AMYCE, Roger (c.1515-74), of Wakes Colne, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1515, s. of John Amyce of Som. m. (1) by 1548, Elizabeth, da. of Sir George Lawson of York, wid. of William Rigby (d. by Feb. 1533), 2s. inc. Israel, 2da.; (2) Margaret, wid. of Richard Forsett (d.1561) of London and St. Marylebone, Mdx.2

Offices Held

Servant of Cromwell by 1538; gen.-receiver, Glastonbury and Reading abbey lands 1540-7; surveyor, ct. augmentations Berks. 1547-54. Exchequer 1554-67, Windsor castle temp. Mary; alderman, New Windsor by 1553; gov., Christ’s Hospital, Abingdon 1553, master 1566; commr. enclosures, Berks., Oxon. and other counties, chantries Berks. and Hants 1548; j.p. Essex 1561-d.3


Roger Amyce’s father has not been traced, unless he was the John Amyce or Amyas who was a yeoman of the crown under Henry VII and a serjeant-at-arms from about 1520 until 1526 or later. Amyce himself is first mentioned in February 1537 when he obtained a lease of the manor of Kingsbury in Somerset. Kingsbury had belonged to the late Duke of Richmond and it may be significant that Amyce’s father-in-law had been cofferer in Richmond’s household. A list of persons who could visit Cromwell at any time or by appointment, ascribed to 1538, includes Amyce in the first category, among the ‘gentlemen most meet to be daily waiters upon my said lord’. Again, it is to be noted that his father-in-law enjoyed Cromwell’s favour.4

Amyce’s post as general receiver for the former estates of the abbeys of Glastonbury and Reading exempted him from serving in the French campaign of 1544 and presumably helps to explain his return for Reading to the Parliament which met in the following year. His fellow-Member Thomas Vachell I was, like Amyce, a former protégé of Cromwell and an administrator of ex-monastic lands. Similarly, in 1553 at Windsor, where he had become an alderman, he sat with Richard Ward I, a man with stronger local ties but still essentially an official. Amyce himself is not known to have acquired any Berkshire property, and although he made surveys of Abingdon in 1554 and 1555 the letters patent of 18 May 1553, establishing a governing body for Christ’s Hospital, exempted Sir John Mason and Amyce from residence in that town.5

His offices must have made Amyce a rich man. Besides Kingsbury, he acquired lands at Wakes Colne and West Ham, Essex, and in Suffolk and London. In 1564 he was rated a ‘favourer’ of the Anglican settlement. His will, made on 4 June and proved on 28 July 1574, suggests that he was a convinced Protestant and shows that he was owed a large but unspecified sum by the Queen. His widow married William Massey of Puddington, Cheshire.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Reading Recs. i. 191-2.
  • 2. Aged ‘about 50’ in 1565, Req. 2/176/30. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 19; LP Hen. VIII, vi; VCH Essex, v. 197; PCC 32 Martyn.
  • 3. M. L. Robertson, ‘Cromwell’s servants’ (Univ. California Los Angeles Ph.D. thesis, 1975), 439; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xv; E315/218, f. 59; Stowe 571, f. 11; Bodl. Ashmole 1125, ff. 66 seq.; 1126, f. 36v; A. E. Preston, Christ’s Hospital, Abingdon, 27-28, 44; CPR, 1547-8, p. 419; 1548-9, p. 136; 1553. p. 142; 1560-3, p. 437; 1566-9, p. 77; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 295.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, ii-iv, xii, xiii; Al. Cant. i. 27.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xix; Berks. RO D/EP7/82, 141; CPR, 1553, p. 142.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xii, xiv, xv; CPR, 1553, p. 295; 1557-8, p. 41; 1558-60, p. 228; PCC 32 Martyn; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 62.