DRURY, Sir Robert II (by 1503-77), of Hedgerley and Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. by 1503, 2nd s. of Sir Robert Drury I by 1st w., and bro. of Sir William. educ. L. Inn, adm. 12 Feb. 1522. m. by 1524, Elizabeth, da. of Edmund Brudenell of Chalfont St. Peter, 5s. inc. Dru†, Robert I and William 4da. Kntd. by Aug. 1548.1
J.p. Bucks. 1534-43, 1554, q. 1558/59-d.; commr. tenths of spiritualities 1535, benevolence 1544/45, chantries Beds., Bucks. 1548, relief, Bucks. 1550, food prices 1551, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; escheator, Beds. and Bucks. 1544-5; sheriff 1546-7, 1555-6, 1561-2.2
Robert Drury’s admission to Lincoln’s Inn, five years after his elder brother William’s, followed family precedent but his marriage soon afterwards to a Buckinghamshire heiress spared him the need to practise law. On his father’s death in 1535 he shared with his brother the family plate and household goods and himself received the hangings in the Drury house in St. Clement Dane’s, London, sheep at Riddlesworth in Norfolk, Barnham and Euston in Suffolk, and a lease in Barnham. He settled at Chalfont St. Peter, and when his father-in-law’s manor there came to his wife in 1538 he began to add to it by the purchase of monastic lands in the neighbourhood: in the same year be bought Temple Bulstrode manor in Hedgerley and three years later the chief manor in Chalfont St. Peter.3
Brought on to the commission of the peace in 1534, Drury was among the ten foremost men of Buckinghamshire whose support was enlisted against the northern rebellion two years later. In 1538 he was one of the special commissioners appointed to hear indictments for treasonable words at the time of the trials of the Poles and their associates. Drury attended as an esquire on state occasions and was mustered for the army against France in 1544, the year in which he was appointed escheator and his brother sheriff. Both men appear to have been removed from the bench under Edward VI, probably because of Catholic affiliations: two of their sisters married into the Waldegrave and Jerningham families, and their stepmother, Lady Anne Grey, was also a Jerningham. Like his brother, Drury was among the first supporters of Mary Tudor in the summer of 1553. He was named with Leonard Chamberlain, (Sir) Edward Hastings and Sir Edmund Peckham as a leader of the gentry of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire who proposed to be at Sir William Paget’s house at Drayton on 15 July to march towards the palace of Westminster with the object of securing arms and munitions for Mary’s cause, and although not listed, as were his brother and nephew, among those who swore allegiance to the Queen in the days that followed he was awarded a pension of £66 13s.4d. for his service ‘at Framlingham’. His suing out of a general pardon in October 1553 must have been a conventional act of insurance.4
Drury’s loyalty made him a suitable colleague for his neighbour Sir Edmund Peckham in the first Parliament of the new reign, in which his son Robert sat for Chipping Wycombe with Peckham’s son Henry. With Sir William Drury returned for Suffolk and his son, Robert II, for Thetford, the family was well represented in the Commons, where not surprisingly none of its members ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism. Unlike the other three Sir Robert was not to sit again and, apart from his attendance, as one of a group of noblemen, gentry and divines, at the trial for heresy of Cranmer’s ex-chaplain Rowland Taylor, he appears to have confined himself to local matters, including the emparking of 400 acres at Hedgerley for which he obtained a licence in 1556. It was to be the same under Elizabeth, when although reported in 1564 to be a ‘hinderer of religion’ he was retained on the commission of the peace and in this capacity declared his willingness to accept the Act of Uniformity in 1569.