GOOGE (GOCHE, GOUCHE), Robert (by 1515-57), of Alvingham and Horkstow, Lincs.; Chilwell, Notts. and London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. by 1515, 1st s. of John Googe of London and Newland in the forest of Dean, Glos. by Jane, da. and h. of James Bridges of the forest of Dean. m. (1) settlement 1536, Margaret, da. of Sir Walter Mantell of Heyford, Northants., 1s. Barnaby; (2) settlement 1552, Ellen, da. of one Gadbury of London, wid. of one Parris, 1s. suc. fa. c.1541.1

Offices Held

?Servant of Bishop Bonner in 1539; receiver, ct. augmentations, Lincs. 1543-7, Cheshire, Derbys., Lincs., Notts. 1547-53, Exchequer 1553-d.; commr. chantries, Lincs., Lincoln and Boston 1546, relief, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1550, sewers, Lincs., Notts. and Yorks. 1555.2


Robert Googe appears to have had no personal connexion with either of the boroughs for which he sat in Parliament. He probably owed his election at both to Sir Michael Stanhope, himself knight of the shire for Nottinghamshire on each occasion. As governor and commander of the garrison at Hull when the first of these Parliaments was summoned, Stanhope was in a position to persuade the corporation to accept a nominee for one of its seats, and a likely recipient of his support was his neighbour and associate in Nottinghamshire, where their houses were only four miles apart and where they both speculated in monastic lands with John Bellow. By contrast, in 1547 Stanhope was involved in a fierce dispute with Hull and could hardly expect his nominee to prevail, whereas at Hedon the governors of the hospital of St. Sepulchre had just granted him all its property there and elsewhere, and the borough could well have followed this with a parliamentary nomination. Googe’s fellow-Member, Edward Elrington, was also an associate of Stanhope.3

Little is known of Googe’s youth. He may have been the servant of Bishop Bonner who on Christmas Day 1539 delivered letters to his master, at the time on an embassy in France. Becoming an augmentations receiver in April 1543, he was reappointed, with wider responsibilities, when the court was reconstituted in 1547. During the French war of 1544 his office secured him exemption from military service, but the war made other demands on him: among the many references in the records to his work as receiver are those to his collection of bell-metal in Lincolnshire and its delivery to the Ordnance. His operations in that county must have brought him into contact with Sir William Cecil, with beneficial results to him under Edward VI. Like other augmentations officials he dealt in monastic property, buying mainly in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire: most of his acquisitions, including those purchased with John Bellow, were resold almost at once, but at his death he held lands in Alvingham and Horkstow, among them those bought in 1549 from Sir Thomas Heneage and William Willoughby, Baron Willoughby of Parham.4

Two of his first wife’s family were executed for their part in Wyatt’s rebellion but nothing is known of Googe’s own attitude towards the Marian government. He died on 5 May 1557. His will, made on the previous 22 Dec. and proved on 12 Feb. 1558, mentions a London house in Distaff Lane, presumably the one which his father had settled as jointure on Margaret Mantell, Robert’s first wife. His elder son, the future poet Barnaby Googe, was under 17, and the testator asked his executors, who included Barnaby’s stepmother Ellen, to educate him at an inn of court with a view to his becoming a serjeant, whereupon he was to give counsel ‘free’ to all men, but ‘especially to those of Lincolnshire’. Other items in the will, including bequests to divinity scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, suggest that Googe had received some higher education. He asked William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who owed him £100 which he ‘forgave’, to act as overseer.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Apparently of age at date of father’s will, 1536, PCC 37 Alenger. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 408; PCC 7 Noodes; C142/113/56.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xxi; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 47-49, 229n, 281; CPR, 1553, p. 355; 1554-5, p. 109. The statement in Lincs. Peds. repeated DNB (Googe, Barnabe), that he was recorder of Lincoln probably arose from a mistranscription of ‘receiver of Lincolnshire’.
  • 3. J. Tickell, Kingston-upon-Hull, 185-6; LP Hen. VIII, xvii, xix, xx; APC, i. 533; iii. 102, 196 et passim; CPR, 1547-8, p. 170; 1548-9, pp. 37-39.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xviii-xxi; APC, i. 346; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 7, 63, 83; CPR, 1548-9, p. 239; 1550-3, p. 413; 1553, p. 61; 1553-4, p. 291; 1554-5, p. 166; C142/113/56.
  • 5. D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies, 80, 113; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 87; W. Berry, Kent. Peds. 332; PCC 7 Noodes.