DRURY, Sir Roger (d.1420), of Thurston and Rougham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. and h. of Sir Nicholas Drury of Thurston by Joan, da. and h. of Sir Simon Saxham of the same. m. Margery (d. 3 Sept. 1405), da. and h. of Sir Thomas Naunton of Rougham, 5s. 4da. Kntd. bef. Dec. 1384.

Offices Held

Tax collector, Suff. Dec. 1384; controller Mar. 1404.

Commr. to hold special assizes, Suff. Nov. 1391, of inquiry Jan. 1392 (post mortem), Oct. 1395 (bullion discovered at Stowmarket), Norf., Suff., Cambs. Apr. 1402 (concealments); array, Suff. Dec. 1399, July 1402, Aug. 1403, July 1405, May 1406, Apr. 1418; to assess contributions to a subsidy Jan. 1412.

J.p. Suff. 8 Dec. 1391-Feb. 1392, 16 May 1401-Jan. 1405, 14 Apr. 1411-Dec. 1417.


The Drury family traced their descent from one Drieu, who quite probably came to England with the Conqueror. They settled at Thurston in the early 13th century, from that time onwards being closely connected with the abbots of the great monastery situated nearby at Bury St. Edmunds, from whom they held land. From his father, who died in about 1384, Roger inherited manors in Thurston and Market Weston, and through his marriage to Margery Naunton he acquired property at Rougham, a neighbouring parish.1

Drury was knighted before the winter of 1384, probably for military service overseas. In June 1386 he and his retinue of 20 men-at-arms and 60 archers were preparing to set sail for Ireland in the army under the command of the King’s favourite, Robert de Vere, marquess of Dublin and earl of Oxford. De Vere was a distant kinsman of Drury’s wife, but the link did not lead to any lasting attachment, indeed, before very long Drury allied himself with the Lords Appellant, who sought de Vere’s removal from the King’s presence. From March 1387 he served at sea in the fleet commanded by Richard, earl of Arundel, as admiral of England; and towards the end of the year he joined the forces commanded by Arundel and the duke of Gloucester which, having routed de Vere’s supporters, proceeded to take control of the government. In 1388 and 1390 he witnessed deeds on behalf of Margaret Marshal, countess of Norfolk, whose grandson was another of the Appellants — Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham. After Richard II had regained a measure of power, Drury sought to ingratiate himself by offering, in August 1389, to sue on the Crown’s behalf for dues concealed in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Yet, by indenture dated 6 May 1392, he contracted to serve under the duke of Gloucester in his capacity as lieutenant of Ireland, providing a company of nine men-at-arms and 30 archers for one year. In the event, Gloucester was dismissed from the lieutenancy and the expedition never sailed, but there can be no doubt that it was because of these links with the duke and his fellow Appellants that Drury was omitted from appointment to royal commissions after 1395. These contacts also explain his purchase of a royal pardon in July 1398.2

After the accession of Henry IV, Drury was once more employed in local government, and, following his second Parliament in 1401, he was re-appointed as a j.p. in Suffolk. He was among the East Anglian knights summoned by individual writ to attend great councils in 1401 and 1403. Drury did not lack influential friends: he was a member of the important group enfeoffed of manors in Bulmer, Essex, by Sir Andrew Butler* in 1401, and he was closely associated with Sir William Bardwell*, a retainer of Michael de la Pole, 2nd earl of Suffolk. Together with Bardwell, he appeared as a trustee of the reversion of certain properties which were to fall to the de la Poles after the death of Isabel de Ufford, dowager countess of Suffolk, and he occasionally witnessed deeds for members of the earl’s family, activities which may suggest that he, too, was of that affinity. He was party to various transactions on behalf of Bardwell and his wife in 1404 and 1407, and in 1411 he stood surety for him and his sons, undertaking in Chancery that they would keep the peace.3 Drury was also employed as a feoffee-to-uses by John Wynter*, a high-ranking official in the household of Henry of Monmouth. The Felbrigg family, whose head was the famous Sir Simon Felbrigg KG, often called on his services, and in 1410 Sir George Felbrigg of Playford named him as one of his executors. Then, in a will made in 1419, Elizabeth, the widow of the renowned soldier Sir William Elmham*, left Drury bequests of ten marks and, for the marriage of his daughter, Elizabeth, £40, asking him to undertake the executorship. Drury’s last position of trust was as a feoffee of the manor of Hengrave, the reversion of which was sold in April 1420 on behalf of Sir Thomas Hengrave’s widow.4

Drury made his will on 3 Oct. 1420, requesting interment before the altar of St. Mary in Rougham church. Bequests to that and other churches amounted to £14 3s.4d., and he left seven Suffolk friaries a total of £10 10s. His executors, to whom he made individual bequests amounting to £21, included his son-in-law William Clopton, his younger brother, Nicholas Drury, and James Andrew*, the lawyer from Ipswich. He died before 24 Oct., the date of probate at Norwich. Effigies in brass of Drury and his wife Margery (who had died in 1405) remain in Rougham church.5 Drury’s heir was his eldest son (Sir) William, who shortly after October 1421 was to marry Katherine Swynford, daughter of Sir Thomas Swynford and grand daughter of the celebrated mistress of John of Gaunt.6

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. A. Campling, Hist. Fam. Drury, 15-17, 94-96; J. Copinger, Suff. Manors, vi. 327; vii. 324; Add. 14848, f. 69; J. Gage, Hist. Thingoe Hundred, 102.
  • 2. CPR, 1385-9, p. 157; E101/40/33 m. 11, 74/1 no. 32; Add. 40859A; C67/31 m. 12.
  • 3. PPC, i. 158, 164; ii. 86; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 392; 1409-13, p. 230; Harl. Ch. 53E 31; Add. Ch. 15537; CP25(1)223/111/29, 34; Cott. Ch. xxviii. 87; CFR, xiv. 313.
  • 4. HMC Lothian, 53; CCR, 1405-9, p. 524; 1409-13, pp. 225-6, 229; CP25(1)224/111/9; Procs. Suff. Inst. Arch. iv. 24, 61; Norf. and Norwich RO, Reg. Hyrning, ff. 56-57; Suff. RO (Bury St. Edmunds), Hengrave ms, 2/343.
  • 5. Norf. RO, Reg. Hyrning, f. 72; Campling, 16. As Drury does not mention a wife named Joan in his will, it must be assumed that Joan, wid. of Sir Roger Drury, who made her will in 1446, was the widow of Sir Roger Drury ‘the younger’: CCR, 1419-22, p. 185; Suff. RO, Reg. Hawlee, f. 19.
  • 6. Reg. Chichele, iv. 222.