CORBET, Richard (by 1512-66), of Wortley, Yorks. and Poynton, Salop.
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Family and Education
Member, the Household by 1538; carver, household of Prince Edward by 1544-7; j.p. Salop, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1554-d.; member, council in the north Dec. 1558-June 1566, council in the marches of Wales 1560; sheriff, Salop 1560-1; commr. offences, northern counties 1564.2
Corbet’s position was enhanced by the grant, in 1539, of the wardship of Andrew Corbet, his nephew and the head of his house. His brother Reginald pursued a legal career but Corbet himself is hardly to be identified with an entrant to Lincoln’s Inn of that name in 1545. He began his career in the royal service and in 1544 he served as a standard bearer in Henry VIII’s last French war. Although he attended the King’s funeral as a member of Prince Edward’s entourage, his carvership is not known to have been extended after the accession of his young master. He married into a Yorkshire family, and to judge from his will he settled at his wife’s house at Wortley: when in Shropshire he lived mostly at Poynton, to which his mother had retired, and it was there that he was to die.3
Corbet has been called a Protestant and identified with the Sir Richard Corbet who was imprisoned in the Tower at the time of the fall of Jane Grey; the second of these statements cannot be true, as he was never knighted, and the first lacks confirmation. It is true that at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign he became a member of both the council in the marches and the council in the north, but the Corbets’ assiduity as county officials would have been enough to earn for him the verdict ‘meet to continue in office’ which he gained in 1564, their standing in the marches sufficient to secure membership of the council there, and the friendship of the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury a help towards a seat on the council in the north. Corbet died on 17 July 1566 and was buried at Shawbury, Shropshire, a monument being erected to his memory at Moreton Corbet. As his only child had predeceased him the heir was his nephew Sir Andrew Corbet.4