ROUS, Sir Edmund (by 1521-69 or later), of Dunwich, Suff.
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Family and Education
J.p. Suff. 1543-7; commr. relief 1550; v.-treasurer [I] by Dec. 1553-?55.4
Edmund Rous probably began his career as a servant of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. In January 1537 Norfolk told Cromwell that followers of Sir Arthur Hopton had taken from the duke’s ground at Sibton four horses belonging to his servant Edmund Rous, who was then assisting him in the north after the Pilgrimage of Grace. On the duke’s downfall, or perhaps earlier, he transferred to the service of Admiral Seymour, on whose behalf he received money from Seymour’s Shropshire estates in 1548.5
At various times from 1542 Rous owned or leased considerable estates in Suffolk, including ex-monastic property in Dunwich and the manors of Badingham, Middleton, Okynghall, Rendham and Westleton; in Kent he had property in the Medgrove and Shulford district. Between 1549 and 1554 he sold several Suffolk manors, and early in Mary’s reign he delivered Kentish property valued at £87 to the crown in payment of a debt. He also became involved in chancery suits over his lands in Dunwich and elsewhere in Suffolk.6
The exact dates of Rous’s Irish service have not come to light but his appointment there may have been, like the annuity of £40 which he was granted ‘for service at Framlingham’, a reward for his loyalty in the succession crisis of 1553. He is first found in Ireland in October of that year and was vice-treasurer by December. He was in England during the following March, when he was summoned before the commissioners for Irish accounts. In the same month he was returned to Parliament for Great Bedwyn, where his patron was probably (Sir) John Thynne to whom he could have been recommended either by his cousin Andrew Baynton or by his fellow-Member Richard Fulmerston, a former servant of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Later in the year he was elected at Dunwich, where his local influence was evidently sufficient to gain him the seat. He was to be returned there again at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign and later claimed £19 4s. for wages and travelling expenses in the two Parliaments. The town challenged this demand in Chancery maintaining that Rous, a resident who knew of its impoverishment, had agreed to serve without wages. Notwithstanding this demand, Rous was found absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555 and was accordingly informed against in the King’s bench in the following Easter term. A writ of venire facias was issued but apart from a solitary distraint of 12d. for non-appearance in Easter term 1558 no further action was taken against him and in the meantime he was returned to Mary’s fourth Parliament for Dover on the nomination of Sir Thomas Cheyne, lord warden of the Cinque Ports. Despite being a nominee and an outsider, Rous was paid in full (though with no allowance for travelling) for his attendance in this Parliament, during which one of his servants was granted privilege after being arrested for debt.7
Rous’s financial difficulties under Elizabeth suggest that the debt of 1555 was his own. The date of his death is unknown but he may still have been alive in 1572.8