DRAKE, Richard (1535-1603), of Esher Place, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1535, 3rd s. of John Drake of Ash, Devon by Amy, da. of Sir Roger Grenville of Stowe, Cornw. m. Ursula, da. of Sir William Stafford of Chebsey, Staffs. by Dorothy, da. of Henry, 10th Baron Stafford, 1s.

Offices Held

Equerry of the stable by 1577; groom of the privy chamber by 1584; surveyor of the game in Woking park 1589; steward, Woking manor 1590; j.p. Surr. from c.1591, commr. subsidy 1593.


Drake’s connexions, like those of his cousin Francis, were with the west country, but as a courtier he needed a residence near London, and in 1583 he leased Esher Place from Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham. He was returned to the 1581 session of the 1572 Parliament at a by-election for Morpeth through a friend at court, either the 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, president of the council in the north, or Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, the warden of the east march. At Castle Rising Drake was probably suggested by his fellow groom of the chamber, Michael Stanhope, who came in himself at the same time. No record has been found of any activity by Drake in either Parliament. As a courtier high in the Queen’s favour he received many valuable grants, such as gold and silver taken from ships of the Spanish Armada, a monopoly for the manufacture of aqua vitae—mentioned in the 1601 debate on monopolies—and, about 1602, a grant of the balance still owed to her from Sir Francis Drake’s voyage of 1585-6.

‘Richard Drake, of Esher, Surrey, Esquire’ died 11 July 1603. In his will, made 31 May 1603 and proved 31 Jan. 1604, he asked to be buried in Esher church, and left his widow the lease of the manor of Walton-on-Thames, the parsonage there, a house in Fetter Lane and his coach and horses. All other lands and goods went to his son Francis, the executor.

Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 94; Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 154; VCH Surr. iii. 448, 450; W. H. Price, Eng. Patents of Monopoly, passim; HMC 7th Rep. 646, 661; Bodl. Rawl. mss; Roberts thesis; Surr. Arch. Colls. vii. 203-6, 210; xviii. 200; HMC Hatfield, iv. 303; xvii. 386; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 517, 534, 1598-1601, p. 507; 1601-3, p. 253; 1603-10, p. 167; Defeat of the Spanish Armada, ed. Laughton (Navy Recs. Soc.), i. 354-5; ii. 136; Lansd. 31, ff. 54, 57; 76, f. 9; APC, xxx. 173; xxxi. 436-7; xxxii. 479; K. R. Andrews, ‘Econ. Aspects of Eliz. Privateering’ (London Univ. PhD thesis 1951), p. 361; D’Ewes, 644; PCC 1 Drake, 2 Harte.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.N.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.