GAWDY, Bassingbourne I (d.1590), of West Harling, Norf.

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




Family and Education

2nd s. of Thomas Gawdy (d.1556) of Shottesham and Redenhall by his 1st w. Anne, da. and coh. of John Bassingbourne of Woodhall, Hatfield, Herts; half-bro. of Anthony. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. ‘impubes’ 1545; I. Temple 1551. m. (1) 1558, Anne (d.1587), da. of John Wootton of Tuddenham, Norf., ?wid. of Henry Reppes, 2s. Bassingbourne II and Philip; (2) Dec. 1588, Margaret (d.1590), da. of Eustace Sulyard, wid. of Thomas Darcy of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex, s.p.

Offices Held

Gent. waiter by 1559; j.p. Suff. from c.1573, Norf. from c.1583 (temp. rem. bet. 1585 and 1587); sheriff, Norf. 1578-9.


As a servant of the Marian chancellor, Bishop Gardiner, whose will he witnessed, Gawdy spent his early life in legal and court circles. A second son, he inherited little land, but he acquired estates in Norfolk through his first wife, and settled at West Harling to administer them, assisted by his half-brother Anthony. He became a respected local figure in both Norfolk and Suffolk, and no doubt kept in touch with some of the courtiers he had known earlier. In 1578, when he was sheriff, Leicester asked him to appoint one of his servants as under-sheriff, and in 1579 Gawdy asked Leicester to intercede for his brother-in-law, Henry Everard, who was imprisoned at Bury.

Despite his early associations, Gawdy belonged to the group