CURTEYS (CURTIS), Griffin (Griffith) (by 1521-87), of Bradenstoke, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. by 1521. m. (3) Jane; 6s. 5da.2
Servant of Sir Henry Long by 1542; steward, Calstone, Wilts. by 1547, Lyneham, Wilts. by 1559, Enborne, Berks. by 1561; j.p. Wilts. 1558/59-62, j.p.q. Berks. 1561-d.; commr. to survey lands taken from bprics. 1560; other commissions Berks., Hants and Wilts. 1563-70 escheator, Oxon. and Berks. Jan.-Nov. 1574.3
Griffin Curteys may have been a native Wiltshire; a John Curteys held land of the abbot of Glastonbury at South Damerham in 1518. Forty-two years later Griffin Curteys secured a confirmation of arms which he had allegedly borne for a long time and was also granted a crest, since none was known in his family. A number of men of this surname, some belonging to a line of London pewterers, attended the inns of court, but the Member himself may not have received a legal education, being specially admitted to Lincoln’s Inn only on May 1553. He first appears when in a Star Chamber action Walter Fynamore accused Sir Henry Long of abusing his authority as sheriff of Wiltshire to further a private feud; Fynamore’s grievances included forced payments to Long’s ‘servants’ John Mauduit and Griffin Curteys, which were made not later than 1541-2, the last year when Long was sheriff.4
Curteys, who evidently specialized in the stewardship of estates, continued in the service of the Long family: in 1547, when Thomas Long acquired the manor of Calstone near Calne, Curteys remained steward there as he had been previously under (Sir) John Zouche I. It was undoubtedly his standing with the Longs which accounted for his election to the Parliament of 1547 for Calne, a borough lying near their seat at Draycot Cerne and much under their influence: in the absence of the returns to this Parliament for Wiltshire, Curteys’s Membership is known only from a Crown Office list revised for its last session in 1552, but he may well have sat from the outset rather than have been by-elected to a vacancy. He could also have enjoyed the favour of the Protector Somerset, for he was later to act as steward of Enborne for the duchess and her second husband Francis Newdigate†. Another powerful friend may have been William Webbe II, the Salisbury clothier, for whom Curteys was named a feoffee in March 1553, when Webbe himself was in alliance with the 1st Earl of Pembroke.5
Curteys was returned four times under Mary, but although not one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’ in the first Parliament of the reign he probably did not welcome the restoration of Catholicism. In the Easter term of 1555 he was among the Members prosecuted in the King’s bench for being absent at the call of the House in the previous January, but in the Michaelmas term he secured a delay in which to prepare his answer; after an interval of two years, during which his name was not recorded among the defendants, he was distrained in the autumn of 1557 and thereafter at every term until the Queen’s death. Curteys’s name is one of those marked with a circle on the copy of the list of Members in use for the second session of the Parliament of 1558; the significance of the circle is not known.6
Identified as of Bradenstoke in the King’s bench proceedings, by 1560 Curteys was living at East Enborne, near Newbury, Berkshire, and this he gave as his residence in the will which he made in 1587. A monument outside St. Nicholas’s church, Newbury, records that he died on 30 Nov. 1587.7
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: T. F.T. Baker
- 1. Hatfield 207.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. VCH Berks. iv. 150; PCC 5 Rutland.
- 3. St.Ch.2/15/370; Wilts. RO, 212b/967/12; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 301, 423; 1560-3, pp. 434, 523; 1563-6, pp. 20, 38, 39, 41; 1569-72, pp. 219, 221; Req.2/129/32; E316/3/228.
- 4. Hoare, Wilts. S. Damerham, 60-61; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvii), 111; Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 310, 318, 331, 375; St.Ch.2/15/370.
- 5. Wilts. RO, 212b/967/12; Req.2/129/32; CPR, 1553, p. 109.
- 6. KB27/1176, 1184-8, 29/188; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 38; Wm. Salt Lib. SMS 264.
- 7. Vis. Berks. 111; PCC 5 Rutland; VCH Berks. iv. 150.