STATHAM, Henry (d.1535).
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Family and Education
The Henry Statham returned as junior Member for Nottingham to the Parliament of 1529 with the recorder, Sir Anthony Babington, could have been either of two men. One was a son of Robert Statham of London and of Bleasby, Nottinghamshire, the other the son and heir of John Statham of Gonalston, Nottinghamshire. Coming from the same part of the shire and both having interests in Nottingham itself, the two were probably related, and although nothing has been discovered to show whether they were connected with the ancient Derbyshire family of the same name, the second of them is known to have held land within eight miles of that family’s seat at Morley. Nicholas Statham, a younger son in the Morley family, who sat in two Parliaments during the 15th century, had been a distinguished lawyer of Lincoln’s Inn and one or other of the men in question was probably the Henry Statham who had become a butler of Lincoln’s Inn by February 1505 and who four years later was admitted to the fellowship of the inn.2
A Henry Statham is to be found at work in Nottingham during the 1520s: in 1523 he acted as surety for Henry Shepherd at his admission to the freedom, five years later he was named an overseer of the will of John Rose, an influential alderman, who left £10 to be spent upon the highways under Statham’s direction, and in the following year he was an executor of the will of John Williamson. A later will, that of John Plough, made in July 1538, refers to his earlier (but undated) appointment as a feoffee of Henry Statham, who was the mayor’s clerk at the time but who had since been replaced in office. Statham had also been auditor for Lenton priory and in 1541 his executors Edmund Knightley and Henry Parker were found to be in arrears with the rent of property that had previously belonged to the priory. Knightley was probably the Member for Wilton in the Parliament of 1529, a Middle Templar, and there had been a Henry Parker at Lincoln’s Inn in 1516, perhaps the son of Lord Morley who sat in Parliament for Hertfordshire in 1539 and 1547.3
Of the two men thus far undifferentiated, the first, Henry Statham of Bleasby, married the daughter of a Nottingham merchant and is known to have had a claim to a tenement in that town called the White Hart. He was a son of Robert Statham, a London mercer who acquired property in Nottinghamshire, which may have been his native shire, and who settled at Bleasby, 11 miles to the north east of Nottingham. Two of this mercer’s sons, Robert and William, followed the same trade. Henry Statham was evidently holding Bleasby by 1502, when he quarrelled with the vicar. His father was buried in the neighbouring Thurgarton abbey and both his brothers, who died early in the 1520s, left bequests to Bleasby church.4
The second Henry Statham is even more obscure: all that is known for certain of him is that in July 1530, styled of Nottingham and described as the son and heir of the late John Statham of Gonalston, he sold lands in Derbyshire to Thomas Mellors, then mayor of Nottingham. He may have been the man commissioned, together with Sir Anthony Babington and Richard Simon, by Chancellor More to investigate a local dispute, being then described as of Nottingham, perhaps to distinguish him from his namesake of Bleasby. No will or inquisition post mortem has been discovered for either man but the Member is known to have died on 25 Jan. 1535, a little more than a month after the close of the seventh session, and to have been immediately replaced by Nicholas Quarnby, who had married into the Mellors family.5
With nothing on which to base a confident choice between the two, preference may be given to the Henry Statham who was at one time the mayor’s clerk and who may well also have been the former butler of Lincoln’s Inn. His Derbyshire holdings, in so far as they provide a connexion with the earlier Nicholas Statham, suggest that the butler was Henry Statham who sold land to Thomas Mellors in 1530. Moreover, it was presumably he who appeared in 1522-23 as a feoffee with one of the Coffin family and who was also a trustee for Sir Roger Mynors’ wife. Since Nottingham was one of the boroughs for which the King had asked for the election writ to be sent to him, such connexions might well help to explain the choice of Henry Statham.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Authors: C. J. Black / Alan Davidson
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 2. Derbys. Chs. ed. Jeayes, 66; Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 134, 153.
- 3. Nottingham Bor. Recs. iii. 161, 174; Test. Ebor. v (Surtees Soc. lxxix), 266, 280; N. Country Wills, i. (Surtees Soc. cxvi), 157; J. T. Godfrey, Lenton, 178; LP Hen. VIII, xvi.
- 4. C1/443/34; Test. Ebor. iv (Surtees Soc. liii), 63-64; PCC 32 Bodfelde, 26 Maynwaring; H. L. Williams, Bleasby, 8-9.
- 5. Derbys. Chs. 66; C1/741/24; C219/18A/10.
- 6. C142/64/156; Derbys. Arch. Soc. Jnl. xv. 39.