MONSON (MOUNSON), Sir Robert (c.1574-1638), of North Carlton, Lincs. and Wakefield, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1574, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir John Monson (d. 20 Dec. 1593) of South Carlton, Lincs. and Jane, da. of Robert Dighton† of Little Sturton, Lincs.; bro. of Sir Thomas* and Sir William†.1 educ. G. Inn 1592.2 m. 1602, Sarah, da. of Richard Clayton, draper, of Wakefield, wid. of Thomas Savile of Northgate Head, Yorks., 1s. d.v.p. 5da.3 kntd. 23 July 1603.4 d. 15 Sept. 1638.5
Monson, the younger son of a well-established Lincolnshire gentry family, followed in the footsteps of his two elder brothers as a student at Gray’s Inn, and was knighted at the coronation of James I. Although he took out the freedom of Lincoln ahead of the general election in March 1614 with the apparent intention of standing, he failed to obtain a seat in the Addled Parliament. He held property less than four miles north of the city; but by this time his marriage connected him more closely with the West Riding. He was dismissed from the Yorkshire magistrates’ bench in around 1616 for religious reasons; a former colleague who had incurred Monson’s enmity while searching a recusant’s house described him in Star Chamber in 1618 as a ‘known favourer of the popish recusants’.9 Monson was frequently involved in litigation over the coming years. As sole executor of his late brother-in-law Sir Thomas Reresby from 1621, he and Sir Francis Wortley*, 1st bt., launched a series of Chancery suits against Sir Simeon Steward*, who had married Reresby’s widow.10 Furthermore, in 1624 evidence was given in another Chancery case on behalf of Richard Graham* that Monson was chiefly responsible for a fraudulent entail of the Norton Conyers estate in Wath, Yorkshire.11
Monson was not finally elected to Parliament until 1626, when he was returned for Lincoln, presumably aided by the local connections of his nephew, John, who sat in the same Parliament as a Lincolnshire knight of the shire. Over the course of the session he was named to only two committees, one for a private bill to reverse a Chancery decree concerning his brother-in-law Steward’s estate (2 Mar. 1626), and the other for a bill to restrict urban development (4 March).12 He was fined £10 on 2 June for being absent without leave.13
In 1626-9 Monson and Wortley were sued in Chancery by Reresby’