CARVELL, William, of Northampton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

Offices Held

Bailiff, Northampton 1544-5.


This Member’s parentage has not been traced. A landed family of Carvell or Carvyll was settled at Brington, Northamptonshire, in the sixteenth century, but only their arms were recorded in the heralds’ visitations. Since Northampton often returned puritans to Parliament in Elizabeth’s reign, it is possible that the 1559 Member was a relative of Nicholas Carvell, the poet and Marian exile, but apart from the facts that he had a house and garden in Northampton and was bailiff there towards the end of Henry VIII’s reign, almost nothing is known of him. On 28 Feb. 1559 the House of Commons granted him leave of absence. Two other licences of the same date were ‘for sickness’, a note which may apply also to Carvell: the wording is ambiguous. In the following year the Privy Council wrote urging him, as a commissioner for fifteenths and tenths in Northampton, to see that the instalment due was ‘hastened’. His will was proved at Northampton between 1570 and 1577.

Northampton Recs. ii. 560; Harl. 1553, f. 88v; DNB; Ath. Cant. i. 232; Al. Cant. i (1), p. 303; CPR, 1550-3, p. 25; CJ, i. 56; HMC Montagu; 11; Northants. and Rutland Wills (Br. Rec. Soc. Index Lib. i), 76.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge