QUARNBY, Humphrey (d.c.1566), of Swine Green, Nottingham.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

o.s. of Thomas Quarnby by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Henry Tickhill. m. Elizabeth, da. and h. of Robert Mellors of Nottingham, at least 3s. 3da.

Offices Held

Alderman, Nottingham by 1541, sheriff 1534-5, mayor 1542-3, 1549-50, 1555-6, 1562-3.


Quarnby, whose family may have taken its name from the village of Quarnby in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was a bell-founder, and active in Nottingham civic affairs for over 30 years. His fortunate marriage to a lady whose grandmother, Dame Agnes Mellors, had re-endowed the Free Grammar School, allied him to a family prominent in the town. He became a warden of the school, and, by the accession of Elizabeth, had occupied nearly every civic office at least once. In 1561 he represented the town in a dispute between the town and the warden of the hospital of St. John.

He was returned to Parliament for the last time during his fourth term as mayor. On 22 Mar., however, shortly after the session began, he was granted leave of absence, perhaps because of illness, and died before the next session began in September 1566. In his will, made in May 1565 and proved at York almost a year later, he asked to be buried next to his father-in-law, Robert Mellors, in St. Mary’s church. He divided his considerable property into three parts, ‘according to the custom of the province’, the first part to his wife, the executrix; the second to his surviving children; and the remainder under the heading of general legacies. The preamble to the will, in which he bequeathed his soul to God, the blessed Virgin Mary and ‘all the celestial company of heaven’, suggests that he was a Catholic. A difficulty may have arisen over the will: it was proved again in the prerogative court of Canterbury as late as February 1572. Quarnby’s 1572. Quarnby’s youngest daughter, Margery, married John Gregory, who was mayor of Nottingham in 1561.

Nottingham Recs. iii. 194, 225, 443, 465; iv. 20, 101, 108, 124-8, 395, 396, 416-18; Thoroton, Notts. ed. Throsby, ii. 40-1; T. Bailey, Notts. Annals, 394; J. Blackner, Nottingham Hist. 115-18; VCH Notts. ii. 216 seq; CJ, i. 70; D’Ewes, 89; York prob. reg. 17/545; PCC 3 Daper; J. T. Godfrey, Notes on St. Mary’s Par. Regs. of Nottingham, 4, n. 9.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.