Sir Hugh Cholmley's Memoirs

York Minster Library: Add. 343

ff 6–7


...He was of ye tallest stature of men about ye height of his father but slender & well shaped. His Mother a very beautyfull ⸢woeman⸣ contributeing as did his Grand Mother to ye whitening of those blacke shadowes formerly incident to ye family; for when he was very young his haire was f of a light couller & his complection fayre, & acting ye parte of woeman in a commodedy at Trenety collidge of ⸢in⸣ Cambridg he did it with great applause & was esteemed beautifull; yet being growne to bee a man his complection grew browne & something inclinable to swarthy which yet may be ascribed rather to his much rydeing in the sonne & much using of field sports in his youth | rather then to nature; for the skinne of his body was of a passeing white & of a a very smouth graine ⸢<.> he⸣ had a most incomparable sweet breath; in soe much at many times one would have thought it had carried a perfume or sweet odarifferus smell with it, the haire of his head was chestnut browne & ye end of his locks curled and turned up very gracefully, with out that frisling which his father Sir Henrys was inclyned to, his beard a ‸⸢yellowish⸣ light browne al<..>e & thinne before upon ye chinne as was his fathers his eies graye his face and visage long with a handsome Roman nose, of a very winning aspect a gracefull most manly & gracefull presence; he had alsoe a rare voice beeing booth sweet & strong nature affording him in singeing those graces ‸⸢in singing⸣ which others ‸⸢endever⸣ to by art & practisse, all which renderd him favoured amongst the femall sex; He was very valliant as appeared upon divers occations but more perticulerly his beeing several tymes in ye field upon duels & not with out provocation for he was ⸢a⸣s farre from giuing offence as taking it vpon sleight causes; when he was about ye age of 23 yeares comeing to London he went to see a a play at Blacke Friers & comeing late was forced to take a stoole to sitt on ye stage as diuers others did, & as ye Custome was betweene euery seane stood vp to refresh him selfe & whilst ⸢he⸣ was in yat posture a young Gallant very braue clapped him selfe vpon his seat Sir Richards stoole, which he conceyueing was only to ease ye gentleman for a while, did not demaund his seate, which this Gallant perceyueing he beganne to laugh & i<.>eare ‸⸢sayeing⸣ here is a young gentleman I haue not only put by his seat but beares it very patiently, & soe continued ieasting & making sport, which in soe much as ye company tooke notice thereof, where vpon Sir Richard said Sir is ‸⸢it⸣ not suffitient to doe mee an iniury but you must boast of it, & wispering him in ye eare said if you bee a gentle man follow mee & presently Sir Richard went out & ye gallant followed, & comeing in to an open place, close by, ye gentleman said what doe you meane, sayth Sir Richard yat you giue mee immediatly satisfaction with your sword for ye iniury ⸢affront⸣ you haue done mee, Sir replyed ye Gallant I haue noe sword, then bye one sayth Sir Richard, but I haue noe mony about mee quoath ye Gallant, I will furnish you sayth Sir Richard & carring him to a Cutlers shoppe close by ye Gallant turned ouer many but could finde none to please him, in soe much as Sir Richard offerd his owne & offerd to ‸⸢would⸣ take any other but nether did yat please my Gallant who whilst he thus tryfled away ⸢ye⸣ tyme, & his man came & brought with him a Constable, & suddenly claspeing | his armes about Sir Richards middle, said Mr Constable lay hold on him this is he will kill my ladyes eldest sonne, And ye Constable presently comaundinge him to keepe ye kings peace Sir Richard seeing him selfe sirprised said he ment ye gentleman noe harme though he hath done mee ⸢him⸣ iniury of which ‸⸢said Sir Richard⸣ I will make you Mr Constable ye iudge, & soe drawing ye Gallant out of ye shoppe vpon pretence to relate ye matter to the Constable as soone as they were in ye street Sir Richard gaue ye Gallant two or 3 gud blowes & with all strucke vp his heeles & then turned to ye Constable & said I pro now ‸⸢Mr⸣ Constable promise you not to meddle further with my ladyes eldest sonne who was willing to bee gon with his beateing, who And though a great Gallant & Gamster about ye towne & one yat much frequented ye ordnaryes & places where com there was most resort of company he neuer appeared amongst them after


  • Footnotes
    • He: ie, Sir Richard Cholmley (1580–1631)
    • commodedy: for commedy
    • rather then: also written as catchwords at the foot of f 6; both words cancelled with then written out again
    • a a: dittography
    • Richard: written in left margin
    • his: also written as a catchword on f 6v
  • Endnote
  • Document Description

    Record title: Sir Hugh Cholmley's Memoirs
    Repository: York Minster Library
    Shelfmark: Add. 343
    Repository location: York

    Sir Hugh Cholmley (1600–1657), first Baronet Cholmley, was born at Thornton-on-the-Hill, North Riding, the son of Sir Richard Cholmley (1580–1631) and his first wife Susanna (1578–1611), daughter of John Legard of Ganton. He was educated at Beverley Free School and Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1624 he was elected one of the MPs for Scarborough and was re-elected in 1625 and 1626. He was knighted in 1626. During the following eleven years, when Charles I ruled without Parliament, Cholmley became one of the leaders of resistance among the Yorkshire gentry. He organised a number of petitions and protests, and in 1639 he refused to pay ship money. As a result, he was dismissed from his posts and was called before the Council of State; the king reportedly told him that if he interfered again he would hang him. In April 1640 Cholmley was again elected MP for Scarborough in the Short Parliament. He was re-elected for Scarborough for the Long Parliament in November 1640 and was created a baronet in 1641, but was prevented from sitting in 1643. His memoirs are – as per the title-page of the posthumous first published edition of 1787 – 'Addressed to his Two Sons, in which He gives some Account of his FAMILY, and the distresses they underwent in the CIVIL WARS; and how far he himself was engaged in them' (Jack Binns, 'Cholmley, Sir Hugh, first baronet (1600–1657),' ODNB, accessed 31 July 2021; HPO, 'Cholmley, Hugh (1600–1657),' accessed 31 December 2020; Cholmley, Memoirs and Memorials, 14–29; Cholmley, Memoirs, title-page). Cholmley's principal estate at Whitby included the remains of the Abbey, where he built a substantial residence. A plan of the estate and its grounds c 1700 is in Cholmley, Memoirs and Memorials, pp 8–9.

    1656; English; paper; i + 35 + xxxix; 302mm x 190mm (original pages); modern pencil foliation 1–34; mounted on archival paper and bound in brown gold-tooled leather, 'MEMOIRS | OF | HUGH | CHOLMLEY | 1600' on spine.

Back To Top