DELVES, George (d.1604), of Bredgar, Kent.

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

A yr. s. of Sir Henry Delves (d. Aug. 1560), of Doddington, Cheshire by Cecily (d.1563), da. of Sir Richard Broke of London. m. (1) Christian, da. of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Milton, Northants., wid. of Sir Richard Wingfield, 1s. 1da.; (2) 1582, Anne, da. and coh. of Thomas Isley of Bredgar, 2s. 3da. Kntd. 1591.1

Offices Held

Gent. pens. by Jan. 1561; j.p. Cheshire from c.1573, q. by 1596; j.p. Kent by 1597, q. by 1600.2


Delves’s father or grandfather was steward to the 2nd Earl of Rutland, and the connexion continued, Delves himself conveying court gossip to the 3rd Earl, and reporting on the events of the 1571 Parliament. In a letter from court in 1571 Delves mentions Isobel Holcroft, the Earl’s future wife, whom he may have been courting on Rutland’s behalf. Delves’s return for East Retford was doubtless due to the Earl, the most important local magnate. On 13 Mar. 1576 Delves served on the committee for the bill against the malpractices of goldsmiths.3

Delves saw active service in Ireland, perhaps as early as 1557, captained a troop in 1561 and, together with Sir Henry Radcliffe and Sir Henry Stanley, reported on the state of that country in 1564. He acquired lands and a castle in Ireland, and seems to have spent much of his time there. On one of his visits, in 1591, he was knighted by his brother-in-law Sir William Fitzwilliam II, the lord deputy. He was closely associated with the lord deputy’s son, likewise named William Fitzwilliam. With the support of Burghley and Sir Francis Walsingham they successfully applied in 1578 for the grant of the alnage of the new draperies which were being made by foreigners. The grant was particularly unpopular in Norwich, a principal centre of alien settlement, and as early as 1579 the Privy Council asked the two chief justices and the chief baron to inquire into the matter. Nevertheless, the grant was constantly renewed, and the controversy again reached a climax in 1602. By this time, however, Delves was no longer concerned, having apparently resigned his interest in 1595. Together with Lancelot Bostock, Delves held for two years the grant of income from penalties exacted under the statute against non-resident clergy.4

Through his second marriage, Delves acquired an estate in Kent. Late in life, he quarrelled with a neighbour, Sir John Roper, whose son, during the controversy, expressed a hope that Delves would shortly be put off the commission of the peace.5

Delves died in 1604 and on 24 Sept. was buried in London, in St. Dunstan-in-the-West.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 78; Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 522; D. L. Broughton, Recs. of an old Cheshire Fam. 49 and App.; Hasted, Kent, ii. 585.
  • 2. E407/1/2-35.
  • 3. Broughton, 49; HMC Rutland, i. 92-3; Neale, Commons, 203; CJ, i. 115.
  • 4. Cal. Carew Pprs. i. 264; ii. 471; CSP Ire. 1509-73, pp. 403, 471 et passim; R. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, ii. 72; Lansd. 24, f. 7; 26, f. 166; 60, f. 35; 71, f. 112 seq.; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 175; 1591-4, p. 569; 1601-3, p. 248; APC, viii. 370; xi. 46; M. E. Finch, Five Northants. Fams. (Northants. Rec. Soc. xix), 119-20, 190-1.
  • 5. St. Ch. 5/B21/6, D5/19, D26/6, H51/12, H56/6.
  • 6. Guildhall Lib. 10342, f. 206b.