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Nicholas Leveson's Will: Family and Property
Nicholas Leveson’s will tells us that he was married and that he had a number of sons and daughte...

Nicholas Leveson's Will: Land and Property
Nicholas Leveson’s will also indicates that he made extensive purchases of land and property thro...

Nicholas Leveson's Will: Religion and Legacy
Although Nicholas ensures that the legacy of the Leveson family is secure by leaving his land and...

Nicholas Leveson's Will: Family Remembrance
Nicholas Leveson’s preoccupation with his lineage and legacy is evident again in his secular bequ...

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Nicholas Leveson, (c.1490-1539)
Introduction: Nicholas Leveson, (c.1490-1539)

Date: 1539

Description: Nicholas Leveson (c.1490-1539) was the son of Richard Leveson of Prestwood (d. 1503) and his wife Jane Bradbury who was from the same family as Sir Thomas Bradbury, Master Mercer and Lord Mayor of London.

Nicholas had a prosperous career, becoming Sheriff of London in 1534. He was also responsible for buying the Leveson family’s landed estates in Kent.

The Sutherland Papers contain Nicholas Leveson’s will which was made in 1535/6. An image of this can be seen featured above. Wills written during this period are very rich in detail. They reflect the fundamental importance of religion during this time and tell us about a person’s family, their possessions and the things which they valued.

Nicholas Leveson’s will indicates the importance of legacy and lineage at this time, both in terms of a person’s individual identity, and also the heritage of the Leveson family.

The early generations of the Leveson family, primarily Nicholas and his brother James, were responsible for laying the foundations of the Leveson family fortune. The family originated from Staffordshire, where they owned property in Willenhall. James Leveson increased the family’s estates, purchasing extensively in Staffordshire and Shropshire. Nicholas owned lands in Essex, and more modest estates in Kent.

Nicholas Leveson’s will states that he was a ‘mercer of London and merchannte of the staple’. This tells us that the Leveson fortune was built on mercantile foundations. Later in the document, Nicholas alludes to sharing all his ‘wolles’ and ‘redy monney’, reflecting the origins of the Leveson family’s fortune in the wool trade.

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Microsoft Word Document Transcription of Nicholas Leveson's Will, 1539 (63 kb)

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Nicholas Leveson (c.1490-1539)
The Leveson Family, 1299-1561

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