NEALE, Robert (by 1531-?68 or later), of Streathayne in the parish of Colyton, Devon.
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Family and Education
Robert Neale’s wife was the stepdaughter of William Pole; it was probably to this connexion that he owed his election for Bridport to Mary’s second Parliament, since Pole had sat for the borough in her first. Neale may have moved Pole for a place in the House in order to press an action which he and his wife had begun the year before against his brother-in-law, John Strowbridge, and several other kinsmen. It is possible that Neale was already acquainted with his fellow-Member, Edmund Prowte, since Prowte was to stand surety for a ‘seceder’ with another man from Colyton, Richard Calmady. On the election indenture Neale was described as gentleman, but whether this style had substance is not known.2
Pole was a prominent figure at the Inner Temple and Neale’s marriage gives some colour to his identification with a youth from Horncastle, Lincolnshire, admitted there in 1548. This man was still alive 20 years later when he petitioned Elizabeth for protection against his persecution ‘for matters of religion’ in Mary’s reign. He may also have been a party to the lawsuit in 1558 over the title to a Lincolnshire manor which one Robert Neale had purchased from John Hastings, a Member for Bridport in the Parliament of 1563, and perhaps the pensioner in receipt of £6 from Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough, in 1563. If this presumption is correct, Neale may have had the support of Bridport’s patron, Christopher Smith, who was also of Lincolnshire origin.3