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The identity of Robert Barker, gentleman, has not been established. It is possible that he was the merchant of Ipswich who was to sit for that borough in 1559; the leading resident at Thetford, (Sir) Richard Fulmerston, had links with Ipswich, but Fulmerston himself appears to have missed the Parliament of 1555 and the chief figures at Thetford were the dukes of Norfolk. A Robert Barker was in the company of the Earl of Surrey at the siege of Boulogne in 1545 and received instructions from Surrey to fetch a horse from England; a year later the same man was examined about treasonable words spoken against Queen Catherine Parr. He may have been nominated by or on behalf of Surrey’s young son, the 4th Duke, whose secretary, William Barker, was perhaps a kinsman. The Journal does not mention Robert Barker, and all that is known about his part in the House is that he did not join Sir Anthony Kingston in opposing a government-sponsored bill.
C219/24/113; CP40/1141, r.295; LP Hen. VIII, xxi.