THROCKMORTON, Robert (by 1513-81), of Coughton, Warws. and Weston Underwood, Bucks.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1513, 1st s. of Sir George Throckmorton, and bro. of Anthony, Clement, George, John I, Kenelm and Nicholas. educ. ?M. Temple. m. (1) 1527, Muriel, da. of Thomas, 5th Lord Berkeley, 3s. inc. Thomas II 4da.; (2) 1542, Elizabeth (d. 23 Jan. 1554), da. of Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, wid. of Walter, Lord Hungerford, at least 2s. 5da. suc. fa. 6 Aug. 1552. Kntd. by 25 Sept. 1553.1

Offices Held

Jt. (with fa.) steward, Evesham abbey 1527, Claverdon, Warws. 1531; Maxstoke, Warws. 1535, Balsall, Warws. 1539; bailiff, Warwick 1544-5; j.p. Warws. from 1547, q. 1561-4, rem. 1570; commr. relief 1550, loan 1557, musters 1569; sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 1553-4; constable, Warwick castle Sept. 1553-8; steward, lands of bp. of Worcester in 1564.2


Robert Throckmorton may have trained at the Middle Temple, the inn attended by his father, at least three of his younger brothers and his own eldest son, but as the heir to extensive estates he had little need to seek a career at court or in government. He was joined with his father in several stewardships from 1527 and was perhaps the servant of Robert Tyrwhitt, a distant relative by marriage of the Throckmortons, who in 1540 took an inventory of Cromwell’s goods at Mortlake. He attended the reception of Anne of Cleves and with several of his brothers served in the French war of 1544. Three years later he was placed on the Warwickshire bench and was thus suitably qualified for the knighthood of the shire which fell to him almost as though it were a part of his inheritance in March 1553: three of his brothers sat in the same Parliament, Nicholas as knight for Northamptonshire.3

Throckmorton’s role in the succession crisis of 1553 is unknown but his standing with Queen Mary is shown by her reputed answer to the news of Edward VI’s death sent her by four of his brothers: ‘If Robert had been there she durst have gaged her life and hazarded the hap’. In the autumn of 1553 Throckmorton was knighted and appointed constable of Warwick castle and only his shrievalty prevented him from continuing to sit for the shire until in 1558 he gave way to his eldest son. His Catholicism explains his disappearance from the Commons in the new reign, although the most Catholic of his brothers, Anthony Throckmorton, was to sit in the Parliament of 1563. Judged an ‘adversary of true religion’ in 1564, Throckmorton remained active in Warwickshire until his refusal to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity led to his removal rom the commission of the peace.4

In 1577 the bishop of Worcester listed Throckmorton as a Catholic and reckoned him to be worth 1,000 marks a year in lands and £1,000 in goods. He died on 12 Feb. 1581, six days after making a will in which he styled himself of Weston Underwood but asked to be buried at Coughton, where an alabaster and marble tomb was accordingly erected to his memory: there is a portrait at Coughton. He named as executors his eldest son Thomas and his sons-in-law Sir John Goodwin and Ralph Sheldon, and as overseers another son-in-law Sir Thomas Tresham and his ‘loving friend’ Edmund Plowden.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/98/75. Dugdale, Warws. 755; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 87-88; Coughton Ct. mss boxes 1-33, no. 764.
  • 2. Coughton Ct. mss boxes 1-33, no. App. 188; box 59; LP Hen. VIII, v; C219/18C/124; CPR, 1547-8, p. 90; 1553, p. 360; 1553-4, pp. 199-200; 1563-6, p. 28; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 95, 343, 366; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 4.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xv, xix, add.
  • 4. A. L. Rowse, Ralegh and the Throckmortons, 18; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 4, 7; Lansd. 8(18), f. 81; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 366.
  • 5. Cath. Rec. Soc. xxii. 65; C142/193/89; PCC 12 Darcy; VCH Warws. iii. 85; Pevsner and Wedgwood, Warws. 245; R. C. Strong, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, i. 312; C. O. Moreton, Waddesdon and Over Winchendon, 131; CPR, 1553-4, p. 84.