Sir Edward North, 1st Baron North

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Edward North, 1st Lord North

Also Known As: "Lord North"
Birthplace: Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Died in Charterhouse, London, Middlesex, England
Place of Burial: Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger North of London and Christiana North
Husband of Alice North and Margaret North
Father of Christian North, Countess of Worcester; Roger North, 2nd Lord North; Sir Thomas North and Mary North
Brother of Joan Wilkinson
Half brother of Jean North; Ellen North and Roger North (Baron)

Occupation: Nobleman, Baron, Lord North of Ribbling, Skinner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Edward North, 1st Baron North

Edward North, 1st Lord North was born circa 1496.4 He was the son of Roger North and Christian Warcup.3 He married, firstly, Alice Squire, daughter of Oliver Squire, circa 1528.4 He married, secondly, Margaret Butler, daughter of Richard Butler, circa 1561.4 He died on 31 December 1564.4

Edward North, 1st Lord North was educated at St. Paul's School, London, England.4 He was educated at Caius College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.4 He was Clerk of the Council of the City of London.4 He was Clerk of Parliament between 1531 and 1540.4 He held the office of King's Serjeant-at-Law in 1536.4 He was Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations in 1540.4 He held the office of Sheriff of Cambridgeshire between 1540 and 1543.4 He was invested as a Knight in 1542.4 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Cambridgeshire between 1542 and 1544.4 He was Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations between 1544 and 1548.4 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) in February 1546.4 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Cambridgeshire between 1547 and 1552.4 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Cambridgeshire in 1553.4 He was created 1st Lord North [England by writ] on 17 February 1553/54.5 He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 1559.4 He lived at Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, England.

Children of Edward North, 1st Lord North and Alice Squire

Christian North+6 d. a 20 Mar 1563/64

Thomas North3

Mary North3

Roger North, 2nd Lord North+3 b. 27 Feb 1530/31, d. 3 Dec 1600


[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume XII/2, page 854. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."

[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003). Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 1690.

[S21] L. G. Pine, The New Extinct Peerage 1884-1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms (London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1972), page 206. Hereinafter cited as The New Extinct Peerage.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume XII/2, page 853.

Court of Augmentations: (from

Court of Augmentations, in Reformation England, the most important of a group of financial courts organized during the reign of Henry VIII; the others were the courts of General Surveyors, First Fruits and Tenths, and Wards and Liveries. They were instituted chiefly so that the crown might gain better control over its lands and finances. The Court of Augmentations was instituted in 1535 to handle the various financial and property problems brought on by the dissolution of the monasteries after Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic church.

The English title of Lord North of Kirtling was created for Edward North (c. 1496-1564), son of Roger North, a London citizen, in 1554; he was a successful lawyer, clerk of the parliament (1531) and chancellor of the court of augmentations (1545).

(From: 'Kirtling', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 57-63):

Under the first four Lords North from the 1530s to 1677 Kirtling Hall was one of the homes of the wealthy household of a family prominent in public affairs. Until 1625 it was occupied only spasmodically because Edward North (d. 1564) was in government office until 1558, while Roger (d. 1600) and until 1625 Dudley (d. 1666) were courtiers and soldiers. All three often lived elsewhere, though Roger in particular spent much time at Kirtling, where he was an efficient lord lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and an active magistrate of puritan inclinations. When in residence he was accompanied by a very large household which included a secretary, a physician, several dozen gentlemen and yeomen retainers, a cook, footmen, a fool, a groom porter, and many menials. When they were away from Kirtling, the house and estate were in the custody of a senior gentleman servant: in 1574 Hugh Wood, the lessee of the rectory manor, and in 1600 the wealthy William Ball.

In 1625 Dudley, 3rd Lord North, retired from court and from then until his son's death in 1677 the house was occupied almost constantly. In the 1650s the household rather conservatively still included gentlemen ushers, a resident steward, and a clerk of the kitchen, besides two French servants (a valet de chambre and a gentleman waiter). The dowager Lady North (d. 1677) had her own usher, footman, gentlewoman, and chambermaid. The 3rd and 4th Lords were notable patrons of music at Kirtling Hall, went shooting and coursing over the estate, kept up a large and well-stocked deer park, pursued literary interests, and played an active part in local and county administration.

