GAWDY, Anthony (d.1606), of ?Norwich and Castle Acre, Norf.

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

4th s. of Thomas Gawdy (d.1556) of Shottesham and Redenhall by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of John Harris of Radford, nr. Plymouth, Devon, wid. of Walter Steyning of Honeycott, Som; half-bro. of Bassingbourne I. unm.

Offices Held

Capt. of musters, Norf. from 1587.


Gawdy was probably born in the Norwich house of his father, who died in 1556, leaving him the manor of Pernowe and other lands in Norfolk and Suffolk purchased from Sir Arthur Hopton. In 1567 Anthony conveyed the house in Norwich to his uncle Thomas Gawdy, justice of the common pleas; but it is doubtful whether Anthony was the real owner, the transaction possibly being no more than a legal expedient. Gawdy frequently resided with his half-brother Bassingbourne, and helped to manage his West Harling estate. He was a close friend of Bassingbourne’s son Philip. Uncle and nephew went to court together; in May 1587 Philip wrote to his brother of Anthony, ‘I find myself so much beholding to him as I think cause meet enough to account him amongst the number of my very good friends’. The following November, Philip promised to write to his uncle ‘of the running at tilt because, he being a captain, it is meet that he should hear of nothing but of martial matters’. The two men worked together to get court support for Bassingbourne in his quarrel with the Lovell family.

Gawdy was a friend of (Sir) Nicholas Bacon, who was responsible for his election at Eye, where one Bacon nominee was returned regularly throughout the latter part of Elizabeth’s reign. Although not mentioned by name in the parliamentary journals, he may have attended a committee concerning the draining of fens (3 Dec. 1597) in his capacity as burgess for Eye. Anthony Gawdy remained a close friend of Philip until his death, made him executor of his will, and left him all his possessions, except £20 apiece to two servants and 500 marks (probably a debt) to a Robert Boulton and his wife. The will, wherein Anthony is described as of Castle Acre, was proved by Philip 17 Nov. 1606. Previously, on 17 May, Anthony had been made executor by his other nephew, Bassingbourne Gawdy II but he predeceased him.

Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 34; Norf. Arch.xxvi. 339, 344, 345, 350-1; Letters of Philip Gawdy (Roxburghe Club), 24 et passim; D’Ewes, 567; A. H. Smith thesis, 131-4; PCC 80 Stafforde, 30 Huddleston.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.