CHAMBRE, Calcot (c.1573-1635), of Williamscote, Oxon. and Carnew, co. Wicklow

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1573, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of George Chambre of Petton, Salop and Judith, da. and h. of Walter Calcott, merchant of the Staple, of Williamscote.1 educ. Shrewsbury sch. 1581.2 m. (1) c.1599, Mary, da. and coh. of Edward Villiers of Hothorpe, Northants., 1s. 2da.;3 (2) c.Sept. 1611, (with £3,000), Lucy (d. 28 Aug. 1622), da. and coh. of John Gobert of Coventry, Warws., s.p.4 suc. fa. 1594.5 d. 29 Oct. 1635.6

Offices Held

Asst. to the corp. of Banbury, Oxon. 1608;7 freeman, Gorey, co. Wexford 1619;8 commr. prizes, Leinster 1627.9


Chambre’s father, a younger son of a Shropshire family which traced its ancestry back to the thirteenth century, became a merchant of the Staple and by marriage acquired the manor of Williamscote, three miles from Banbury, in 1559. Three of his sons were named Calcot, and when the eldest died in 1592 Chambre became the heir of Williamscote and other property in Banbury, Cropredy and Bourton, all held of the Crown as of Banbury castle, under the terms of a settlement of 1572.10 At his father’s death two years later he also inherited responsibilities in Banbury in connection with £100 which his grandfather had left ‘to be put out’. It was presumably for this reason that he was named as an assistant to the corporation for life under the 1608 charter.11

In 1611 Chambre married his second wife Lucy Gobert, whose father had declared that he would give her £3,000 on marriage, ‘with a good addition at his death’. In the following year Gobert bought a share in a lease of the lordship of Shillelagh in county Wexford, and offered the greater part of it to Chambre towards the dowry. Chambre reluctantly accepted, went to Ireland in the autumn of 1612, and, after buying out the more ‘ill-conditioned and needy’ of his partners, transported his family to Carnew in County Wicklow three years later.12 Early in 1616 he joined with his Oxfordshire neighbour Sir William Cope*, presumably a partner in the lease, in seeking a licence to export pipe-staves from Shillelagh.13 A year later he resorted to his father-in-law for help in buying the fee-farm, but in exchange Gobert raised mortgages on Williamscote.14 Lucy Chambre died childless in 1622 and her father two years later, leaving his surviving heirs a claim on Williamscote which they pursued in the Court of Wards.15

Chambre was clearly on good terms with the great puritan families who dominated Banbury as he was elected to represent the borough in 1626. Once in Parliament he was named to only three committees. The first, for a bill against scandalous and unworthy ministers (15 Feb.), was a measure of some personal concern to him, for he was to bequeath £100 to his friend the noted puritan John Dod ‘to be by his discretion bestowed upon poor ministers’.16 Chambre’s remaining appointments were to consider a private land bill (27 Feb.) and a measure against adultery and fornication (4 March).17 Whether he shared the heterodox belief of William Whately, then vicar of Banbury, that adultery was grounds for divorce, it is impossible to say.18

In 1629 the Court of Wards ruled that Chambre must pay the £3,000 due on the mortgage to the Gobert heirs, although it accepted that he had received less than £1,000 towards his wife’s portion.19 Shortly afterwards he made over Shillelagh and other property to three trustees, James Fiennes*, his brother Nathaniel Fiennes†, and John Crewe*, principally to raise a portion of £5,000 for his younger daughter’s marriage to the heir of an Irish peer.20 His petitions from this ‘remote and dangerous place’ for licences to export his pipe-staves generally received favourable consideration from the Privy Council in view of his merits and good services, though in 1630 he was reproved for demanding too high a price from the victuallers of the Navy.21 In 1631 he failed to make an appearance to compound for knighthood in Oxfordshire, and in 1633 he was forced to sell Williamscote.22 He died on 29 Oct. 1635, and was buried at Carnew.23 In his will, drawn up in Ireland seven years earlier, he did not forget the poor of Banbury and Cropredy.24 Two years after his death, Chambre’s trustees leased out Shillelagh for 22 years; the entry fine being at least £3,500 and the rent £500 p.a.25 None of his descendants sat at Westminster, but two of the family were elected to the Irish Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 150; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 97-99.
  • 2. Shrewsbury Sch. Regestrum Scholarium comp. E. Calvert, i. 73.
  • 3. Nichols, County of Leicester, ii. 828, 830; C2/Jas.I/C19/50.
  • 4. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 293; WARD 9/96, f. 194v.
  • 5. C142/242/47.
  • 6. W.R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Oxon. 178.
  • 7. Banbury Corp. Recs. (Banbury Hist. Soc. xv), 98-102, 303.
  • 8. Wexford ed. P.H. Hore, vi. 612.
  • 9. APC, 1627, p. 460.
  • 10. VCH Oxon. x. 173, 180, 187, 216.
  • 11. A. Beesley, Banbury, 250, 255; Banbury Corp. Recs. (Banbury Hist. Soc. xv), 69, 78.
  • 12. WARD 9/96, f. 194v.
  • 13. APC, 1615-16, p. 617.
  • 14. CPR Ire. Jas. I, 362a, 413a.
  • 15. WARD 9/96, f. 194r-v.
  • 16. CJ, i. 819b.
  • 17. Ibid. 825a, 830b.
  • 18. W. Whately, A Bride-Bush (1619), pp. 4-5.
  • 19. WARD 9/96, f. 194v.
  • 20. HMC 9th Rep. ii. 63b.
  • 21. APC, 1621-3, p. 181; 1623-5, p. 447; 1625, p. 445; 1630-1, pp. 57, 143; CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 509; 1631-3, p. 6; 1635-6, p. 143.
  • 22. E178/5588; VCH Oxon. x. 216; Bodl. mss Ch. Oxon. 2662.
  • 23. Williams, 178.
  • 24. PROB 11/171, ff. 77v-8; VCH Oxon. x. 206.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 164; HMC Egmont, i. 97.