VACHELL, Oliver (c.1518-64), of Buriton, nr. Petersfield, Hants and North Marston, Bucks.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1518, yr. s. of Thomas Vachell of Coley, Berks. By 2nd w. Margaret; half-bro. of Thomas Vachell I. m. by 25 Aug. 1537, Margaret, da. of Richard Norton of East Tisted, Hants, 2s. 4da.1

Offices Held

Gent. household of Stephen Gardiner, bp. of Winchester by 1537-55.2


It was certainly to Stephen Gardiner that Oliver Vachell owed his two elections for the bishop’s boroughs. He had married the sister of one of Gardiner’s advisers, John Norton. In 1541 or 1542 he became bailiff of the episcopal manor of Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire, and remained so until his death; he enjoyed the same office at Havant during the 1550s. A fluent French speaker, he accompanied Gardiner on missions abroad and sometimes carried despatches to England. He deposed in favour of his master at Gardiner’s trial in 1551 and was left £20 in his will. Like others of Gardiner’s servants he seems to have remained a Catholic: his eldest son was to be a recusant, as was his nephew Thomas Vachell II.3

Vachell inherited the manor of North Marston in Buckinghamshire; he also acquired, perhaps through his marriage, property near Petersfield which, during his service with Gardiner, he probably made his home. He died on 24 May 1564, his wife surviving him. No will has been found.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Aged ‘a little over 19’ in 1538, LP Hen. VIII, xiii. Vis. Bucks. ed. Metcalfe, 44; I. and A. C. Vachell, Vachell Fam. 148-9; C142/142/109.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xii.
  • 3. Eccles. 2/155883-4, 155900; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xiii; Foxe, Acts and Mons. vi. 136; Letters of Stephen Gardiner ed. Muller, 80, 159; PCC 3 Noodes; Vachell, 148-9.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xx; C142/142/109.