(From the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons):

Son of Roger North of London by Christian, dau. of Richard Warcup of Sinnington, Yorks. Educated St. Paul's; ?Peterhouse, Camb, L. Inn, adm. 1 Jul 1522. Married first, c. 1528, Alice (bur. 22 Aug 1560), da. of Oliver Squire of Southby, Hants, widow of John Brigandine of Southampton, Hants, and Edward Murfyn of London, 2 sons, inc. Roger; 2 dau.; married secondly Margaret (d. 2 Jun 1575), dau. of Richard Butler of London, widow of Andrew Francis and Robert Chertsey, both of London, and David Brooke of Horton, Glos. and London. Suc. family Nov 1509. Kntd.? 16 Jan 1542; cr Lord North of Kirtling 1554. Steward, L. Inn 1528-30. ?Clerk of the council of the city of London in late 1520s; clerk of the Parliaments Feb 1531-Sep 1540 King's serjeant-at-law in 1536; j.p. Cambs. 1536-d., Hunts. 1554-d., I. o. Ely 1564, Mdx. and Suff. 1562-d.; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1542-3; treasurer, ct. augmentations Mar 1540-Apr. 1544; jt. (with Sir Richard Rich) chancellor Apr-Jul 1544, sole Jul 1544-Aug. 1548; commr. benevolence, Cambs. and Hunts. 1544/45. relief, Cambs., Hunts. and London 1550, for heresies 1557; other commissions 1535-d.; auditor, Queen Catherine Parr's accts. 1546; PC 12 Mar 1547-Jul 1553; Ld. Lt. Cambs. and I. o. Ely 1557-d.; trier of petitions in the Lords, Parlts. of 1558, 1559 and 1563.

Although Edward North's father Roger, a younger son, was settled in London at the time of his death, he had been born in Nottinghamshire where the less enterprising members of his family remained. Roger North made no mention of his three young children in the will which he made on 19 Nov 1509 and which was proved 11 days later. Apart from two small bequests to the church of St. Michael in Quern, he left all his possessions to his wife Christian whom he appointed executrix. His only son Edward was sent to the newly-founded St. Paul's school under William Lily, where his contemporaries and friends included Anthony Denny, William Paget, Thomas Wriothesley and John Leland, who later addressed to North a 38-line Latin poem recalling their school-days together.

Edward North may have continued his studies for a short time at Cambridge before being admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1522; the suggestion that he attended Peterhouse lacks confirmation despite his later benefactions to that college. Until 1530 his name appears regularly in the records of his inn. It was probably at the instance of his brother-in-law, Alderman William Wilkinson, that he obtained employment in a legal capacity with the corporation of London. He may have been the Edward North described as of London, who in 1525 received a pardon from the King for some unknown offenses, and was certainly the gentleman of that name who two years later was admitted to the Mercers’ Company by redemption.

While still at Lincoln's Inn North appears to have caught the attention of Sir Brian Tuke, treasurer of the chamber, a man of considerable learning and ability, who was the patron of many promising young men. It may have been such works as a poem he wrote about 1525 on the decay of the realm that first brought him to Tuke's notice. The poem, composed of stanzas of seven and written in English in the manner of Lydgate, condemned both the nobility and the clergy for a moral decline which only the grace of God and the nobility of the King and his Queen could arrest. North's appointment to the clerkship of the Parliaments was in survivorship with Tuke who had previously held the office undivided from 17 Apr 1523. North was the junior partner on whom there should have fallen the work involved while Tuke busied himself with other duties. In a letter of 1 Jun 1539 to Cromwell, Tuke reported an outbreak of measles where he was staying and so excused himself from attendance at Parliament as he had ‘no business but what Mr. North can do’.

