POTY, Richard (by 1517-45/46), of Orford and Woodbridge, Suff.

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



? 1536
? 1539
? 1542

Family and Education

b. by 1517, prob. 3rd s. of Nicholas Poty of Walberswick. m. Alice, 2s. 2da.4

Offices Held

Constable, Woodbridge in 1538.5


It is only known that Richard Poty was a Member for Orford from evidence given in a suit between the inhabitants of that town and Sir William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham, about parliamentary and other rights. John Harrison testified that since 1523 the town had always had two Members and that John Harman and ‘young Poty’ had been chosen several times; another made clear that the second of these was Richard Poty. If the meaning was that the two had sat together, the Parliaments concerned could only have been those of 1536 and 1539, but as the name of one of the Members is also unknown for 1542 Poty could have sat in that Parliament as well. John Culham of Dunwich who had lived in Orford until 1536 recalled 18 years later that after his departure from the town Poty had been elected Member and had ‘served in the Parliament accordingly’ but could not recall the name of Poty’s partner. The evidence given by Harrison, Culham and others is open to interpretation but Culham’s statement about Richard Hunt creates the presumption that Poty was returned in 1536.6

Poty’s father was probably the Nicholas Poty of Walberswick mentioned in the will of a relative, Robert Poty, a shipowner of Walberswick, in 1513. Richard Poty owned lands and tenements in Woodbridge as well as property in Orford. In March 1538, as constable of Woodbridge, he was one of the principal signatories to a letter to Cromwell about wheat taken to the King’s use from a Spanish vessel, part of which was being held in Poty’s house there. In 1544 he acquired the manor of Bacon alias Davelers in Pettistree, Suffolk, from John Ball and Francis Noone.7

Poty died between 28 May 1545 when he made his will and 19 May 1546 when it was proved. His lands, all in Suffolk, were left to his wife and children. To his wife he bequeathed the manor of Bacon, with remainder to his daughter Alice, to his elder son John lands and tenements in Woodbridge, to his younger son Robert a tenement in Orford on the widow’s death, and to his daughter Margaret a tenement and lands in Dallinghoo. He also made bequests to Orford church where he asked to be buried. He named his wife and eldest son executors.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. E111/48.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Date of birth estimated from constableship. PCC 17 Fetiplace; Suff. archdeaconry ct. 15, f. 203.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xiii.
  • 6. E111/48.
  • 7. PCC 17 Fetiplace; CP25(2)/41/280, no. 27.
  • 8. Suff. archdeaconry ct. 15, f. 203.