GAWDY, Robert (1577-1639), of Claxton, 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

b. 1577. 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Gawdy by his 1st w. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1593; I. Temple 1595. m. Winifred, da. and coh. of (Sir) Nathaniel Bacon, 2s. 1da. suc. fa 1621. Kntd. by 1605.

Offices Held

Commr. for impress of seamen, Norf 1620; j.p. Norf. temp. Chas. I, sheriff 1628-9.


Relatively little is known about Gawdy considering the standing of his family; a possible explanation is that he was over 40 when he succeeded his father. It is not even clear whether he was a country gentleman or a practising lawyer. His eldest son was baptised in Norwich, where Gawdy may have spent part of his early married life in the family’s town house. His return for East Looe in 1597 must have been due to a great man at court: perhaps his marriage into the Bacon family provides the clue. Again, his cousin Philip Gawdy moved in court circles. Gawdy stood for Norfolk for the Parliaments of 1624 and 1625. The 1624 election was disputed and a discussion occurred in the House. It appeared that Gawdy had wished to be the senior Member and, frustrated in this, was unwilling to be the junior. He was not elected in 1625. His wife and children died before him, and he was succeeded by his nephew Thomas, who received an estate of at least nine manors in Norfolk. By his will, dated 15 May 1639, he left the contents of his manor house at Claxton to Thomas, and £1,000 to his grand-daughter, Mary Parker. He died 23 July 1639 and was buried in Claxton church beside his family.

Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 127; Norf. Arch. xxvii. 48-51; APC, 1619-21, p. 248; HMC Gawdy, 122; C142/773/183.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.