The career of Edward North closely parallels that of Sir Richard Rich, although without the unsavory self-serving and willing betrayal of friends and patrons. In 1531 he was appointed clerk of the Parliament and was raised to the rank of serjeant-at-law. By 1536 he was named one of the king's serjeants. In 1541 he resigned as clerk of the Parliament on his appointment of treasurer of the Court of Augmentations, created to handle the dissolution of the monasteries, a court on which Rich also served. In 1541 he was knighted and elected as a knight of the shire of Cambridge to Parliament. In 1545 he was made co-chancellor, with Rich, of the Court of Augmentations, and became sole chancellor on Rich's resignation. The following year he became a member of the Privy Council and received large grants of estates from the crown.

The 9th Lord la Warr asked Cromwell on 11 Jan 1532 to send his leave of absence from Parliament straight to North; in the following year Sir Thomas Audley sent to North to obtain the Act of Annates so that he could make the ratification desired by the King; in 1534 copies of the protest against the bill of farms were supplied by him on demand; and in 1536 Cromwell obtained from him copies of the Acts concerning Wimbledon, Carnaby's lands and uses. Such recurrent applications to North, far from demonstrating his mastery of the business, may well point in a different direction. It appears that during North's clerkship (and beyond) no Acts of Parliament were enrolled in Chancery, a circumstance which, while it may be linked with changes in procedure, is also suggestive of neglect of duty.

North's marriage to the widow of two merchants not only gave him financial security but permitted him the opportunity to speculate on the land market. On 1 Jan 1533 he bought the manor of Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, which was to become his principal seat and the nucleus of his estates in East Anglia and the Fenlands. The title to Kirtling proved doubtful and North temporarily lost possession as the result of a lawsuit in 1534. Receiving the manor back from the King, North made certain of his ownership by an Act (28 Hen. VIII, c.40) passed during the Parliament of 1536 and shortly afterwards he began a splendid reconstruction of the house. About the same time the King acquired the manor of Edmonton, Middlesex, from North and William Browne, and it was probably in connexion with this sale that North agreed to forbear payment by the King till later. Grants in recognition of his services helped to consolidate North's gradually increasing properties.

His work as clerk of the Parliaments brought North into close contact with Cromwell, for whom he was making confidential reports by 1535. This relationship was probably decisive in North's appointment to the court of augmentations in 1540. It was to be over three years before North was required to render an account as treasurer of that department: although this showed a balance due from him of almost £25,000, after his elevation to the joint chancellorship he paid over little more than £22,000 to his successor. When the King was informed of this discrepancy, he summoned North from his bed in the Charterhouse early one morning to defend his conduct; this North was able to do although at the price of an arrangement settling the matter by an exchange of lands favourable to the King. Although North had used his position to line his pocket and continued to do so throughout his connexion with the court, his financial reputation was unimpaired and he was frequently commissioned to audit accounts under Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary. Secure in Henry VIII's esteem, North was confirmed in his office as chancellor on the eve of the King's death, was appointed an executor of his will (as was Rich), and was bequeathed £300.

In 1547, Henry VIII forced the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cramner to exchange a group of Manors including Headstone for other land. Legally the King was now Lord of Headstone Manor, but within days the whole group of Manors were sold to Edward North for £7,337.6s.8d.

The beginning of the new reign saw North made a Privy Councillor and reappointed to the chancellorship, but he was soon to be antagonized by the Protector Somerset who in Aug 1548 connived at his being eased out of his office in favour of Richard Sackville. This act was to cost the Protector dear, for in the coup d'état against him a year later North was one of the first to join the dissident Councillors in London and to sign the letter listing the Protector's offences.

North had been returned as one of the knights of the shire for Cambridgeshire to the Parliament of 1542, at the opening of which he was probably knighted along with a number of other royal officials; he may have sat in the Parliament of 1545 for which the return does not survive, and he did so in that of 1547. His name appears in the Act of 1543 (34 and 35 Hen. VIII, 24) settling the payment of Cambridgeshire knights of the shire. Nothing further is known of his activities in the House until the second session of the Parliament of 1547, when on 12 Feb 1549 he was one of those appointed to hear and determine, if they could, the bill against Nicholas Hare. During the third session, the Acts for a general pardon, for a churchyard in West Drayton, for the restitution of William Hussey, and for the fine and ransom of the Duke of Somerset, were signed by North among others, and in the fourth, the original bill fixing the time for the sale of wool was committed to him and Sir Martin Bowes after its third reading on 18 Mar 1552.

