PRIDEAUX, Roger (by 1524-82), of Soldon, Devon and London.

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, 3rd s. of Humphrey Prideaux of Thuborough, Devon, by Joan, da. of Richard Fowell of Fowelscombe, Devon; half-bro. of Thomas Prideaux. educ. ?I. Temple. m. settlement 10 Feb. 1549, Phillippa (d.1597), da. of Richard Yorke, wid. of Richard Parker, 2s. inc. Nicholas 2da.2

Offices Held

Escheator, Cornw. and Devon 1550-1, 1561-2; commr. sewers, Devon 1554, maritime causes 1578; steward, Exchequer, Devon 1561-d.; j.p. Devon 1561, q. 1564-d.; sheriff 1578-9.3


Roger Prideaux’s career suggests that he was a lawyer by training, but unless he was the ‘Master Predyeux the younger’, so called at the Inner Temple in 1546 to avoid confusion with John Prideaux, he cannot be traced at an inn. The practice of the law could also help to explain why Prideaux, who was to receive nothing under his father’s will, is found engaging in land transactions at an early age. In 1546 he and John Wollacombe bought for £422 a Dorset manor which they immediately sold and two Cornish manors which Prideaux gave to his wife for her dower. In 1549 he and his uncle Nicholas Prideaux acquired for £1,438 lands in Devon and Dorset, most of which they kept for themselves, and in 1553 he joined with Richard Chamond, the principal mover, in buying for £1,406 the manor of Launcells, Cornwall, and scattered properties in Essex, Devon and Somerset. Supplemented by regular small purchases from neighbours and others, these acquisitions produced a valuable set of properties which Prideaux’s descendants were to consolidate.4

Prideaux’s family had long been connected with Totnes, a town not far distant from its residence, and several of his maternal ancestors had sat in Parliament, but his election there in 1545 at so early an age implies his enjoyment of influential support: whence this could have come is not known, but its channel may have been the sheriff, Sir Hugh Stukeley, whose daughter was, or was to be, married to John Prideaux. When he was re-elected in 1547 Roger Prideaux was to sit in the House with this kinsman, so that it is not clear which of them was the ‘Mr. Prideaux’ to whom a bill for decayed houses was committed after its first reading on 30 Jan. 1550. That was to be the end of Prideaux’s parliamentary career, although not of his local one: the next 30 years were to see him brought onto the Devon bench and eventually pricked sheriff.5

By his will of 13 May 1579 Prideaux left instructions that he was to be buried without pomp or pride. His widow received for life the use of his property and house at Soldon which at her death reverted to his elder son Nicholas. His two sons were each left £100 and his unmarried daughter £200. As overseer he named his son-in-law John Peryam. He added a codicil on 2 Jan. 1582 and six days later he died. Probate was granted on 8 Feb. 1582, and at his inquisition his lands were given an annual value of upwards of £88.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: P. S. Edwards / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. C219/282/2; Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Presumed to be of age at election. Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 228-9; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 621; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 365.
  • 3. CPR, 1553, p. 348; 1554-5, p. 108; 1560-3, pp. 181, 436; 1563-6, p. 21; J. Hoker, The description of the citie of Excester (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. xi), 584-97.
  • 4. Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 145; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1548-9, pp. 226, 362; 1553, pp. 12-13, 269; 1554-5, p. 5; 1558-60, p. 405; 1560-3, p. 553; 1563-6, p. 167; PCC 15 Coode.
  • 5. CJ, i. 16.
  • 6. PCC 7 Tirwhite; C142/198/37.