LAWSON, Robert (d.1565), of Rock, Northumb.

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

2nd s. of William Lawson of Little Usworth, co. Dur. by Isabel, da. of John Edworth of Harverton. educ. G. Inn 1547. m. in or aft. 1551, Margery, da. and h. of Ralph Swinnoe of Rock, wid. of Edmund Lawson of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 3s.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Northumb., sheriff 1561-2; j.p. co. Dur. from 1562.


The younger son of a minor north country family, Lawson’s marriage gained him the manor of Rock, which, according to a survey in 1599, comprised nearly 2,000 acres. Lawson’s estates also included property at Barmston, county Durham, and at Byker, Cramlington, Fallodon, and Hedworth in Northumberland. In a backward part of the country, Lawson, who had attended an inn of court, apparently had some reputation for his legal knowledge. During the survey of the commissions of the peace in 1564, Sir John Foster, the warden of the middle march, wrote of him as ‘meet to be justice’ and ‘skilled in the laws’.

Lawson died in May 1565 and was buried in the choir at Rock. His son and heir William became a ward of the Earl of Northumberland who took custody of Rock. In his will, which appointed Sir John Foster a supervisor, Lawson assigned most of his remaining property to his brothers, to be held by them until his heir achieved his majority. William Lawson of Washington received the property at Barmston on these terms and on payment of an annuity of £20 to Robert’s younger sons, Ranold and Lionel. Similar provisions were made for the lease of the hamlet of Fallodon, which was granted to Robert’s brothers, John and Roland.

Durham Vis. Peds. ed. Foster, 209; Surtees Soc. ii. 294-8; cxxxiii. 192; Hist. Northumb. (Northumb. Co. Hist. Comm.) ii. 125, 127, 128; xiii. 392, 395 n; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 66; C142/143/71.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


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