AP RICE, Robert (by 1484-1555), of Washingley and Elton, Hunts.
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Family and Education
b. by 1484, s. of Isaac ap Rice by Joan, da. of Sir Richard Bray of Eaton Bray, Beds. m. (1) by 1505, Joan, da. of John Otter of Walthamstow, Essex, and Washingley, 3s.; (2) lic. 20 Oct. 1544, Christian, da. of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney, Glos., wid. of Richard Sapcote of Elton.1
Commr. subsidy, Hunts. 1512, 1514, 1515, 1524, 1530, array 1542, benevolence 1544/45, contribution 1546, relief 1550; other commissions 1534-d.; escheator, Cambs. and Hunts. 1517-18; j.p. Hunts. 1524-d., Lincs. 1532, Norf. 1540, Cambs. 1546; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1527-8, 1543-4.2
Robert ap Rice’s mother was the sister of Sir Reginald Bray, the trusted servant of Henry VII, but of his father nothing has been found. Robert ap Rice seems to have been a younger son of this union, inheriting no property from his parents. His only estate until toward the end of his life was the small manor of Washingley, near Stilton, which was inherited by his first wife from her mother in 1512. In the subsidy of 1524 he was assessed there at 100s. on a valuation of £100 in lands. He remarried in 1544, taking up residence in nearby Elton, where his new wife’s first husband, Richard Sapcote, had lived. In the same year he purchased the manor of Ogerston, formerly in Sapcote’s tenure, and in the next he rented some property at Astwick and Langford, Bedfordshire, from a brother or nephew of his second wife. Apart from these small transactions, closely associated with his family affairs, ap Rice was neither acquisitive nor litigious.3
Ap Rice was about 40 years old when he first served as a justice of the peace, and nearly 60 when he took his (first known) place in Parliament. The names of the knights for Huntingdonshire in 1545 do not survive and he may have been returned on that occasion as well as in 1542 and 1547. For the most part ap Rice performed his public offices without leaving any trace, but in 1537 he told Cromwell that he had discovered the perpetrator of a rumour that the King was dead. He took part in the campaign of 1544 in northern France, and in the muster book compiled two years later he was listed as required to furnish six men when necessary.4
Ap Rice died on 28 June 1555 and in accordance with his wishes he was buried at Luton, Bedfordshire, beside his first wife. In his will, dated 13 Jan.1554, he left an annuity to his second wife, lands to his son, and bequests to 12 grandchildren. He called himself a ‘true Catholic and faithful man’ and his heirs were tenacious recusants.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: T. M. Hofmann
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first marriage. Vis. Hunts. (Cam. Soc. xliii), 31; Mar. Lic. Fac. Off. (Harl. Soc. xxiv), 3; VCH Hunts. iii. 161, 228.
- 2. Statutes, iii. 82, 114, 175; LP Hen. VIII, iv, v, vii, x, xii, xiii, xv-xviii, xx, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 75, 76, 85; 1553, p. 354; 1553-4, pp. 20, 29, 34; E179/122/118.
- 3. VCH Hunts. iii. 228; Vis. Hunts. 31-32; LP Hen. VIII, i, xix, xx; E179/122/90, 101, 118, 127.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, xii, xix, xxi.
- 5. PCC 40 More; VCH Hunts. i. 365; iii. 228; Wards 7/7/58.