FOWKE (FOWKES, FULKS), Robert (by 1524-76), of Symondsbury, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1524, s. and h. of Thomas Fowke of Brewood, Staffs. by Margaret Lane of Hyde, Staffs.; ?bro. of Henry Fauxe. m. by 1554, Mary, da. of Richard, 9th Lord Zouche of Haryngworth, 6s. 2da.2

Offices Held

J.p. Dorset 1569-d.; commr. musters 1570.3


Robert Fowke’s father lived in Staffordshire but his mother-in-law was a daughter of Sir John Rogers of Bryanston, Dorset. By 1545, when Fowke headed the jurors at the inquisition following William Chard death, he had settled at Symondsbury, just west of Bridport. He also owned property in Shaftesbury, some of it held at first of the hospital or priory of St. John the Baptist which he eventually obtained for himself after the dissolution of the chantries, the rest held of the 1st Earl of Pembroke.4

As a freeholder in Dorset he took part in the election of the knights of the shire in October 1553. Although towards the end of his life he was put on the county bench he played little part in local affairs and his Membership in 1555 seems to have been his sole incursion into national politics. His election was presumably favoured by his wife’s relatives; her uncle Sir John Rogers sat as the junior knight for the county in the same Parliament, and her cousin Lord St. John was steward of Bridport. Fowke was probably the ‘Mr. Fulks’ who with Rogers and others headed by Sir Anthony Kingston helped to defeat a government bill. Fowke died on 14 Jan. 1576 and was succeeded by his second son Arthur, the eldest son having died at Newhaven in his father’s lifetime.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. OR gives Fowles.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. The Gen. n.s. ii. 301-2; C142/176/34.
  • 3. CPR, 1569-72, p. 224; CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, p. 298.
  • 4. C142/71/184, 176/34; CPR, 1547-8, p. 388; Pembroke Survey (Roxburghe Club cliv), 489, 492, 510, 512.
  • 5. C142/176/34; 219/21/52; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; The Gen. n.s. ii. 301-2.