ANDERSON, Henry (1545-1605), of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. and Haswell Grange, co. Dur.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Family and Education

b. 1545. 1st s. of Bertram Anderson, alderman of Newcastle, by Alice, da. of Ralph or Robert Carr of Newcastle. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1565; G. Inn 1566. m. (1) Isabella (d. 12 Aug. 1582), da. and coh. of Christopher Morland of Pittington, co. Dur., 4da.; (2) Fortune, da. of Sir Cuthbert Collingwood of Eslington, Northumb., 8s. 1a. suc. fa. 1571.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Newcastle 1571-2, alderman 1575, mayor 1575-6, 1583-4, 1594-5; j.p. Northumb, from 1577, co. Dur. 1584; sheriff, Northumb. 1586-7.


Anderson, like his father, was a prominent member of the Newcastle corporation. In 1589 and 1593 he shared the representation of the town with his cousin Henry Mitford, and the family group, which included the Carrs, was well known for its active work on behalf of the privileges of Newcastle and of the merchants company. Anderson is mentioned in the parliamentary records of 1584 as serving on a committee for the better observing of the Sabbath day (27 Nov.), and as burgess for Newcastle he could also have served on a committee about Hartlepool pier ( Feb. 1589). He was ‘licensed to depart about her Majesty’s service’ on 24 Mar. 1589.

During his first mayoralty, while the see of Durham was vacant, Anderson tried to annex Gateshead to Newcastle. William Fleetwood, then escheator of Durnham, prevented this by warning Burghley that whereas Gateshead was protestant, the Newcastle corporation was predominantly Catholic, ‘save Anderson, and yet he is so knit ... with the papists that aiunt ait negant negat’. In 1577 Anderson was the town’s suitor to Walsingham for a £40 annuity out of the customs. His later quarrels with members of the corporation arose over a lease which he and William Selby I, as trustees or ‘grand lessees’ for Newcastle, obtained from the Queen in 1583. This gave the town control of the manors of Gateshead and Whickham, with valuable coal deposits: in 1591 Anderson and Selby were paying the bishop of Durham an annual rent of £107 15s.8d. Quarrels broke out among the aldermen and burgesses over the administration of the mines, and these exacerbated the disputes already taking place in the corporation about the control of the government of the town. In 1592 Anderson wrote to the 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, president of the council in the north, complaining of ‘defects of government’ at Newcastle, and suggesting that the Earl should ask Burghley’s permission to intervene. Matters came to a head in 1597 with appeals from leading Newcastle citizens to the Privy Council. Anderson and Selby were accused of appropriating the mines to their own use, embezzling profits, rigging corporation elections to keep out those who were not grand lessees of Gateshead and Whickham, and blocking attempts to reform the government of the town. The quarrel apparently died down when Newcastle received a new charter in 1600.2

Apart from his public career, little is known of Anderson. In May 1589 he was trading with Turkey through the Levant company, and there is a reference, dated March 1591, to his trade with Italy. In 1593 he was a commissioner for the customs on exported cloth, while six years later he was one of those appointed for the ‘suppression of schism’ in his district. He died at the beginning of August 1605, and was buried at Pittington. His will, dated 1 Aug., was proved at Durham. His estates in Northumberland and Durham descended to his son Henry, who represented Newcastle in the Parliament of 1614.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.C.H.


  • 1. R. Welford, Men of Mark ’twixt Tyne and Tweed, i. 47-50, 69-74; R. Welford, Hist. Newcastle and Gateshead, ii. 339, 436, 465, 488; iii. 48, 77, 112-23, 134, 170; C142/135/47, 156/30.
  • 2. D’Ewes, 333, 440, 452; Lansd. 66, f. 219; HMC Hatfield, iv. 208; APC, xxv. 222, 382; xxvi. 512; xxviii. 225, 288, 311, 317; xxix. 181, 295, 357.
  • 3. Lansd. 60, f. 8; 140, f. 11; Welford, Men of Mark, i. 47-50, 69-74; Surtees Soc. ii. 164; C142/135/47; 156/30.