Sir Robert THROCKMORTON of Coughton, Knight

Born: ABT 1510, Coughton, Warws. and Weston Underwood, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 12 Feb 1581, Coughton, Warwickshire, England

Father: George THROCKMORTON of Coughton (Sir Knight)

Mother: Catherine VAUX

Married 1: Muriel BERKELEY 1527


1. Thomas THROCKMORTON of Coughton







Married 2: Elizabeth HUSSEY (B. Hungerford of Heystesbury) 1542




10. Temperance THROCKMORTON





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

Born by 1513, first son of Sir George Throckmorton, and brother of Anthony, Clement, George, John, Kenelm and Nicholas. Educ. ?M. Temple. Married firstly, 1527, Muriel, dau. of Thomas, 5th Lord Berkeley; and secondly, 1542, Elizabeth (d. 23 Jan 1554), dau. of Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, widow of Walter, Lord Hungerford, at least 2s. 5da. suc. fa. 6 Aug 1552. Kntd. by 25 Sep 1553. Jt. (with fa.) steward, Evesham abbey 1527, Claverdon, Warws. 1531; Maxstoke, Warws. 1535, Balsall, Warws. 1539; bailiff, Warwick 1544-5; j.p. Warws. from 1547, q. 1561-4, rem. 1570; commr. relief 1550, loan 1557, musters 1569; sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 1553-4; constable, Warwick castle Sep 1553-8; steward, lands of bp. of Worcester in 1564.

Robert Throckmorton may have trained at the Middle Temple, the inn attended by his father, at least three of his younger brothers and his own eldest son, but as the heir to extensive estates he had little need to seek a career at court or in government. He was joined with his father in several stewardships from 1527 and was perhaps the servant of Robert Tyrwhitt, a distant relative by marriage of the Throckmortons, who in 1540 took an inventory of Cromwell's goods at Mortlake. He attended the reception of Anne of Cleves and with several of his brothers served in the French war of 1544. Three years later he was placed on the Warwickshire bench and was thus suitably qualified for the knighthood of the shire which fell to him almost as though it were a part of his inheritance in Mar 1553: three of his brothers sat in the same Parliament, Nicholas as knight for Northamptonshire.

Throckmorton's role in the succession crisis of 1553 is unknown but his standing with Queen Mary is shown by her reputed answer to the news of Edward VI's death sent her by four of his brothers: If Robert had been there she durst have gaged her life and hazarded the hap.

In the autumn of 1553 Throckmorton was knighted and appointed constable of Warwick castle and only his shrievalty prevented him from continuing to sit for the shire until in 1558 he gave way to his eldest son.

His Catholicism explains his disappearance from the Commons in the new reign, although the most Catholic of his brothers, Anthony Throckmorton, was to sit in the Parliament of 1563. Judged an adversary of true religion in 1564, Throckmorton remained active in Warwickshire until his refusal to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity led to his removal rom the commission of the peace.

In 1577 the Bishop of Worcester listed Throckmorton as a Catholic and reckoned him to be worth 1,000 marks a year in lands and 1,000 in goods.

He died on 12 Feb 1581, six days after making a will in which he styled himself of Weston Underwood but asked to be buried at Coughton, where an alabaster and marble tomb was accordingly erected to his memory: there is a portrait at Coughton. He named as executors his eldest son Thomas and his sons-in-law Sir John Goodwin and Ralph Shelton, and as overseers another son-in-law Sir Thomas Tresham and his loving friend Edmund Plowden.

Sir Robert Throckmorton continued the family in the Catholic tradition. He married his children into the leading Catholic families, and in these generations the increased persecution of the Catholic spawned many relatives who became involved in plots against the throne. The sons of his daughters Anne and Muriel, were Robert Catesby and Francis Tresham, and a third daughter Mary was married to Edward Arden, who was also convicted of treason and executed for his part in a plot to assasinate Queen Elizabeth in 1583. This daughter kept an excellent record of a woman persecuted for recusancy, documenting the fines and searches made at Coughton Court, that is still in the family archives. A nephew, Francis Throckmorton, was executed in 1584 for acting as a go-between for Mary Queen of Scots and the Spanish Ambassador in an attempt to invade England and place Mary on the throne. A niece Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Nicholas and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, also got into trouble by secretly marrying Sir Walter Raleigh.



A. L. Rowse: Ralegh and the Throckmortons

R. C. Strong: Tudor and Jacobean Portraits
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