BOWYER, Robert II (by 1529-67/68), of the Middle Temple, London and Chichester, Suss.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1529, 2nd s. of Robert Bowyer I, and bro. of William. educ. M. Temple. m. by 1551, Anne, da. of Miles Grover of Kingston-upon-Thames, Surr., 4da.1

Offices Held

Steward, bp. of Chichester’s manor of Aldingbourne, Suss. temp. Eliz.; commr. i.p.m. Suss. 1567.2


While several of his brothers found fortune in London, Robert Bowyer maintained the links with Chichester forged by their father. He owned houses, land and a stable in Chichester, and property outside the city at Appledram, East Havant and West Wittering. In March 1567 he bought 24 acres in South Mundham from a son of William Erneley for £60, and these he left to his third daughter Elizabeth. He was at one time steward of the manor of Adlingbourne, owned by the bishop of Chichester, but had given up this post by September 1567. Like his younger brother William he was trained as a lawyer, and he evidently practised his calling. His wife was the daughter of a lawyer from Gray’s Inn, and through their marriage he obtained property in Kingston, Molesey and Southwark in Surrey, together with a mill at Tring in Hertfordshire.3

Bowyer’s domicile at Chichester and his father’s reputation there doubtless help to explain his election to Mary’s fourth Parliament. Both he and his fellow-Member Richard Knight appear on the list of opponents to one of the government’s bills. Belonging to a Protestant family, Bowyer could have been expected to dislike the legislation concerned: he was a cousin of one religious exile and his brother had helped Alexander Nowell to escape abroad. His own leanings are to be inferred from John Bradford’s choice of him to report on the examination of another martyr. Although not re-elected three years later he was returned again in 1559.4

Bowyer was a sick man when on 18 Nov. 1567 he made his will, which was proved by his widow a year later.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. J.W. Swales


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from his appointment as overseer of the will of John Amery of the Broyle in 1550, W. Suss. RO, wills 3, f. 102. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 62; PCC 8 Dyngeley, 18 Powell, 24 Babington; A. Hay, Chichester, 569.
  • 2. W. Suss. RO, add. 250; CPR, 1566-9, p. 239.
  • 3. PCC 24 Babington, 8 Dyngeley; W. Suss. RO, add. 272; NRA 6776, p. 292.
  • 4. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; Suss. Arch. Colls. xlii. 19-36, lxiv. 105-7; Writings of John Bradford (Parker Soc.), ii. 251.
  • 5. PCC 24 Babington.