DRURY, Robert II (?1524-57).
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Family and Education
J.p. Suff. 1554; ?esquire of the body in 1557.3
Robert Drury is said to have been born in 1524 and this, if true, helps to distinguish him from his several namesakes, although not in respect of the admission of a Robert Drury to Lincoln’s Inn in 1543. There is no indication that Drury pursued a legal career, although the committal of bills to him in the Commons is suggestive of such attainment. It was shortly after his marriage that his father settled on him and his wife two manors in Suffolk. He shared Sir William Drury’s Catholicism and loyalty to Mary Tudor: they made their submission together at Framlingham on 17 July 1553 and it was presumably Robert Drury, and not his cousin and namesake, who was granted an annuity of £13 6s.8d. for services there. He may have been the esquire of the body to whom in 1557 Jane Constable was licensed to grant her manor of Thrinscoo, Yorkshire, but there is no evidence that he held office or discharged any other duties than those of justice of the peace and Member of Parliament.4
The borough of Thetford belonged to the duchy of Lancaster and any influence there is likely to have been exerted through duchy officials. With the chancellor, Sir Robert Rochester, Drury’s father had both a family connexion through the Waldegraves and an official one through their membership of the Privy Council, and these may have sufficed to secure the nomination, although the 3rd and 4th Dukes of Norfolk perhaps in turn played some part. Drury was early involved in the business of the Commons. On his second appearance there he had committed to him, on 28 Apr. 1554, a bill against Lollardry and eating flesh on fast days, and five days later he was deputed to carry five bills up to the Lords; in the following Parliament the bill to prohibit the loading of ships in creeks was committed to him on 1 Dec. 1554. Not surprisingly he neither ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, Protestantism, in the Parliament of October 1553 nor withdrew without permission from that of November 1554.5
Drury’s premature death on 7 Dec. 1557 may have been caused by the epidemic disease then at its height. He left a seven year-old son as his heir.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.