MONSON, Robert (by 1532-83), of Lincoln and South Carlton, Lincs. and London.
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Family and Education
b. by 1532, 3rd s. of William Monson of South Carlton by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt of Kettleby, Lincs. educ. Camb.; L. Inn, adm. 23 Jan. 1546, called 1552. m. 12 Sept. 1559, Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Dyon of Tathwell Lincs., s.p.2
Reader, Thavies Inn 1557, bencher, L. Inn 1562, Autumn reader 1565, keeper of black bk. 1565-6, treasurer 1567-8, gov. 1569-72, Lent reader 1570.
Legal counsel, Lincoln by 1559, recorder 1570-2; j.p.q. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1561-d., (Kesteven) 1564-d., (Holland) 1573/74-d.; commr. eccles. causes, dioceses of Lincoln and Peterborough 1571; serjeant-at-law 1572; j.c.p. 1572-80; c.j. Lancaster 1577-9.3
As a young man Robert Monson was a source of trouble to the authorities of Lincoln’s Inn: not long after his admission he was fined for losing a moot; in 1550 he was put out of commons and threatened with expulsion for refusing to pay his dues, while in the following year he and John Salveyn were expelled for breaking the window of William Roper, but he was shortly re-admitted to the inn and not long afterwards called to the bar. Possibly he enjoyed his first taste of Parliament within a year of becoming a barrister as his youth and Protestant sympathies would have commended him to the Duke of Northumberland who summoned the Parliament of March 1533 (for which not all the returns survive) during the closing months of Edward VI’s life. He sat in every Parliament of Mary’s reign for a Cornish constituency: a number of his associates at Lincoln’s Inn came from families of gentle standing in Cornwall, and in the steward of the duchy, Sir John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford (d.1555), the inn had an honorary member and a patron of its younger sons. Presumably because he was a duchy nominee, Monson took precedence over his fellow-Members when they were of local extraction but, when he was returned with the rising lawyer William Bendlowes and with the younger brother of a peer, William Stourton, he had to be content with the inferior place: on his second return for Newport iuxta Launceston, his name was inserted on the indenture in a different hand. Nothing is known about his contribution to the affairs of the House: he did not support the opposition in 1553 and 1555, and unlike Robert Browne II, his fellow-Member in the Parliament of November 1554, he did not then quit the House early and without leave. He did not procure his election to the first Parliament of Elizabeth’s reign, but he served in each succeeding one until his appointment as a judge. He retired from office during Easter term 1580 and died three years later on 23 Sept. 1583.4