDALL, Nicholas (-d.c.1641), of Pelyn, Lanlivery, Cornw.

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



1640 (Apr.)

Family and Education

o.s. of Walter Kendall (d.1653-4?) of Pelyn and Katherine, da. and h. of John Hellyer alias Mayo of Lostwithiel, Cornw. m. 15 Nov. 1623, Emblyn (bur. 5 Mar. 1684), da. and coh. of Thomas Treffry of Lostwithiel, 5s. 1da.1 admon. 16 Feb. 1641.2 sig. Nicho[las] Kendall.

Offices Held

?Stannator, Blackmoor, Cornw. 1624, 1636.3


The Kendalls are said to have settled in Cornwall during Edward III’s reign, when one of them became keeper of Restormel Castle, near Lostwithiel. The Pelyn branch of the family was established in the early sixteenth century. Kendall’s grandfather, who was sheriff of Cornwall in 1590-1, owned around 400 acres, including three manors and the advowson of Lanlivery parish. Kendall’s father Walter, through his marriage to the daughter of a prominent Lostwithiel resident, acquired another 300 acres and the role of joint trustee of the town’s lands. This position, combined with his status as a local j.p., gave him considerable influence over the borough, which he appears to have abused. When Lostwithiel obtained a new charter in 1608, the corporation assumed control of the town lands, and Walter lost the bitter legal battle which ensued.4 During the following decade he experienced financial difficulties, and perhaps for this reason he forfeited his place on the Cornish bench. In about 1621 he reached terms with one of his major creditors, but only by selling him one of his more substantial estates. Kendall, who subsequently claimed that he had been promised the inheritance of this particular property, partially retrieved his fortunes in 1623 by marrying into another leading Lostwithiel family, a match which brought with it lands in six Cornish parishes by way of a dowry.5

With his father’s local standing in decline, Kendall relied on his father-in-law Thomas Treffry when he sought election to Parliament at Lostwithiel in 1625. Treffry was then the borough’s mayor and deputy recorder, but this did not guarantee Kendall victory, since nominations were customarily accepted from the duchy of Cornwall and the recorder, Sir Reginald Mohun*. The sequence of events cannot be reconstructed completely, but it appears that Treffry, having failed to win round his colleagues on the corporation, pre-empted the scheduled election by staging one of his own on the previous day. An indenture for Kendall was duly dispatched to Westminster, but most of the borough’s common council, including his own uncle, another Nicholas Kendall, supported rival candidates. Although this dispute remained unresolved when Parliament was dissolved, it seems unlikely that Kendall’s election would ultimately have received the Commons’ approval.6

When Treffry died in 1636, leaving his remaining property to his other daughter, Kendall and his wife challenged his will, alleging that they were entitled to at least a share of this estate. However, their arguments failed to sway the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.7 Kendall sat for Lostwithiel in the Short Parliament, but died less than a year later. In his own will, drawn up on 17 May 1638, he made financial provision only for his younger children, probably because his father was still alive. His daughter was to receive £400, and three of his sons £300 each. Kendall died before 16 Feb. 1641, when the will was proved by his widow. His eldest son Walter represented Lostwithiel in Parliament after the Restoration.8

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 260; Index to PCC Admons. 1649-54 ed. J. Ainsworth, 208 (lost admon. for Walter Kendall of Cornw.); Cornw. RO, FP 111/1/1.
  • 2. PROB 11/185, f. 124.
  • 3. Bodl. Add.C.85, pp. 2, 19.
  • 4. J. Polsue, Complete Parochial Hist. of Cornw. iii. 24, 28; Vivian, 258-9; C142/260/154; 142/267/83; C2/Jas.I/L18/66; STAC 8/149/21; C66/1620.
  • 5. C66/2147; C2/Chas.I/K6/11; 2/Chas.I/K21/29; 2/Chas.I/R27/40.
  • 6. C219/39/54, 56, 59-60; Cornw. RO, B/LOS 120; Vivian, 260.
  • 7. C2/Chas.I/K6/11; 2/Chas.I/T24/16; PROB 11/171, ff. 312v-3v; 11/175, f. 386r-v.
  • 8. PROB 11/185, f. 124.