KS3 > The Reformation > MPs > Sir Robert Tyrwhitt
Robert Tyrwhitt was brought up at the royal court, and was one of the first to receive a grant of monastic lands after the dissolution of the monasteries. Between 1536 and 1547 he obtained over twenty grants of former church lands.
The selling off of monastic lands was very unpopular. Although Protestants believed the monasteries and religious houses were corrupt, they also provided hospitals, poor relief and schools. It was because people were unhappy with Tyrwhitt getting an area of former religious land in Stainfield, Lincolnshire, that helped to provoke a rebellion in 1536. That rebellion later became the Pilgrimage of Grace. Tyrwhitt and his family fought against the rebels.
Tyrwhitt sat in Parliament first for his home county of Lincolnshire, in 1545, but later moved to Huntingdonshire, again buying more former church lands. Tyrwhitt and his wife were Protestants, Lady Tyrwhitt was known as a particularly devout woman. Despite this, Tyrwhitt supported Mary against Wyatt’s rebellion in Kent, 1553 and sat in the Mary I's 3rd Parliament. However, he afterwards avoided serving in Mary’s government.
After sitting in Elizabeth I’s First Parliament, he lived quietly in Huntingdonshire, holding local office and was ‘earnest in religion’. He died on 10 May 1572.
Memorial to Sir Robert Tyrwhitt & wife, All Saints' Church, Bigby, Lincolnshire
(Photograph © Julian P Guffogg)
Sir Robert Tyrwhitt
Tyrwhitt’s wife was the cousin of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr. Tyrwhitt and his wife were sent as overseers to Princess Elizabeth (who would later be Queen) after Catherine’s death and had to question Elizabeth about her relationship with her stepfather, Thomas Seymour. Elizabeth never forgave them for this!