HOOPER, Richard (by 1514-72 or later), of Plymouth, Devon.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1514, s. of Tristram Hooper of Musbury by Elizabeth. educ. ?Oxf. BA 1521, determined 1522. m. at least 1s.1

Offices Held

Receiver, Plymouth 1543-4, mayor 1548-9.2


Richard Hooper was of gentle birth but became a merchant. Before turning to trade he may have aspired to another career, as either he or a namesake of about the same age graduated at Oxford in 1521. He had settled in Plymouth by 1535 when he is mentioned as the bailiff of the priory of Plympton’s manor at Wembury. At the Dissolution he leased two rectories formerly held by the priory. During the 1540s he emerged as one of the leaders in town affairs and he was entrusted with municipal business in London and elsewhere. In 1546 the Council rebuked him for piracy and ordered restitution to be made to his victim. This incident did not harm his advancement for under Edward VI he became mayor and under Mary a Member of Parliament. Nothing is known about his part in the House. It was almost certainly a nephew and namesake who in 1562 received lands near the family’s home and conveyed other property in the locality to another relative. Hooper made his will during October 1572, remembering friends and servants and providing for his grandson Charles whom he named as executor. He died soon afterwards leaving goods valued at £300 and property worth £10 a year. As Charles Hooper was ‘of very tender years’, being under seven, the will was proved by the overseers. They died before Charles Hooper reached 21 and he had to bring an action in Chancery to claim his inheritance: it is from this action that most of the details of his father’s life are known.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first certain reference. Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 488; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 297; Req.2/63/11.
  • 2. Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1544-5; HMC 9th Rep. 277.
  • 3. Val. Eccles. ii. 376; CPR, 1560-3, p. 604; 1569-72 pp. 202, 265; Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1543-8; APC, i. 486, 517; Req.2/63/11.