HODGES, Richard (by 1523-72), of Westminster and Highgate, Mdx.

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

Constituency

Dates

Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1523. m. Joan, d.s.p.1

Offices Held

Marshal of the Exchequer 1553-d.; churchwarden, St. Margaret’s, Westminster in 1558; escheator, Kent and Mdx. 1561-2, 1568-9; gov. Highgate g.s. 1565.2

Biography

Richard Hodges probably came from Somerset, although his name does not appear in the heralds’ visitations of the county: his will was witnessed by a William Hodges of Somerset and Highgate, and if his wife was the Joan Smith described in 1554 as ‘now wife of Richard Hodges’ she had a house at East Coker.3

The first certain reference found to Hodges dates from November 1544, when a London haberdasher, William Curzon, bequeathed an angel noble apiece to him and his wife, whom he called his ‘host and hostess’. As Curzon also left a gold royal to Sir Roger Cholmley the association between Hodges and Cholmley, then recorder of London, had doubtless already begun. It was from an address in London, probably West Smithfield, that in 1546 Hodges retained the services of the lawyer Richard Heywood, but he described himself as of Westminster when in February 1553 he leased two cottages in Petty France from the dean and chapter of Westminster, and in 1558 he was a churchwarden of St. Margaret’s. The change of domicile may have coincided with his entry into royal service, and this in turn have followed Cholmley’s appointment in 1545 as chief baron of the Exchequer. Hodges’s own appointment as marshal of the Exchequer was to come only after Cholmley had left that court, and indeed on the eve of his dismissal as lord chief justice, so that Hodges had probably served Cholmley in the Exchequer in some other capacity: he may also have been the groom of the chamber who attended the funeral of Edward VI. His attachment to Cholmley was to continue until the ex-judge’s death. Cholmley’s country house was at Highgate, where in October 1553 Hodges bought a house and garden from him and later acquired a life interest in another of his tenements, with remainder to Hodges’s niece Anne Grant. When early in Elizabeth’s reign Cholmley founded a school at Highgate, Hodges became one of its first governors, and in his will of April 1565 Cholmley left to Hodges, whom he called his servant, £40 and a silver jug and black gown.4

So active a parliamentarian as Cholmley would doubtless have encouraged his dependant to sit in the Commons, and both by office and residence Hodges was eligible for one of the Westminster seats. Elected there to the second and fourth of Mary’s Parliaments, he did not join, any more than did Cholmley as knight of the shire for Middlesex, in the opposition to one of the government’s bills in the Parliament of 1555. Yet within three months of its dissolution Hodges may well have been in trouble. He was almost certainly the ‘Master Hogys’ who was put in the Tower on 18 Mar. 1556 with John Throckmorton II and a batch of suspected conspirators. His inclusion among them is not difficult to understand: Throckmorton’s plot had included the purloining of a large quantity of bullion from the Exchequer, and as marshal there Hodges might well have been thought privy to the scheme. Unlike several of those arrested with him Hodges was not brought to trial but was presumably released after establishing his innocence. The episode did not even cost him his office, although it may help to explain why he was not re-elected to Parliament until Elizabeth’s accession.5

Hodges made his will on 22 Sept. 1572 and was buried at St. Margaret’s Westminster on the following 13 Oct.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller

Notes

  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first certain reference. PCC 31 Peter.
  • 2. E405/119, m. 38; CPR, 1563-6, pp. 207, 280.
  • 3. London Consist. Ct. Wills (London Rec. Soc. iii), 128; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 34; Survey of London, xvii. 24, 126; CPR, 1553-4, p. 475.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Westminster Abbey, reg. 3, f. 198v; LC2/4/1; C7/427/137; PCC 24 Morrison.
  • 5. Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 102; D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies, 190-1, 218.