HESILRIGE (HASELRIGGE), Sir Thomas (c.1565-1630), of Noseley, Leics. and Alderton, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1565, o.s. of Thomas Hesilrige of Noseley and Ursula, da. of Sir Thomas Andrews of Charwelton, Northants.1 educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1582, aged 17; M. Temple 1584.2 m. settlement 25 Aug. 1592,3 Frances (d.1668), da. and h. of William Gorges of Alderton, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 8da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1600;4 kntd. c. Aug. 1608;5 cr. bt. 21 July 1622.6 d. 11 Jan. 1630.7

Offices Held

Commr. depopulation, Leics. 1607,8 subsidy 1608, 1621-2, 1624,9 sheriff 1612-13;10 j.p. Leics. by 1614-at least 1626, Northants. 1628-d.;11 capt. militia horse, Leics. 1616-at least 1619, dep. lt. by 1618-25;12 commr. sewers, Lincs. 1618, Lincs., Rutland and Northants. 1623,13 to survey Leicester forest, Leics. 1626,14 Forced Loan, Leics. 1626-7, Leicester 1627.15


Hesilrige’s ancestors acquired the manor of Noseley in south-east Leicestershire by marriage in 1415. None sat in Parliament, although the John Haselrigge who represented Haslemere in 1589 was probably related to the family.16 Hesilrige himself married the heiress of the manor of Alderton in Northamptonshire, where he more than once had the honour of entertaining the king.17 He may have owed his election for Leicestershire in 1614 to the county’s lord lieutenant, the 5th earl of Huntingdon, although there is no evidence that he was then closely connected with the earl. Heselrige appears only once in the records of the Addled Parliament, on 31 May, when he was appointed to the committee for the bill to restrain ‘common brewers or tipplers’ from serving as justices of the peace.18

In June 1616 Huntingdon appointed Hesilrige to command the Leicestershire cavalry and by 1618 he was one of the earl’s deputy lieutenants. The following year Huntingdon employed him to lobby the Privy Council and to negotiate with the local bishop over the assessment of Leicestershire’s clergy for arms.19 In February 1622 he was summoned before the Privy Council for failing to contribute to the Palatine Benevolence.20 Nevertheless, he acquired a baronetcy the following July.21 He remained in Huntingdon’s favour in the early 1620s. Sometime after 1619 the earl allowed him to resign his captaincy in favour of his eldest son, Donald. The latter was dead by September 1623, at which time Huntingdon appointed Hesilrige’s second son, Arthur†, in his place.22

Hesilrige was almost certainly re-elected for Leicestershire in 1624 at Huntingdon’s nomination. In the Commons he was appointed to six committees, of which four were on private bills. He was also named to consider the bills to restore free trade to the merchants of the Staple (24 Mar.), which was of local interest as Leicester was a staple town. On 27 Apr. he presented the duke of Buckingham’s father-in-law, Francis, 6th earl of Rutland, as a recusant officeholder in Leicestershire. His last committee appointment, on 19 May, was in connection with the hospitals bill.23

During the course of 1624 Hesilrige made over the bulk of his estate to his son Arthur on the latter’s marriage. In the following year he seems to have moved permanently to Alderton. Arthur now became the principal focus of his ambitions, and in April 1625 he applied to Leicester’s corporation seeking a seat for him in the first Caroline Parliament, at which time he described the Commons as ‘the best school in Christendom’. However, Arthur was defeated by Huntingdon’s elder brother, (Sir) George Hastings. Hesilrige’s intervention in Leicester politics almost certainly led to a breach with Huntingdon, as he did not survive Huntingdon’s purge of his deputy lieutenants in 1625. Moreover, the earl subsequently removed Arthur Hesilrige from his place in the Leicestershire militia. However, the breach does not seem to have been permanent, for in September 1625 one of Hesilrige’s younger sons was appointed captain of a militia foot company.24

Hesilrige’s move from Leicestershire to Northamptonshire seems to have created administrative confusion, as he was returned as a Forced Loan defaulter in the former county. His appointment as a magistrate in Northamptonshire in early 1628 suggests that he actually paid the levy at his new home.25 In December 1628 Heselrige was summoned before the Privy Council for defaulting at the Northamptonshire militia musters. His son Arthur appeared on his behalf the following February, which may indicate that by now Hesilrige’s health was declining. Six days later Hesilrige was discharged, having apparently satisfied his new lord lieutenant.26

Hesilrige died intestate on 11 Jan. 1630 and was buried at Noseley. His epitaph described him as one who ‘while he lived, was trusted with the places of greatest honour and power in the county. He was prudent and of impartial justice, of great temperance and sobriety’. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow on 25 Nov. 1630 and a further grant was made 20 Nov. 1649 to his younger son John. Arthur represented Leicestershire in the Short and the Long Parliaments, and became one of the most prominent republicans of the Interregnum.27

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Nichols, County of Leicester, ii. 742.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. Cat. of Pprs. of the Right Honourable Lord Hazlerigg of Noseley (NRA 6043), p. 14.
  • 4. Nichols, ii. 743
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 145.
  • 6. C66/2274/4.
  • 7. C142/454/33.
  • 8. ‘Depopulation Returns for Leics. in 1607’ ed. L.A. Parker, Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xxiii. 232.
  • 9. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 75.
  • 11. C66/1988; E163/18/12, f. 43v; C231/4, f. 242; C66/2527.
  • 12. HEHL, HAM53/6, ff. 22v, 32v, 48, 88v; T. Cogswell, Home Divisions, 43.
  • 13. C181/2, f. 330; 181/3, f. 99.
  • 14. Cal. of Docquets of Ld. Kpr. Coventry ed. J. Broadway, R. Cust and S.K. Roberts (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xxxiv-vii), 29.
  • 15. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145; C193/12/2, ff. 28v, 86v.
  • 16. Nichols, ii. 741; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 268.
  • 17. Nichols, ii. 743.
  • 18. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 394.
  • 19. HEHL, HA6742, HA6745.
  • 20. SP14/127/82.
  • 21. SCL, EM 1284(b).
  • 22. HEHL, HAM53/6, f. 74.
  • 23. CJ, i. 691b, 705a, 747b, 768a, 772a, 776a.
  • 24. HEHL, HAM53/6, ff. 125, 127, 130; Procs. 1625, p. 689; CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 331.
  • 25. SP16/89/5.
  • 26. APC, 1628-9, pp. 263, 318, 323.
  • 27. Nichols, ii. 753; C142/454/33; PROB 6/13, f. 198v; 6/24, f. 135.