BERRY, Robert (d.1618), of Ludlow, Salop.
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Family and Education
s. of John Berry of Devon. m. Winifred, da. of Robert Hall of Wotton-under-Edge, Glos., 2s. 1da.3
Surveyor of crown lands, Salop, Herefs, 1575; burgess, Ludlow 1579, porter of the castle to 1597, bailiff 1589, 1592, 1601, 1611, 1613; clerk and receiver of fines and forfeitures in the Exchequer 1602.4
Berry probably settled in Ludlow after getting his surveyor’s job, for which, in 1575, he was paid fees totalling £33 6s.8d. By 1592 he was receiving an Exchequer annuity of £37 10s. He carried out a survey of Wigmore castle in 1595, and was appointed in 1601 to a commission to survey lands formerly belonging to the Earl of Essex. He may have spent much of his time in London, as on two occasions in 1591 and one in 1601 he signed for his annuity himself instead of through a deputy. Apparently he had acquired an appointment in the Exchequer after resigning the post of porter of Ludlow castle, for in 1601, in a letter to Lord Chief Justice Popham, he complained that he had ‘attended her Majesty’s business in the Exchequer for four years’ and had brought into her Treasury, by his information against the executors of Sir Walter Mildmay and others, £1,284 2s.6d., for which he had never had ‘one penny allowance’, although he had spent more than £200. He was rewarded with office in the following year.5
He was returned to Parliament for Ludlow in Elizabeth’s reign on seven occasions, the first being at a by-election following Philip Sidney’s choosing to sit for Shrewsbury in 1581, but he is mentioned in the journals on only two or three occasions. In 1584 he took part in a debate concerned with the payment of tithes by corporations. In 1597 he attended Parliament after a disputed return, for which one Thomas ‘Bashfield’ (probably Blashefild, s. of Thomas Blashefild†) was committed to the serjeant’s ward on 6 Feb. 1598. It was in this Parliament that Berry made his second recorded intervention in a debate, on the second reading of a bill enacting that land converted to pasture since the accession of the Queen, after 12 years in tillage should be restored to tillage, and prohibiting such conversions for the future. Berry objected to Shropshire being excluded from the bill, but his motion was ‘utterly disliked by all the burgesses of that country and the knights of that shire’, and he was ‘greatly frowned at for it’. It is probable that he was the ‘Mr. Perry’ who was put on a committee for hats and caps 22 Feb. 1581.6
In 1614 ‘old Robin Berry’ was again elected to Parliament, but was ‘thrown out’ by the Commons, because as bailiff at the time of the election he had returned himself. He made his will 2 May 1618, leaving his property to his son and sole executor Thomas, whose wife Margaret was a daughter of George Calfield. He died a few weeks later and was buried at Ludlow on 26 May.7
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: Patricia Hyde
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vii. 16-17; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 45.
- 4. Lansd. 19, f. 208; 40, f. 199; 83, f. 915; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 427; 1601-3, pp. 38, 184; E405/134; Add. 22924, f. 41v.
- 5. CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 546.
- 6. D’Ewes, 300, 556, 593; Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 168; Neale, Parlts. ii. 344.
- 7. Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i.525; PCC 64 Meade; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. loc. cit.; Ludlow Par. Reg. (Salop Par. Reg. Soc. Heref. Dioc. xiii), 315.