DALE, Mathew (c.1538-1614), of Paris Garden, Southwark, Surr. and St. Bartholomew the Great, London.

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. c.1538, s. of Mathew Dale of Southwark. educ. M. Temple 1557, called by 1566, bencher 1575, Lent reader 1575, 1584, treasurer 1597. m. 1s. 2da. suc. fa. by 1557.

Offices Held

Dep. recorder (to William Fleetwood I), London c.1580; dep. steward (to Fulk Onslow), Southwark c.1580; subsidy commr. Surr. 1593; j.p. Mdx. from 1591, Surr. from 1610.1


Dale was the duchy of Lancaster candidate at Liverpool in 1572, probably being nominated by Fleetwood, who had recently become recorder of London. Both Dale and Fleetwood were Middle Temple men, and, though no positive evidence has been found connecting them before about 1580, the two may well have had dealings together long before this. Perhaps Dale was already Fleetwood’s deputy by 1572. He was appointed to committees to discuss private bills on 21 May, 22 May, 30 May 1572, and to committees concerning Tonbridge school on 23 May, and the continuance of statutes on 25 June of the same year. In 1576 he attended a committee on letters patent (25 Feb.) and in 1581 he served on a legal committee (26 Jan.). He did not sit again until 1601, when he represented his native Southwark. On 2 Nov. he served on the committee for the reform of the penal laws, and on 19 Nov. he opposed the third reading of the bill about letters patent. He reported the progress of the felt makers bill on 30 Nov., and on 8 Dec. he intervened in the debate on the Belgrave privilege case to recommend that the House ‘resting in doubt herein, the safest course is a conference’. On 12 Dec. he was involved in a ‘foul and great abuse’ during the third reading of the bill for the more diligent attendance at church on Sunday, lost by only one vote. Robert Bowyer II complained that a Member had been restrained from leaving the chamber to vote for the bill. It is not clear whether Dale was the subject or the object of the charge, but Sir William Knollys thought he should ‘answer it at the bar’.2

During his later years Dale attached himself to Michael Hickes, Burghley’s secretary, in 1593 asking him to intercede with Burghley ‘upon whom in many things I do wholly rely’ so that his nomination as serjeant-at-law might not be vetoed at court, which in the event happened, as it appears, upon the disclosure of Dale’s fraudulent behaviour over a wardship. As a commissioner for the examination of offences in London Dale was active against followers of Essex during the 1601 rising.3

Dale made his will on 7 July 1614; it was proved on 5 Sept. following. He asked to be buried in St. Bartholomew’s. To the preacher he left 40s. for a sermon, and a like sum for the poor of the parish. His daughter Mary received £500 and a ‘booke of goulde’ and his other daughter Elizabeth Parker £400 with £100 to her son. His own son Mathew, who had entered the Middle Temple in 1603, was residuary legatee and the executors included Richard Baldwin, under-treasurer of the Middle Temple.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. PCC 97 Lawe; VCH Surr. iv. 89; Surr. Arch. Colls. xviii. 165, 187; C181/14; D. J. Johnson, Southwark and the City, 276-7.
  • 2. J. A. Twemlow, Liverpool Town Bks. ii. 42-3, 1076; CJ, i. 96, 97, 99, 102, 108, 120; D’Ewes, 213, 214, 220, 224, 623, 658, 672; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 321.
  • 3. Lansd. 52, f. 145; 75, ff. 136, 150; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 531; HMC Hatfield, xi. 50.
  • 4. PCC 97 Lawe.