RODD, Richard (-d.1633), of Totnes, Devon and Rodd, Herefs.
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Family and Education
1st s. of Hugh Rodd of Rodd and Margaret, da. of Watkin Price of Nash, Herefs.; bro. of James*. m. by 1608, Agnes, da. of Richard Savery of Totnes, merchant, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1603.1 d. 10 Dec. 1633.2
Rodd’s forebears were minor gentry who took their name from the Herefordshire estate that they had held since the mid-thirteenth century. It is unclear why Rodd, an eldest son, chose to become a Devon merchant, but by 1600 he had settled at Totnes, from where he exported cloth to France. Although he rarely features in the surviving local port books, his business was sufficiently lucrative for him to opt to remain in Devon after succeeding to his patrimony in 1603, leaving his eldest brother to manage his Herefordshire property. Rodd was assessed for subsidy in 1611 at £10 in goods, and became mayor of Totnes in the following year.5 He conceivably had personal motives for seeking election to Parliament in 1621, as his brother James was also returned that year for Hereford. However, he made no mark on the Commons’ proceedings, and apparently relied on his fellow Totnes Member, Sir Edward Giles, to defend the borough’s economic interests.
By 1625 Rodd had invested much of his income in land, and his subsidy assessment of £12 that year confirmed his status as one of Totnes’ wealthier inhabitants. He again served as mayor in 1627-8, but probably returned to Herefordshire soon afterwards, as his ancestral seat was extensively refurbished in 1629.6 Three years later he was pricked as sheriff of Radnorshire, even though he owned just 40 acres in the county.7 Rodd made his will on 27 Feb. 1633, still describing himself as a merchant. He left £6 to the poor of Totnes, and noted that a £2,590 loan to his former Devon neighbour, Arthur Champernowne*, was almost due for repayment. Other bequests included £1,000 to his wife, and £200 to his daughter. Rodd died in the following December, a month after completing his shrieval term, and was buried at Presteigne, Radnorshire. His elder son Richard inherited the Rodd estate, while his younger son James received the Devon properties. Neither they nor their direct descendants entered Parliament.8
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Paul Hunneyball
- 1. F.J.R. Rodd (Lord Rennell), Valley on the March, 287-8; PROB 11/165, f. 224v; Presteigne par. reg.
- 2. C142/529/122.
- 3. E. Windeatt, ‘Totnes Mayors’, Western Antiquary, x. 147; Reps. and Trans. Devon Assoc. xxxii. 111.
- 4. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO L. and I. ix), 269.
- 5. Rodd, 152, 192-3; E179/101/421, 450; E190/938/14.
- 6. E179/102/463; Rodd, 258.
- 7. HEHL, EL7136; C142/529/122.
- 8. PROB 11/165, ff. 224v-5v; Rodd, 287-8; C142/529/122.