LOUGHER, Robert (d.1585), of Tenby, Pemb. and of Devon, Oxford and York.

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

Yr. s. of Thomas Lougher, alderman of Tenby, by Maud, da. and h. of Rhys ap Gwilim of Bettws, Carm. educ. All Souls, Oxf., fellow 1553 (founder’s kin), BCL 1558, DCL 1565, LLD by 1572; adv. Doctors’ Commons 1565. m. Elizabeth, da. and coh. of John Rastell, c.j. of S. Wales circuit, 3s. inc. John* 3da.1

Offices Held

J.p. Devon from 1561, q. by 1564; j.p. Pemb. from 1577, q. from c.1583, dep. lt.

Rector, Stockleigh Pomeroy, Devon 1561, Aveton Gifford 1562, ?Aldrington 1563; archdeacon of Totnes 1562-8; proctor for clergy of Exeter diocese in convocation 1562-3; chancellor of Exeter diocese c.1576; chancellor of York and vicar-gen. to Abp. Sandys 1577.2

Principal, New Inn Hall, Oxf 1564-70, 1575-80; prof. civil law 1566-77; fellow, Jesus, Oxf. 1571; master in Chancery 1574.3


Both Lougher’s father and his wife’s father had been mayors of Tenby, one of the contributory boroughs of the Pembroke group; but he himself took no part in the public affairs of Pembrokeshire until the closing years of his life, his ecclesiastical, academic and legal appointments keeping him fully occupied in Devon, at Oxford and at York. As clerical proctor in the convocation of 1562-3, which laid the foundation of the Elizabethan settlement, he put his signature to the 39 Articles but opposed the 6 Articles proposed by the puritan clergy. He took part in a public disputation during the Queen’s visit to Oxford in 1566, and in the same year she appointed him to the chair of civil law which had been held since 1558 by John Griffith of Caernarvon. Lougher resigned the chair in 1577 to Dr. Griffith Lloyd, who had married John Rastell’s other daughter and was with Lougher one of the original fellows of Jesus College.4

The return to Parliament as late as 1572 of a clerk in holy orders is anomalous if not unique in the Elizabethan period. But by this time Lougher had abandoned the actual cure of souls for an academic appointment, and it is likely that, in the absence of opposition to the election, the fact that he was in holy orders was overlooked. If the matter received consideration he might have been regarded as eligible for the Commons because of having no voice in convocation either personally or by representation. He may have been the ‘Mr. Langhorne’ added to the committee on 9 June 1572 to confer with the Lords about a proviso to the bill against Mary Queen of Scots. Perhaps he had contributed to the debate on the bill that day; perhaps his learning was needed in the forthcoming conference. On 13 Mar. 1576 he was named to the committee of the bill for the relief of vicars and curates. After Parliament had risen at the end of the 1576 session he was sent by Archbishop Grindal, in company with Herbert Westphaling (later bishop of Hereford) on a visitation of Gloucester diocese, and in the following year he began his duties at York, accompanying Archbishop Sandys (at whose personal wish he had been appointed) on an extensive visitation of the diocese in 1578. Until 1584 he was in regular attendance at the northern high commission court, except during the sittings of Parliament from January to March 1581, when he was absent from his northern post.5

The regularity of his attendance at York (where he was reported in arrears with his poor rate in January 1582) suggests that his local duties in Pembrokeshire remained honorary until he came home to Tenby to die in 1585. He made a nuncupative will 9 June of that year, leaving everything to his wife and making her and his eldest surviving son John joint executors. The fortune he left was substantial enough to subject the widow to the unwelcome attentions of a suitor whose importunities it took a Star Chamber action to shake off; the fortune was not finally released until the will was confirmed, not much more than a year before the widow’s death in 1593. Lougher’s two surviving sons became common lawyers.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: A.H.D. / P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 12; Harl. 4181, f. 45; Al. Ox. i(2), p. 939; C. Coote, Civilians, 47; Williams, Welsh Judges, 162-3; PCC 2, 27 Scott.
  • 2. CPR, 1560-3, pp. 338, 436; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 213; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and law ser. 1), 132; Al. Ox. Loc. cit.; Le Neve, Fasti, i. 403; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 207; Strype, Annals, i(1), pp. 489, 492; Ath. Ox. i. 101, 345; Wood, Fasti, i. 165; Lansd. 27, f. 12.
  • 3. Al. Ox. loc. cit.; CPR, 1563-6, p. 387; DNB.
  • 4. Arch. Camb. (ser!2) iv. 118-19; Strype, Annals, i(1), pp. 489, 505, 512; DNB; CPR, 1563-6, p. 387.
  • 5. CJ, i. 101, 115; Strype, Grindal, 315; Annals, ii(2), p. 165; Lansd. 27, f. 12; northern high commission act bk. ex inf. Mr. P. Tyler, Magdalen Coll., Oxf.
  • 6. York Civic Recs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), viii. 54; G. Owen, Desc. Pemb. (ed. Owen, Cymmord. Soc. rec. ser. 1902-36), i. 242; PCC 29 Brudenell, 45 Nevell; Star Chamber, loc. cit.; M. Temple Adm. i. 66, 74.