Arthur STOURTON (M.P.)

Born: ABT 1524, Stourton, Wiltshire, England

Acceded: Over Moigne, Dorset

Died: 1558

Father: William STOURTON (7º B. Stourton of Stourton)

Mother: Elizabeth DUDLEY (B. Stourton of Stourton)

Married: Anne McWILLIAMS ABT 1545, Stourton, Wiltshire, England


1. Phillip STOURTON


The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Born by 1525, third son of William Stourton, 7th Baron Stourton, by Elizabeth, dau. of Edmund Dudley of Atherington, Suss.; brother of William and Charles. Married Anne, dau. of Henry Macwilliam of Stambourne, Essex, by whom he had two sons. Jt. (with Richard Cupper) bailiff, manor of Kenilworth, Warws. 1546; jt. (with Sir Andrew Dudley) keeper of jewels and robes at Westminster 5 Jan 1551-3; keeper of palace of Westminster 1553-d.

Arthur Stourton was a nephew of John Dudley, successively Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland. It was doubtless to this relationship that he owed his appointment in Jan 1551, with his uncle Sir Andrew Dudley, as keeper of the jewels and robes in the palace of Westminster, and both kinship and office would have helped to procure him one of the city's seats in the Parliament of Mar 1553, to which Andrew Dudley was returned as a knight for Oxfordshire. Yet Stourton, like his fellow-Member Sir Robert Southwell, was to avoid implication in the succession crisis which followed. We do not know whether he obeyed the warrant directed to him by Jane Grey on 10 Jul 1553, the day on which she was proclaimed Queen, for the delivery of 20 yards of crimson velvet, but a month later he received one for velvet for Queen Mary's coronation and it is clear from the patent of 12 Dec 1554 appointing him keeper of the palace for life that there had been no break in his discharge of his previous office: the new fees and allowances, just over £100 a year, were made payable from 25 Mar 1553, Dudley's patent evidently being held to have lapsed on the demise of the crown. On 28 Mar 1555 Stourton was granted an annuity of 100 marks also dated from Mar 1553.

It was with a fellow-official in Westminster, Richard Hodges, that Stourton was elected to Mary's fourth Parliament. Despite his dependence on the crown he may have been the ‘Mr. Sturton’ who appears on the list of Members voting against one of the government's bills; his brother William Stourton, who sat for Newport, was a catholic and unlikely to have taken this line. That neither was to be elected to the next Parliament may reflect the disgrace of their brother the 8th Baron Stourton's execution for murder in Mar 1557, but Arthur Stourton himself barely survived its opening. His burial at St. Martin in the Fields on 11 Feb 1558, two days after he had made his will, may indicate that he was a victim of the epidemic then at its height. He named William Stourton an executor and left all the goods remaining after the payment of his debts to his two sons.


Charles, Lord Mowbray, Noble House of Stourton,

M. A. R. Graves, ‘The Tudor House of Lords 1547-58’ (Otago Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1974)
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