HURLESTON, Richard (d.1589), of Hurleston, Lancs. and Picton, Cheshire.

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

1st s. of Thomas Hurleston of Hurleston and Picton, and bro. of Ralph. m. Elizabeth, da. of James Shawcrosse of Manchester, 5s. 2da.

Offices Held

Servant of Thomas Seymour, Lord Seymour, the lord admiral; servant of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke.

Constable, Chester castle from 12 Nov. 1552; j.p. Cheshire c.1554-6, 1574-5; feodary, Cheshire by 1566-c.1584.


It was most probably the Earl of Pembroke who secured Hurleston his office at Chester during the reign of Edward VI. He became a j.p. in Cheshire until put off the commission under Mary for his religious views. He accompanied Pembroke to France and was present at St. Quentin in 1551. One of the commanders there was the 2nd Earl of Bedford, who was responsible for Hurleston’s return to the 1571 Parliament for Totnes. On Elizabeth’s accession he ‘rejoiced with his friends’ and went to court. He wrote to Pembroke in 1567 about the attitude of the Lancashire Catholics to a possible Spanish invasion, and boasted that he brought in a number of preachers by whose labour the papists’ power had declined. He supported the authorities during the 1569 rising, and was on familiar terms with the Earl of Leicester, whom he had helped to become chamberlain of Chester, ‘being the person most bounden to her Majesty, as I then thought, and furthest from declining from his duty’. An ‘active gentleman’ of long employment and trust, he was made a feodary of Chester, but a long dispute about overlapping jurisdictions with William Glasier ended in his being cited in Star Chamber, probably in 1584, for ‘not being faithful to the Queen’s service’, a charge which he denied in a long mémoire justificatif printed by Strype, upon which this biography is largely based. Perhaps his puritanism had made him enemies, as he maintained—it ruined his brother Ralph in 1587—but he admitted he was both appointed and ‘now discharged’ by Burghley. He died in December 1589. Neither will nor inquisition post mortem has been found. He is to be distinguished from Richard Huddleston, sometimes called Hurlstone, of Oxfordshire, treasurer of the army in the Netherlands under the Earl of Leicester.

Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 130; Vis. Cheshire (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lviii), 133; Ormerod, Cheshire, i. 224; Strype, Annals, iii(1), pp. 396-9; Stowe 571, f. 67; CPR, 1558-60, p. 206; 1566-9, p. 134; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 303; Add. 1580-1625, p. 35; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 76; Rylands Eng. ms 303, f. 106.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe