DEPDEN, Nicholas (c.1520-88), of Ludford, Salop and Aston in Kingsland, Herefs.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1520, s. of one Depden of Brampton, Suff. m. by 1553, Catherine, da. of Thomas Trentham of Shrewsbury, Salop, wid. of Thomas Hakluyt (d.1544) of Eyton in Leominster, Herefs. and of Edmund Fox (d.1550) of Ludford.

Offices Held

Commr. relief, Herefs. 1559; escheator Feb.-Nov. 1561.


Depden was a Suffolk man who made his career in the Welsh marches, probably through the patronage of the lawyer Robert Townshend, whose family came from Brampton and who became a member of the council in the marches of Wales. If Townshend also arranged Depden’s marriage to the widow of two former members of the council, he was doing him no favour, for in 1565 the couple separated and an order was made by the council in the marches for the division of their property on the grounds that

the unnatural disagreement arising between the said Nicholas and Katherine hath in these four years last past stirred up such contention, debate and quarrelling about mere follies and trifles, so as the natural love and dutiful zeal of matrimonial estate continued between them for many years is thereby grown so cold.

Depden was classified as a favourer of the Elizabethan church settlement in 1564, but as far as is known never achieved the commission of the peace. Nor did he make any mark in either of the two Elizabethan Parliaments to which he was returned for Leominster, no doubt through his connexion with the council in the marches. In his will of 5 Mar. 1588 (proved six months later), he named Robert Townshend executor and residuary legatee. The preamble strikes a nice balance between opposing religious viewpoints, invoking the intercession of ‘the blessed Virgin Mary’ and the ‘whole blessed company of heaven’, ‘that I may be one of the elect and chosen sort’. Among other bequests the poor of Leominster received £4.

Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 133; NLW Hereford consist. ct. wills box 4 De-Di; Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 113; E179/237/40; E405/115 m6v; C1/1302/3; Req. 2/91/56; Add. 6276, ff. 15, 29, 54, 77; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), xii. 126-8; Cam. Misc. ix(3), pp. 14, 19.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: A. D.K. Hawkyard / P. W. Hasler