HAYWARD, Sir Rowland (c.1520-93), of Elsinge Spital, London, King's Place, Hackney, Mdx. and Cound, Salop.

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. c.1520, 1st s. of George Hayward of Bridgnorth, Salop by Margaret, da. of John Whitbrooke. educ. Bridgnorth free sch. m. (1) Joan, da. and coh. of William Tyllesworth, goldsmith, of London, at least 8ch.; (2) Catherine, aged 16, da. of (Sir) Thomas Smythe I of Westenhanger Castle, Kent, 2s. 4da. Kntd 1570.1

Offices Held

Master, Clothworkers’ Co. 1559-60; merchant adventurer 1564; common councilman, London bef. 1560; auditor 1556-8, alderman 1560-93, sheriff 1563-4; ld. mayor 1570-1, 1591; j.p. Mont., Salop from c.1573, Mdx. from c.1583.

Gov. mineral and battery works 1560, Muscovy Co. 1567, 1568, 1569, 1574, 1577, 1580, 1584, 1587.

President of Bridewell 1561; auditor gen. of hospitals 1566; president, St. Bartholomew’s 1572-d.; chairman of commission to reform Newgate 1574; surveyor gen. of hospitals 1580, comptroller gen. 1581.2


By 1552 Hayward was trading at Antwerp. Returning to England by the time of Mary’s coronation he became a merchant adventurer importing fustian, camlets and buckram, dealing in silk, and exporting cloth. In 1564-5, and again in 1587, he championed the protests of London clothworkers and merchants against unrestricted Hanseatic export of unfinished cloths. Active on behalf of the Muscovy Company, of which he was a charter assistant at its foundation in 1555, he was instrumental in efforts to extend trade with Russia and Persia, notably through the 1577-8 attempt to discover a north-east passage. He was a promoter of the third slaving voyage of John Hawkins in 1567 and of Fenton’s disastrous voyage to the Far East in 1581. He contributed to a loan of £1,000 to the city for wheat in 1560, and was one of those from whom the Queen in 1560-1 borrowed £30,000, first at 10% then at 12% interest, in addition lending her privately nearly £7,000 between 1569 and 1571. When in 1575 the Queen borrowed £30,000 from the city, Hayward advocated, unsuccessfully, that £100,000 should be raised from abroad. He was closely associated with the opening of the Royal Exchange, represented the city in discussions with Cecil, and helped to audit the burse accounts.3

Hayward’s tenure of office as president of St. Bartholomew’s hospital was long. The surgeons there dedicated to him and others the earliest extant edition of Vicary’s Profitable Treatise of the Anatomy of Man’s Body. Hayward helped, as late as 1593, to choose the site of a new plague hospital. He also served as commissioner of sewers in 1566, and for reprisal against the goods of Spanish subjects in 1572-3. Father of the city by 1586, he was active in preparations against Spanish attacks in 1588-9. In his later days, as surveyor of the Bridgehouse estate, he had much to do with the disposal of city property, while in 1591, on the death of the lord mayor, he took on the office for the remainder of the term. As late as 1593 he was helping to decide what bills the city should present to Parliament.4

As senior MP for London in 1572, he was particularly active on committees concerning London, trade and industry. During the first session of the Parliament he was appointed to committees on Mary Queen of Scots (12 May), weights and measures (23 May), foreign artisans in the city of London (24 May) and kerseys (28 June). He spoke on three occasions during this session, on 21 May supporting a bill to forbid the use of wood to smelt iron within 20 miles of London. Hayward quoted figures to show how the price of fuel had risen ‘within them 30 years’: billets of wood from 4s.8d. a thousand to between 10s. and 25s., a load of coal from 9s., to 20s.30s., or 40s. His other two speeches were on wax (10 June) and on a motion that corporate towns should appoint a chamberlain to look after the affairs of their orphans (10 June). During the second session of the Parliament he was appointed to the committee to examine Peter Wentworth (8 Feb.), and to committees concerning the subsidy (10 Feb.), the poor (11 Feb.), cloth (16 Feb., 9 Mar.), beer (17 Feb.), leather (18 Feb.), wine (21 Feb.), the reciprocal treatment of foreigners (24 Feb.), braggers and drovers (28 Feb.), assize of wood within the city of London (3 Mar.), and artisans (8 Mar.). On 8 Mar. he was one of those chosen to discuss with the Lords which private bills were ‘fittest to be expedited’, and on 13 Mar. he was appointed to hear the counsel of the goldsmiths.

