NORTH, Roger (1531-1600), of Kirtling, Cambs. and Mildenhall, Suff.

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. 27 Feb. 1531, 1st s. of Edward North, 1st Lord North, by 1st w. Alice, da. of Oliver Squire of Southby, Hants. educ. ?Peterhouse, Camb. m. c.1547, Winifred, da. of Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich, wid. of Sir Henry Dudley, 3s. inc. Henry and John 1da. KB 15 Jan. 1559; suc. fa. as 2nd Lord North 31 Dec. 1564. Kt. banneret 1586.2

Offices Held

Member of Queen’s chamber 1558; j.p. Cambs. 1558/59-d., Suff. and I. o. Ely 1579-d., Mdx. 1591; alderman, Cambridge 1568, high steward 1572; ambassador to Vienna 1568, France 1574; ld. lt. Cambs. 1569; commr. musters 1569; trier of petitions in the Lords, Parlts. of 1571, 1572, 1584, 1597; steward, duchy of Lancaster, Cambs., Norf. and Suff. 1572; custos rot. Cambs 1573/74-?d.; gov. Flushing June 1586, Utrecht and Harlingen July 1586; PC and treasurer of the Household Aug. 1596.3


Roger North was born in the same year that his father became clerk of the Parliaments. Little information survives about his boyhood and youth. He may have been a student of Peterhouse like his brother Thomas, the translator of Plutarch, but his admission to Gray’s Inn in 1561 was probably honorary. The generally accepted date for his marriage is an error arising out of a confusion between two Henry Dudleys, both sons of the Duke of Northumberland. One died in 1544, the other in 1557; all North’s children were born by 1556. Young North excelled at tilting, and at one tournament Princess Elizabeth rewarded him with a scarf of red silk, a token which figures proudly in a fine contemporary portrait. He became a member of Elizabeth’s Household upon her accession and was created knight of the Bath at her coronation.4

Doubtless his father’s prestige and influence procured North’s first election to Parliament in 1555 at the age of 24,when he was returned as senior knight of the shire for the county of Cambridge. Despite his father’s standing at court, North voted against a government bill and his absence from the next Parliament may be attributable to this opposition. His Protestantism later took a Puritan form. In later life he was to remain an active magistrate in Cambridgeshire, and to become high steward of the borough, while winning national fame at court and on the battlefield. He died on 3 Dec. 1600.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. M. Hofmann


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth recorded by father, EHR, xxxvii. 566. DNB; CP, ix. 652-3, 726n.
  • 3. Lansd. 3, f. 193; CSP For. 1572-4, pp. 560-2; CSP Ven. 1558-80, pp. 520-1; LJ, i. 667, 703; ii. 62, 191; Somerville, Duchy, i. 595; CPR, 1560-3, p. 435; 1563-6, pp. 20, 123; SP12/59, f. 190v; Al. Cant. i(3), 266; Cambridge Chs. ed. Maitland and Bateson, 103.
  • 4. Biog. Reg. Peterhouse, i. 228; LP Hen. VIII, xx; EHR, xxxvii. 565-6; F. Bushby, Three Men of the Tudor Time, 45n.
  • 5. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 24.