NICHOLAS, Reginald (-d.1613), of Prestbury, Glos.

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

s. of Humphrey Nicholas. m. by 1575, Winifred, da. of William Pierson, scrivener, of London,1 3s. 4da.2 d. 7 June 1613.3

Offices Held

Servant of Sir Thomas Chamberlain† to 1580.4


Nicholas used the arms of the Nicholas family of Wiltshire, whose most prominent member was Edward Nicholas*, and Nicholas’ son Thomas referred to Edward Nicholas as ‘cousin’, but the exact relationship between the two families has not been established.5 At an unknown date Nicholas became a ‘servant in house’ to the retired diplomat Sir Thomas Chamberlain, and subsequently ‘a solicitor and follower of his causes’.6 Presumably a strong Protestant like his master, he married Chamberlain’s stepdaughter, whose father had also been closely involved in Chamberlain’s affairs.7 In 1597 Nicholas purchased the Gloucestershire manor of Prestbury, which had once been leased from the Crown by Chamberlain. In 1600 this manor was temporarily extended for debts owed by Nicholas to the Crown, but Sir John Chamberlain†, Sir Thomas’s son, alleged that this was merely a trick by Nicholas to void his father’s old lease to gain possession of the manor.8

As well as strengthening his ties with the Chamberlain family, Nicholas’ marriage also brought him a connection with the south-west, as his mother-in-law was a kinswoman of Sir Thomas Monck*.9 He probably owed his return for Liskeard in 1604 to his connection with the Moncks, who were related by marriage to the borough’s other Member, Sir William Killigrew I*. During the course of the Parliament, Nicholas was appointed to just four committees and made no recorded speeches. In the first session he was appointed to consider a bill for a Gloucestershire landowner, the Catholic Henry Jernigan (7 June), and in the third, bills for the endowment of Northleach grammar school (28 Feb. 1607), for ‘necessary maintenance of husbandry’ in a Herefordshire manor held by Anne of Denmark (4 Mar, 1607), and for the ratification of the transfer of Theobalds to the Crown (30 May).10

Nicholas made his will on 19 July 1610, in which he left £550 in portions to his two younger sons. He was buried on the day of death at Prestbury in accordance with his wishes. By the terms of a settlement of 1606, Prestbury remained in the hands of his widow until she either died or remarried, whereupon it was to pass to his eldest son, Thomas, who sat for Cirencester in 1621.11

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. Rudder, Glos. 710; Vis. Glos. (Harl. soc. xxi), 117; PROB 11/48, f. 475.
  • 2. PROB 11/122, f. 174; PROB 11/180, f. 224.
  • 3. C142/335/27.
  • 4. C2/Jas.I/N3/35.
  • 5. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 142; CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 294.
  • 6. C2/Jas.I/N3/35.
  • 7. PROB 11/62, f. 361.
  • 8. C2/Jas.I/N3/35; A.L. Browne, ‘Title Deeds of the Manor of Prestbury’, Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. lxi. 282; E178/947.
  • 9. Rudder, 705.
  • 10. CJ, i. 233b, 344b, 347b, 377a.
  • 11. PROB 11/122, f. 174; Vis. Glos. (Harl. soc. xxi), 117; C142/335/27.