DRAYCOTT, Sir Philip (by 1483-1559), of Paynsley in Draycott, Staffs. and Smithfield, Mdx.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. by 1483, 1st s. of Sir John Draycott of Paynsley by Elizabeth, da. of Robert Eyre of Padley, Derbys. educ. I. Temple. m. settlement 1 Aug. 1504, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Fitzherbert of Norbury, Derbys., 6s. 6da. suc. fa. 5 May 1552. Kntd. Nov. 1532/May 1533.2
J.p. Staffs. 1522-44, 1554-d.; commr. subsidy 1523, 1524, musters 1539, 1546, chantries Salop, Staffs., Shrewsbury 1546, contribution Staffs. 1546, relief 1550; escheator 1529-30; sheriff, 1533-4, 1555-6; steward, Hulton abbey’s manors of Bradnop, Hulton and Normacot, Staffs. by 1534.3
Philip Draycott’s family took its name from the village in north Staffordshire where it had been settled for over four centuries; although not wealthy it was connected by marriage and descent with more important families. Draycott was brought up by George, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury to be a lawyer, while his brother Anthony went to Oxford to prepare for the priesthood. In February 1508 Draycott was appointed a feoffee to use for John Frescheville and his wife, but he is next heard of helping his father to deliver scythes to the Tower for Shrewsbury on the eve of the invasion of France in 1513. His career in local administration began when he succeeded to his patrimony, and his knighting, probably at the coronation of Anne Boleyn when he was a servitor, recognized both his personal standing and his service with Shrewsbury. He was often at court, where the earl was steward of the Household and Anthony Draycott became a chaplain. During the Pilgrimage of Grace Draycott helped Shrewsbury’s grandson to advise the 1st Earl of Rutland on the defence of Doncaster.4
On Shrewsbury’s death in 1538 Draycott asked Cromwell to take him into service: whether anything came of this is not known, but after the minister’s fall Draycott is found serving the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury. He presumably owed his return to the Parliament of 1542 chiefly to his new master but the initiative was probably his own, for during the second session he obtained a private Act (34 and 35 Hen. VIII, c.44) to prevent his estranged wife from disinheriting their children. After the dissolution in March 1544 he went home to deal with his affairs and to attend the wedding of Walter Aston, but on the advice of Paget and Wriothesley he returned to London to spend the next winter at court. It was doubtless with their support that he competed unsuccessfully for the chancellorship of Ireland in 1546; after this disappointment he seems to have given up hope of high office. As a friend of Wriothesley and the brother of an outspoken Catholic he lost favour under the Duke of Somerset and was removed from the Staffordshire bench. The rise to power of John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, his fellow-knight in 1542, may have improved Draycott’s prospects but it was the accession of Mary which ensured his recovery.5
Draycott sat in the first three Parliaments of the new reign. At Lichfield he was presumably a nominee of Paget’s, but at the next two elections he carried off a knighthood of the shire, his partner on the second occasion being his stepfather (Sir) Edward Littleton. (On the list of Members for the Parliament of April 1554 he appears as ‘Johannes Draycot miles’: he had a grandson John, who was to be his heir, but as his grandson was never knighted the Johannes is taken to be an error.) Predictably Draycott was not among the parliamentary opponents of the Catholic restoration: in 1554 he had two unsuccessful bills committed to him, one in April for the bringing in of coin and bullion and the other in December to stop married priests teaching. He was not to sit again, but he remained active in Staffordshire throughout the reign.6
Draycott made his will on 6 Sept. 1558. After providing for his wife, with whom he had been reconciled, he remembered his surviving children, relatives and servants. He left his copy of More’s English Works to his son-in-law Jasper Worth whom he named an executor with Thomas Kynnersley and Edmund Sprott. As overseers he appointed his brother Anthony and a cousin, (Sir) Thomas Fitzherbert. Draycott died on 25 Feb. 1559, and was buried in the family chapel at Draycott where a monument was erected to his memory, but his will was not proved at Lichfield until 8 Jan. 1563.