As a partisan of the Duke of Northumberland, North was recommended by the Privy Council to the sheriff and freeholders of Cambridgeshire for election to the Parliament of Mar 1553, and he was duly returned with the Council's other nominee, James Dyer. North witnessed the device to alter the succession, Edward VI's will, and the letter of 9 Jul 1553 in support of Queen Jane. There may, however, have been a measure of disagreement between North and Northumberland as the Charterhouse, which North had held since 1545 and which was apparently still his at the beginning of 1553, escheated to the crown on the duke's attainder later that year.

As soon as it became clear that there was no support for Queen Jane, North joined the exodus from London of Privy Councillors to submit to Mary, who was a little distrustful of a man who had been so sympathetic towards Northumberland. His appointment as a Privy Councillor was not renewed, although he was raised to the baronage as Lord North of Kirtling, the Charterhouse was restored to him, and he continued to serve on important commissions, including the one for heresy in 1557 and those connected with monetary reform. In 1554 he was one of the escort for Felipe of Spain from Southampton to Winchester for his marriage in Jul, and he bore the sword before Felipe at the reception of Cardinal Pole at Westminster in Nov. Foxe records the story, without giving it credence, of a woman living near Aldersgate in 1555 who claimed to have been approached by North to surrender her recently delivered baby to him at the time when the termination of the Queen's (false) pregnancy was expected.

Immediately after Elizabeth's accession, she visited North at the Charterhouse between 23 and 29 Nov 1558. This stay did not betoken the new Queen's confidence in him nor did it lead to North's taking a more important role in the country's affairs. Pardoned for general offences, he was employed to hear claims to do service at the coronation and to discover the extent of alienation of crown lands during the previous reigns. His opposition to several government-backed measures, including the Act of Uniformity, in the Parliament of 1559 must have destroyed any chance that he had of appointment. Elizabeth paid a second visit to the Charterhouse between 10 and 13 Jul 1561. Later in 1564 the Bishop of Ely reported that in religion North was ‘quite comformable’. Shortly afterwards North retired from public affairs.

North made his will on 20 Mar 1563 asking to be buried at Kirtling beside the body of his first wife. He left his second wife Margaret jewels, £500 and leases in Chertsey, London and Southwark, and provided for his children and grandchildren. His executors were to be Sir William Cordell and Sir James Dyer and his supervisors Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Sir William Petre. A third of his property in Cambridge and Huntingdonshire, Middlesex and Suffolk he bequeathed to the Queen; of the remainder nearly all was left to his son Sir Roger. By a codicil of 30 Dec 1564 he ordered the Charterhouse to be sold to pay for his funeral expenses and Roger's debts. He died the following day at the Charterhouse and was buried at Kirtling early in the new year.

The English title of Lord North was created for Edward. Successful lawyer, clerk of the parliament & chancellor of the court of augmentations.

Edward North, 1st Baron North (c. 1496–1564) was an English peer and politician. He was the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire 1559–1564 and Clerk of the Parliaments. A successful lawyer, he was awarded a title, Baron North, created for him.


Born about 1496, was the only son of Roger North, a citizen of London, by Christian, daughter of Richard Warcup of Sinnington, Yorkshire, and widow of Ralph Warren. He studied at St. Paul's School under William Lilye.[1]

His father died in 1509, when Edward was in his fourteenth year, and he later entered Peterhouse, Cambridge; but he seems never to have proceeded to a degree. He then entered one of the inns of court, was called to the bar, and became counsel for the city of London, probably through the influence of Alderman Wilkinson, who had married his sister Joan.