In 1581 he was in hot water over another bill aimed at controlling the manufacture of iron near London. Appointed to the committee on 28 Jan., he introduced another bill of his own on the subject without the permission of the committee. A demand for his punishment failed on a motion by the Speaker (16 Feb.). His other committees in 1581 concerned the subsidy (25 Jan.), paving the streets near Aldgate (9 Feb.), a private bill (20 Feb.), wool (23 Feb.) and London merchants (2 Mar.). On 8 Mar. two bills were delivered to him concerning Erith and Plumstead marshes, and a rent charge to the bishop of Coventry and his successors. Both committees were reported by Hayward the next day. He was paid his wages, 4s. a day for attendance and 1s. a day for boat hire, in addition to £6 13s.4d. a session for his scarlet Parliament robe.5

Hayward bought a good deal of property, some ex-monastic, in 1553, and his subsidy assessments show the extent of his landed wealth. He had 13 manors in Shropshire, two in Wiltshire, one on the border of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and one in Montgomeryshire. His extensive London property included Garland Alley in St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, and houses, orchards and gardens in Wood Street, Bunting Alley and Milk Street. From 1563 he lived at Elsinge Spital and 20 years later he bought from Sir Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, a manor in Hackney, to serve him as a country residence. It was there that he was visited by the Queen in 1583 and 1587. He died 5 Dec. 1593, and was buried at St. Alphage, London Wall, where a monument was erected. In his will, dated 17 Nov. 1592 and proved 4 Mar. 1594, he directed that, according to the custom of London, his personal property should be divided into three parts, one for his wife, another for his children and a third for legacies. The overseers, including Thomas Owen and William Sebright, received £10 apiece. Charitable bequests included weekly loaves for the poor; a grant of land towards the relief of the sick and aged; the repair of St. Alphage; and an endowment of £20 a year for his old school at Bridgnorth.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: W.J.J. / P. W. Hasler


This biography is based on W. Jay, ‘Sir Rowland Hayward’, Trans. London and Mdx. Arch. Soc. n.s. vi. 509-27.

  • 1. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix, cx), 105; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 235
  • 2. A. B. Beaven, Aldermen, i. 253; ii. 36; T. S. Willan, Early Hist. Russia Co. 285-6; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 353-4; 1560-3, p. 112; 1563-6, p. 178; 1566-9, p. 274; N. Moore, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, ii. 589.
  • 3. O. de Smedt, De Engelse Natie de Antwerpen 1496-1582 (Antwerp 1954), ii. 481-2; SP12/6/52; 20/63; Tudor Econ. Docs. ed. Tawney and Power, i. 246; ii. 150-1; Willan, Muscovy Merchants, 102; G. Unwin, Studies in Econ. Hist. 202-3; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 275, 316, 505, 511; 1581-90, p. 411; APC, vii. 277 seq.; viii. 54, 55, 57, 59; xv. 277; Hakluyt’s Voyages (1903-5), ii. 307; iii. 93, 109, 253; E. Lipson, Econ. Hist. England, ii. 236; J. A. Williamson, Sir John Hawkins, 129; DNB (Fenton, Edward); Sel. Charters Trading Cos. ed. Carr (Selden Soc. xxviii), 19; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 353-4; 1560-3, p. 112; 1566-9, p. 274.
  • 4. Beaven, i. 253; ii. 36; Jay, 510, 512, 513, 584-5, 517, 519, 520, 521; Regs. Stationers Co. of London 1554-1640, ed. Arber, i. 480; CPR, 1553-4, pp. 73-4; 1558-60, p. 29; N. Moore, Hist. St. Bartholomew’s Hosp. ii. 589; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 435; 1581-90, p. 644; R. R. Sharpe, London and the Kingdom (1894), i. 508-14; Archaeologia, xl. 395 seq.
  • 5. D’Ewes, 206, 214, 223, 224, 241, 247, 248, 251, 252, 255, 262, 288, 294, 298, 300, 303, 304; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. ff. 32, 60, 61; CJ, i. 94, 97, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110, 112, 115, 119, 120, 124, 128, 129, 130, 132.
  • 6. CPR, 1553-4, pp. 478-9; 1558-60, pp. 10, 135, 368; 1560-3, pp. 57, 148, 200, 201, 499, 553; APC, xxiv. 310 seq.; Willan, Muscovy Merchants, 103; London and Mdx. Arch. Soc. 1896-1908, iii. 203; N. and Q. ser. 7, ii. 165; Jay, 510, 519, 521, 522; D. Lysons, Environs of London (1595), ii. 455; E351/542, ff. 43, 91v; E. A. Mann, Brooke House, Hackney, 8-10, 25; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 238; PCC 24 Dixy.