SAPCOTE, Edward (?1489-1547), of Burley, Rutland.

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. ?1489, 1st s. of Thomas Sapcote of Burley by Joan, da. and coh. of Sir John Frauncey of Foremark, Derbys., wid. of William Staveley (d.1488) of Bignell, Oxon. educ. ?I. Temple. m. settlement 6 Sept. 1514, Jane, da. of Thomas Quadring of Careby, Lincs., s.p. suc. fa. c.1503. Kntd. 22 Feb. 1547.2

Offices Held

Sheriff, Rutland 1510-11 1527-8, 1531-2, 1535-6, 1542-3, 1546-7; commr. subsidy 1512, 1523 1524, musters 1546; j.p. 1524-d., Lincs. (Holland) 1543; esquire of the body by 1539; steward, honor of Richmond in 1540-1.3


Edward Sapcote’s father, who was probably a younger brother of the eminent Sir John Sapcote of Devon, acquired Burley in right of his wife, whose mother Isabel Plessington of Burley had married Sir Richard Sapcote of the same place. Sapcote was a young man, and his father recently dead, when he first served as sheriff; he had sued out a pardon at the accession of Henry VIII. His marriage may be placed at about 1514, the date of a settlement for Joan Quadring, whose father was later to make Sapcote both an executor and a beneficiary: the lease of North Rawesby grange which he then inherited cost him a chancery suit against its landlord, Swineshead abbey, when the abbot refused to acknowledge it.4

Sapcote was a near neighbour at Burley of John Harington I, one of the two magnates of the county, and it was with Harington that he was to be elected a knight of the shire in 1539. As a landowner whose subsidy assessment of £100 a year in 1540 was second only to Harington’s in Alstoe hundred, and as an administrator with four shrievalties to his name, Sapcote could well expect his turn to come, but that it did so at this time may reflect the ascendancy of Sir John Russell (created Baron Russell a week after the summoning of the Parliament), a relation by marriage who had been one of the trustees in a settlement made by Sapcote in 1527 and whom he was to call in his will his ‘singular good lord’. Although his contacts with Cromwell appear too slight to warrant any suggestion of ministerial support, his joint report with Sir Everard Digby on their interrogation of a priest whose form of service and public prayers breached the Act of Supremacy (26 Hen. VIII, c.1) betokens his acceptance of the new order in religion.5

Sapcote served in the rearguard of the army in France in 1544, when Russell commanded the van, and discharged two more shrievalties, during the second of which he made the return to Edward VI’s first Parliament. He died at Burley on 14 Dec. 1547. By his will made earlier in the month he made a number of gifts to churches and the poor in Burley and in Lincolnshire, and gave a life interest in Burley house and its contents to his wife, while directing that all ‘harness, bills, bows, spears, javelins and all other my ustelments [furnishings] of war shall remain at Burley as heirlooms’. He named his heirs (including his nephew Robert Brokesby) his executors and Russell his supervisor, and remitted any doubts about the will to his ‘trusty friend’ Edward Griffin, the solicitor-general, who was to have 40s. for his pains. Since Sapcote left no issue the manor of Burley, which was valued at his death at over £100 a year, was eventually sold. The mansion, embellished by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was destroyed in the Civil War.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2].
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from death of his mother’s first husband and from his first shrievalty. VCH Rutland, ii. 115; Wards 7/5/5; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, p. ccci.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv, xiv, xvi, xx, xxi; Statutes, iii. 85.
  • 4. VCH Rutland, ii. 115; LP Hen. VIII, i; Wards 7/5/5; Lincoln Wills, ii (Lincoln Rec. Soc. x), 75-77; C1/709/20.
  • 5. E179/165/123; LP Hen. VIII, v, xiii-xv; PCC 6 Populwell; NRA 8679 passim.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xix; PCC 6 Populwell; Wares 7/3/91, 5/5, 8; VCH Rutland, ii. 112; Pevsner, Leics. and Rutland, 289.