In 1531 he was appointed clerk of the parliament, and was associated in that office with Sir Brian Tuke. In 1536 he appears as one of the king's serjeants. In 1541 he resigned his office as clerk of the parliament, on being appointed treasurer of the court of augmentations, a court created by the king for dealing with the estates which had been confiscated by the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1541 he was knighted, and became one of the representatives for the county of Cambridge in parliament. On the resignation of the chancellorship by Sir Thomas Audley in 1544, he was deputed, together with Sir Thomas Pope, to receive the great seal, and to deliver it into the hands of the king. In 1545 he was one of a commission of inquiry as to the distribution of the revenues of certain cathedrals and collegiate churches, and about the same time he was promoted, with Sir Richard Rich, chancellor of the court of augmentations, and on the resignation of his colleague he became sole chancellor of the court. In 1546 he was made a member of the privy council, received some extensive grants of abbey lands, and managed by prudence to retain the favour of his sovereign, though on one occasion towards the end of his reign Henry VIII was induced to distrust him, and even to accuse him of peculation, a charge of which he cleared himself. He was named as one of the executors of King Henry's will, and a legacy of £300 was bequeathed to him.

On the accession of Edward VI North was induced, under pressure, to resign his office as chancellor of augmentations. He continued on the privy council during the young king's reign, and was one of those who attested his will, but his name does not appear among the signatories of the deed of settlement disinheriting the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. North was among the supporters of Lady Jane Gray.

He was not only pardoned by Mary, but again sworn of the privy council, and on 5 April 1554 he was summoned to parliament as a baron of the realm by the title of Lord North of Kirtling. He was chosen among other lords to receive Philip II of Spain at Southampton on 19 July 1554, and was present at the marriage of the queen. In the following November he attended at the reception of Cardinal Pole at St. James's, and he was in the commission for the suppression of heresy in 1557.

On the accession of Elizabeth she kept her court for six days (23 to 29 November 1558) at Lord North's mansion in the London Charterhouse, and some time afterwards he was appointed lord-lieutenant of the county of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. He was not, however, admitted as a privy councillor, though his name appears as still taking part in public affairs. In the summer of 1560 he lost his first wife, who died at the Charterhouse, but was carried with great pomp to Kirtling to be buried. Lord North entertained the queen a second time at the Charterhouse for four days, from 10 to 13 July 1561. Soon after this he retired from court, and spent most of his time at Kirtling in retirement. He died at the Charterhouse on 31 December 1564, and was buried at Kirtling, beside his first wife, in the family vault. His monumental inscription may still be seen in the chancel of Kirtling Church.


Lord North was twice married. About his thirty-third year he married Alice, daughter of Oliver Squier of Southby, Hampshire, and widow of John Brockenden of Southampton, with whom he acquired a fortune large enough to enable him to purchase the estate of Kirtling, near Newmarket, which still remains in the possession of his descendants. By Alice he had two sons: Roger North, 2nd Baron North, and Sir Thomas North, translator of Plutarch's ‘Lives,’ and two daughters: Christiana, wife of William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester, and Mary, wife of Henry Scrope, 9th Baron Scrope of Bolton.

His second wife was Margaret, daughter of Richard Butler of London, and widow of, first, Sir David Brooke, chief baron of the exchequer; secondly, of Andrew Francis; and, thirdly, of Robert Charlsey, alderman of London. She survived till 2 June 1575. This lady, like his first wife, brought her husband a large fortune, which he left to her absolutely by his will.

Edward Myrfin is the son of Sir Thomas Myrfin.1 He married Alice Squire, daughter of Oliver Squire.1
    Edward Myrfin was a skinner.1


[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1690. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

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Sir Edward North, 1st Baron North's Timeline

Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire, England
Age 31
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Age 32
February 27, 1530
Age 34
St. Thomas Thorppestyll, Middlesex, England
- 1540
Age 35
London, Middlesex, England
Age 39
Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, England
- present
Age 40
London, Middlesex, England
Age 42
Bolton, Lancashire, England
- present
Age 44
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
- present
Age 44
Court of Augmentations