ZOUCHE, Francis (d.1600), of Ansty; later of Shaftesbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
s. of Sir John Zouche of Ansty. m. Philippa, 6th da. of George Ludlow of Hill Deverill, 2s. 1da.
J.p. Wilts. from c.1583; keeper, Mere park 1586.
Zouche may have been a servant of the 1st Earl of Pembroke, who, in his will, asked his son to grant him an annuity; on the other hand Zouche’s brother was in Ireland with Ralegh, and it was Ralegh who obtained Zouche the keepership of Mere park in succession to his father. Either way, Zouche was brought in for Shaftesbury by the 2nd Earl of Pembroke. The Ralegh connexion may have helped at Heytesbury, controlled in 1589 by John Thynne, whose stepson was Carew Ralegh. Zouche presumably came in at Hindon on his own local standing. He could have sat on a committee concerning cloth, appointed 15 Mar. 1593.
By 1595 Zouche was heavily in debt. He poured out his troubles in a long letter to Cecil about ‘some persons in whom I had put great confidence’, ‘great charge of children’ and ‘many outlawries and suits pronounced against me’. In February 1594 he had had to sell Ansty for £3,250, and he still owed £1,800 on which he was paying £150 p.a. interest. His wife refused to realise money on her jointure, and had gone to court to petition the Queen about his disposal of Ansty. Zouche ‘for my good, her own credit and the better comfort of our children’, asked that she be sent home promptly. After being compelled in 1598 to sell to John Hele I a quarter share in the manor of Wreyland, Devon, Zouche lived in Shaftesbury, where he died in 1600, when his three children were granted administration of his goods.
DNB (Zouche, Richard); Gabriel thesis; Roberts thesis; Harl. 1565, f. 2; Vis Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 223 seq.; C142/209/44; PCC 15 Lyon; Pembroke Survey (Roxburghe Club), 558; CSP Ire. 1574-85, p. 331; D’Ewes, 501; HMC Hatfield, v. 158-9; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 711; Wreyland Docs. ed. Torr, 129-31; PCC admon. act bk. 1600, f. 55; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. ii. 271.