TRESHAM, George (by 1519-55 or later), of Newton-in-the-Willows, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1519, 2nd s. of Richard Tresham by Isabel, da. of Fulke Woodhull of Thenford. m. disp. 26 May 1540, Elizabeth, da. of one Savage, s.p.1

Offices Held

Gent. waiter, household of Prince Edward by 1545-7.2


The identity of the George Tresham returned for Northampton with William Chauncy to the second Parliament of Edward VI’s reign is not easy to establish. He was doubtless a member of the well known local family where George was a baptismal name favoured for younger sons, at least two of its bearers being active in the early 1550s. The son of Sir Thomas Tresham who in 1551 shared a grant of ex-monastic land with his father was a cousin to one of the knights for the shire, Robert Lane, but in 1553 he was only in his second year of study at Gray’s Inn. Little else has come to light about him: as his father was an executor of Bishop Chamber’s will he is probably to be identified with the man who in 1555 accompanied Sir Thomas Tresham to the bishop’s funeral, and in 1559 he received a legacy of £100 from his father. The Member, however, is more likely to have been a distant, and more elderly, relative who did not share the Catholicism of the senior branch of the family and who had held a post in Edward VI’s household before the King’s accession: one of his relations, Robert Saunders, sat in the Parliament for Brackley.3

George Tresham inherited the former Mulsho domicile at Newton but he seems to have made no mark until his marriage with the last abbess of the Minories in London. It was evidently a profitable match for he soon began to enlarge his inheritance by purchase and lease, sometimes in partnership with Paul Darrell and Edmund Twyneho, and in 1544 he exchanged her pension for the rectories of Great and Little Newton which seven years later he sold to a brother of his kinsman and namesake. On different occasions Sir Thomas Wriothesley and Queen Catherine Parr wrote on his behalf to the chancellor of the court of augmentations, and it was perhaps as a result of their intervention that he obtained some properties so favourably: in 1551 the evaluation of several sales to him were shown to be ‘imperfect’ and he paid the difference. Some of the land thus acquired was in Northampton and this presumably qualified him for election there. Nothing is known about his part in the House, but after the dissolution a dispute arising from his lease of a rabbit-warren on the outskirts of the town was referred to the mayor for arbitration. Tresham is last glimpsed in November 1555 when he leased various properties at Kingthorpe near Northampton. Most of his lands passed eventually into the possession of his nephew Maurice Tresham, who made Newton one of his own homes.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Northants., ed. Metcalfe, 50-51; Fac. Off. Reg. 1534-49, ed. Chambers, 216.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xx; Royal 7 C16, f. 94; LC2/2, f. 53v.
  • 3. Vis. Northants. 201; CPR, 1550-3, pp. 200-3; PCC 25 Ketchyn, 19 Chaynay; Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 348; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, pp. 576-7; Northants. Past and Present, v. 91-93.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xvi, xix-xxi; Bridges, Northants. i. 521, 551, 563; ii. 310 seq.; CPR, 1548-9, p. 170; 1549-51, p. 130; 1554-5, p. 51; 1555-7, pp. 108-9; 1566-9, pp. 252, 332, 373; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 422n; E315/223, f. 21, 224, f. 500; C1/1386/54-60; St.Ch.3/2/17; Recs. Northampton, ed. Cox and Markham, ii. 130-1.