SAUNDERS, Drew (by 1525-79), of Hillingdon, Mdx.

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. by 1525. m. Anne, ?sis. of John Hutton, 1s. prob. d.v.p. 1da.1

Offices Held


Drew Saunders was evidently a kinsman, perhaps a brother, of his fellow-Member Robert Saunders. He was a merchant of the staple who appears in 1546 in the correspondence of Robert Saunders’s brother-in-law Otwell Johnson, with whom he joined in making a loan to the treasurer of Calais. His business must have suffered from the loss of Calais, although in the years which followed he was among the merchants licensed to export wool to Bruges. By then he was shifting his interest elsewhere, having become a charter member of the Russia Company: among his associates in this enterprise was Blase Saunders, a younger brother of Robert. A suit brought in the court of requests by John Hutton, his brother-in-law and fellow-stapler, against Henry Chapman, his son-in-law and executor, shows Saunders trading in 1570 through Hamburg and maintaining a factor there; Chapman, in his rebuttal, mentioned the ‘multitude of the accounts and books of reckonings which came to his hands from the said Drew having so great dealings in merchandise’.2

In 1558 Saunders acquired Cowley Hall and its appurtenances in Hillingdon (where the earls of Derby, lords of Brackley, were principal landowners and occasional residents) from Robert Hutton, and he was to make his will on 21 June 1577 when living in a house called Moorcroft in that parish. No relationship has been found between Drew Saunders and Thomas Saunders of nearby Uxbridge, whose son Nicholas sat in several Elizabethan Parliaments. Saunders left 100 marks to his wife together with her jewelry and four rooms in Moorcroft. The will was proved on 23 June 1579, the year in which his brass in Hillingdon church states that he died.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Req.2/99/18; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 304; PCC 26 Bakon.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi, add.; CPR, 1554-5, p. 56; 1557-8, p. 300; 1558-60, pp. 24, 411; T. S. Willan, Muscovy Merchants of 1555, pp. 52-53, 121-2; PCC 44 Mellershe; Req.2/99/18.
  • 3. VCH Mdx. iv. 62, 71, 73, 89, 91; PCC 26 Backon.