Sir Robert DRURY of Hawstead

Born: ABT 1455 / 1470, Hawstead, Suffolk, England

Died: 2 May 1535/6

Buried: St. Marys Church, Bury St. Edmunds, England

Father: Roger DRURY of Hawstead

Mother: Felice DENSTON

Married 1: Anne CALTHORPE ABT 1483


1. Anne DRURY

2. Elizabeth DRURY

3. William DRURY of Hawstead (Sir)

4. Robert DRURY of Edgerley (Sir Knight)

5. Bridget DRURY

6. Ursula DRURY

Married 2: Anne JERNINGHAM BEF 1531

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

Born by 1456, first son of Roger Drury of Hawstead by Felice, dau. and heiress of William Denston of Besthorpe, Norf. Educated ?Gonville, Camb.; Lincoln's Inn, adm. 1473. Married first, by 1494, Anne, dau. of Sir William Calthorpe of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk; by whom he had two sons, Sir William and Sir Robert, and four daughters; and married secondly, by 1531, Anne, dau. of Edward Jerningham of Somerleyton, Suff., widow of Lord Edward Grey (d. BEF 1517), of Henry Berkeley, and of Henry Barley of Albury (d. 12 Nov 1529), s.p. suc. family 30 Jan 1496. Kntd. 17 Jun 1497. Commr. array Suff. 1487, subsidy 1512, 1514, 1515 1523; other commissions 1490-d., j.p. 1488-d.; dep. chief steward, south parts duchy of Lancaster c.1498-1526; Councillor and knight of body temp. Henry VII and Henry VIII; member, council of 14th Earl of Oxford c.1525, bailiff, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. Speaker of House of Commons 1495.

Robert Drury was the first of his line to attach himself to the court after training as a lawyer. Knighted after the Blackheath rebellion in 1497, where he may have served under John De Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford whose deputy he became in the stewardship of the duchy of Lancaster. Under the Earl's will of 1509 he was appointed an executor and given an annuity of 6 13s.4d. and the Ellesmere Chaucer which bears the signature of Drury and his son William.

By the beginning of Henry VIII's reign Drury was prominent as a lawyer, courtier and servant of the crown. It was presumably as a senior Member and former Speaker that in the Parliament of 1510 he announced in the Upper House the election of Thomas Englefield as Speaker; it is all but certain that Drury had been re-elected for Suffolk. Under the new King he attended the Council from time to time, for example in May 1516 to discuss musters, and early in 1526 to give advice on legal matters, but he was chiefly concerned with Scottish affairs. Having been a witness to Henry VIII's renewal of the treaty with Scotland on 29 Aug 1509, he was commissioned on 7 Sep with two others to receive the oath of James IV and to treat for the redress of grievances. From 1511 to 1513 he was engaged on similar commissions about injuries on the Scottish border with Thomas, 2nd Lord Dacre of Gilsland.

During the first decade of the century Drury enlarged his property in East Anglia, where he also acquired a number of wardships. In the general pardon of 1510 he was described as of Hawstead, Ruislip in Middlesex, and London. In the same year he had licence to empark over 2,000 acres of land and wood in a number of Suffolk parishes, and to crenellate his manors of Hawstead Hall, Bokenham in Hawstead, and Onehouse. At Hawstead, his chief seat, he had a private chapel for which in 1501 he had received a papal licence.
Drury made his will on 1 May 1531, probated 8 Feb 1535/1536. He died on 2 Mar 1535. In accordance with his request he was buried in St. Mary's church, Bury St. Edmunds, where a stone monument with effigies of himself and his first wife bears the inscription 'Such as ye be, sometime were we, such as we are, such shall ye be. Miserere nostri'. His rich household hangings, goods and plate, and large flocks of sheep he left chiefly to his wife and sons. His dwellings included a house in College Street, Bury St. Edmunds and a 'place' in the parish of St. Clement Dane, London, which later gave its name to Drury Lane. His widow married Sir Edmund Walsingham.
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