WARD, Richard (c.1514-78), of Hurst, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1514, 1st s. of Thomas Ward of Winkfield by Maud, da. of Thomas More of Bourton, Bucks. educ. Eton c.1520-5; scholar, King’s, Camb. 1525. m. bef. May 1539, Colubra (d.1574), da. of William Flambert or Lambert of Chertsey, Surr., serjeant-at-arms, 8s. 9da. (at least 2s. 4da. d.v.p.). suc. fa. July. 1538.1

Offices Held

Clerk of the scullery by 1532, of the poultry by 1537, 2nd clerk of the spicery by 1540, 1st clerk 1549-56, 1550-8; gatekeeper and keeper of the armoury at Windsor castle from 1538; bailiff of liberties of Cookham and Bray, Berks. 1540-64; escheator, Oxon. and Berks. 1542-3; j.p. Berks. from c.1543, Wilts. from c.1564; clerk of the green cloth by 1565; cofferer of the Household from Mar. 1567; duchy of Lancaster receiver, Furness abbey possessions in Lancs., Yorks., Cumb. 1559.2


Ward was not an extensive landowner in Berkshire: in 1578 the value of his estates at White Waltham, Winkfield and Hurst was about £70. The Hurst property had been granted to him by Henry VIII in exchange for lands in Surrey, possibly his wife’s jointure. At the dissolution he added to his Winkfield estate by buying some of the former property of Abingdon monastery there. Outside Berkshire he had a joint lease with John Norris of the manor and park of Yate, Gloucestershire, and in addition rented ex-chantry lands in Cambridgeshire and Wiltshire. By 1558 he had already been in the service of three rulers. Much of his work was at Windsor or as a county official in Berkshire but he accompanied Henry VIII to France for the 1544 campaign. Like many other officials of his time, he was prepared to support the religious policy of the day. He carried out a search for heretical books in 1543, was a commissioner for church goods under Edward VI, and in 1560 reported on the lands taken by Elizabeth from the bishop of Salisbury. He presumably took the oath of supremacy, was classified as ‘no hinderer’ of sound religion in 1564 and in the preamble to his will he bequeathed his ‘soul unto Almighty God and to His holy company in heaven’, which perhaps indicates that he remained Catholic at heart.3

By the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign he was a relatively wealthy man. His assessment for the 1559 household subsidy was on £66 13s.4d.in lands and fees, and he no doubt grew richer after his appointment as cofferer. His duchy of Lancaster duties were carried out by a deputy. His candidature for a county seat in 1571 was supported by the Earl of Leicester, lieutenant of Windsor castle, and by Sir Henry Norris I, who succeeded to Ward’s offices at Windsor castle in the face of opposition from Sir Edward Unton. The only mention of any activity by Ward in the House of Commons in 1571 is his appointment to a committee considering the liability of the members of the Queen’s household to jury service (14 May).4

The Queen spent a night at Hurst during her progress of October 1576. Ward died 11 Feb. 1578, and was buried there. His will, which he had made in the previous November, was proved 6 May 1578. He left money and plate to his surviving children and sons-in-law, legacies to the poor of Hurst and of five other parishes, and half a year’s wages to his servants. His son Richard was appointed sole executor, with Edmund Plowden, overseer.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/82/85; E150/809/1; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 57; E. Ashmole, Berks. iii. 309; W. Sterry, Eton Coll. Reg. 1441-1698, p. 350; Add. 32490, Ll. 11; LP Hen. VIII, xiv(1), p. 483.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xii(2), p. 406; xiii(2), pp. 175, 537; xvi. p. 144; xviii(1), p. 123; xxi(2), p. 429; CPR, 1555-7, p. 404; 1563-6, p. 257; A. Woodworth, Purveyance for the Royal Household (American Philosoph. Soc. xxxv(1), p. 10); Somerville, Duchy, i. 497.
  • 3. C142/82/85; E150/809/1; LP Hen. VIII , xiii(2), pp. 175, 537; xiv(1), p. 483; xv. p. 290; xix(1), pp. 152, 160, 162, 421, 427; Ath. Cant. iii. 3; CPR , 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 413; 1558-60, p. 423; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 38; PCC 21 Dyngeley, 20 Langley.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 703; St. Ch. 5/N10/11, N16/38; D’Ewes, 183; CJ , i. 89.
  • 5. Lansd. 3, f. 199; CPR , 1563-6, p. 184; E. K. Chambers, Eliz. Stage , iv. 93; Add. 32490, Ll. 11; Wards 7/20/76; PCC 20 Langley.