AMYCE, Roger (c.1515-74), of Wakes Colne, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b.c.1515, s. of John Amyce of Som. m. (1) by 1548, Elizabeth, da. of Sir George Lawson of York, wid. of William Rigby (d. by Feb. 1533), 2s. inc. Israel 2da.; (2) Margaret, wid. of Richard Forsett, ?s.p.2

Offices Held

Servant of Thomas Cromwell 1538; receiver, Glastonbury and Reading abbey lands 1540-7; commr. chantries Berks. and Hants. enclosure commr. Oxon., Berks., and other counties 1547 and 1548; alderman, New Windsor c.1552; surveyor, Berks. 1547-67; j.p. Essex from 1561; gov. Christ’s hospital, Abingdon 1553, master from 1566.3


Amyce presumably owed his parliamentary seats to his official position in Berkshire, where he may have owned property, though his will mentions land only at Wakes Colne and Cranbrooke, Essex, and Welleshall, Suffolk, and he was never on the Berkshire commission of the peace. His early career was closely associated with the religious changes of the period. When in 1547 he surrendered the receivership of abbey lands—a lucrative office carrying, in addition to the £40 salary, a 1% commission on the issues of the property—he was compensated by an annuity of 100 marks. Since he had other possibilities of making large profits as the official responsible for the confiscation of Berkshire and Hampshire chantries, he must by Elizabeth’s accession have been a wealthy man. His connexion with Christ’s hospital, Abingdon, dated from 1553, when he and Sir John Mason were the two chief governors of the newly founded charity. On Mason’s death in 1566 Amyce was appointed master, claiming that the hospital had been established by his means.4

After 1558 he supported the new church settlement. He was classified in 1564 as a favourer of sound religion, and the preamble to his will, drawn up on 4 June 1574 and proved on the th of the following month, asks for no ‘vain pomp of funeral solemnities’, and requests his ‘very good and especial friend’ Edmund Freake, bishop of Rochester, to preach the funeral sermon. A section of the will concerns a large debt owing to Amyce from the Crown. The heir and executor, Amyce’s son Israel, was instructed to pay 500 marks to Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and 100 each to Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Sir Walter Mildmay, if the money was recovered ‘by their means’. One of the executors was his ‘well-beloved and trusty friend’ Sir Thomas Smith.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Reading Recs. ed. Guilding, i. 92.
  • 2. Reg. 2/176/30; LP Hen. VIII , vi. 174, 343; VCH Essex , v. 197; Al. Cant. i(1), p. 27; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 19, 172.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xiii(2), p. 497; xv. 116; E315/218, f. 59; CPR, 1547-8, p. 419; 1548-9, p. 136; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 142; 1566-9, p. 77; R. R. Tighe and J. E. Davis, Windsor Annals, i. 591; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 295; Windsor Recs. (Ashmole mss), 6 Edw. VI, f. 36d; A. E. Preston, Christ’s Hosp. Abingdon, 27-8, 44.
  • 4. PCC 32 Martyn; LP Hen. VIII, xix(2), p. 71; VCH Berks. ii. 23-4; CPR, 1547-8, p. 419; E315/218/111.
  • 5. Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 62; PCC 32 Martyn.