WRIGHT, Edmund (d.c.1583), of Burnt Bradfield and Sutton, Suff. and Little Buckenham, Norf.
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Family and Education
1st s. of Robert Wright of Burnt Bradfield by Anne, da. and coh. of one Russell of Bradfield. m. ?(1) Anne Salvyn, s.p.; (2) Frances, da. of Sir John Spring of Lavenham, Suff., 5 or 6 da.1
?Surgeon to Queen Mary 1553 or 1554; escheator, Norf. and Suff. 1553-4, 1560-1.2
Wright presumably owed his Steyning seat to the 4th Duke of Norfolk or to the Duke’s father-in-law, the 12th Earl of Arundel, steward of the royal honour of Petworth, which included the borough of Steyning. During Henry VIII’s reign Wright had been a servant of Thomas Cromwell and was later transferred to the King’s service. In 1537, through the influence of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, he was granted a lease of Lythe parsonage, Yorkshire. In 1545 he added to his property in that county by buying, with a relative, George Wright†, the manor of Westerdale, together with lands at Castroppe (?Casthorpe), Lincolnshire, and elsewhere. There is no evidence that he lived for long in the north-east, and these estates are not mentioned in his will: he presumably bought them as a speculation. However, he had evidently been in Yorkshire in 1542, when he received coat and conduct money for over 100 soldiers from the county. Another valuable Yorkshire grant to him, of the former priory of ‘Grandemonte alias Gramonte’, mentions his wife Frances Spring. In 1551 he gained the wardship of her brother William, Sir John Spring’s heir.3
While there need be no doubt that the Norfolk and Suffolk landowner was the Steyning MP, it is not certain that he was the Edmund Wright whose patent as a royal surgeon, granting him a £40 annuity, was enrolled in July 1554, and who was still holding the position at Elizabeth’s coronation, when he was allowed ‘five yards of scarlet’ for his processional robes. However, in December 1554 Edmund Wright and his wife Frances were granted the reversion of the manor of Bardsall, Yorkshire, ‘for his service in the rebellion at Framlingham’, and in consideration of his surrendering a patent for a £40 annuity granted in October 1553. This looks very much like the royal surgeon’s annuity which, although enrolled in 1554, may have been granted earlier. If a court doctor was escheator of Norfolk and Suffolk, he must have exercised the office by deputy—a not unknown procedure.4
After 1559 few references to an Edmund Wright, either as surgeon or landowner, have been found. A man of this name was in 1563 the tenant of a house in the London parish of St. Lawrence Jewry. Wright of ‘Buckenham Tofts, Norfolk’ made his will in July 1583, proved at Norwich on 4 Feb. 1584. The preamble asked God for Christ’s sake ‘to receive my soul, and for his sake to put away all my sins and so to bury them in his death and obedience as they may never come up in judgment against me’. Wright wished to be buried ‘in honest and comely sort’, wherever his widow, Frances, the sole legatee and executrix, thought fit. His daughters and coheiresses had presumably been already provided for. John Heigham, the husband of one of them, was a witness to the will.5