EURE (EVERS), Francis (by 1564-1621), of Upper Heyford, Oxon. and Gray's Inn, London; later of Porkington (Brogyntyn), Salop.
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Family and Education
b. by 1564, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of William, 2nd Baron Eure (d.1594) and Margaret, da. of Sir Edward Dymoke† of Scrivelsby, Lincs., hereditary champion of England.1 educ. Camb. MA 1583; G. Inn 1598, called 1603.2 m. (1) aft. 1587 (with £1,000), Elizabeth, da. of John Lennard of Chevening, Kent, 3s. incl. Sampson* (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; 3 (2) by 1617, Elin (d.1626), da. of William Wynn Maurice of Clenennau, Caern., wid. of John Owen† of Bodsilin, Anglesey, and Porkington, Salop, 1s.4 kntd. 12 May 1604.5 d. 1 May 1621.6 sig. Fra[ncis] Eure.
J.p. Oxon. by 1601-d., Anglesey, Caern., Merion. 1616-d., Salop 1617-d., Denb., Flints, Mont. 1619-d.;7 freeman, Scarborough, Yorks. 1603;8 member, Council in the Marches of Wales 1609-d.;9 commr. oyer and terminer, Oxford circ. 1617-d.10
The Eures, who took their name from the manor of Iver, Buckinghamshire, acquired their Yorkshire estates by marriage during the thirteenth century. The family were regularly returned to Parliament from 1307, and established a tradition of military service on the borders which was rewarded with a peerage in 1544.14 Eure may have served in the Middle March in the 1590s with the lord warden, his brother Ralph†, 3rd Baron Eure, to whose longstanding membership of Gray’s Inn he doubtless owed his advancement to the bar after only five years as a student.15
At the general election of 1604 Eure was returned for Scarborough on his brother’s interest, replacing his disgraced nephew William Eure†, who had recently been fined in Star Chamber for humiliating the family’s unpopular Yorkshire neighbour, Sir Thomas Hoby*.16 Unlike his nephew, Eure was a committed Protestant, and while not a very prominent parliamentarian, his interests in the Commons focused on the law and religion. In the 1604 session, he took charge of the bill to disable recusants and other convicted criminals from sitting in Parliament (26 Apr.), which was never reported, and the bill against secret outlawries (27 Apr.), which was revised and recommitted. He twice reported the simony bill and was named to committees for two other bills, against scandalous ministers (12 June), and to discourage vexatious lawsuits against clergymen (19 June).17 On 5 May, when Sir James Perrot proposed conferences with Convocation and the Lords on the new ecclesiastical canons it was apparently Eure, anxious that Parliament should have the sole right of approval, who moved ‘to send only to the Lords for further conference’; this was agreed the following day on the motion of Sir Francis Hastings.18 On secular matters, Eure was included on the committee preparing for conference with the Lords about purveyance (7 May) and the committee for the expiring laws continuance bill (22 June); as a northern Member, he was named to the committee for the bill to confirm the charter of Berwick-upon-Tweed (16 May).19
When Parliament reconvened in January 1606 Eure tabled a bill ‘for the better observing of the Sabbath day ... with a speech to enforce it’. He reported this bill three weeks later, but it encountered ‘some difficulty and dispute’ at its third reading, and failed to reach the statute book. He was named to three other committees: to consider security against popish plotters (21 Jan.), for the bill to enable the underage (Sir) John Hotham* to make a jointure estate (25 Jan.) and for the bill to exclude married men from residence in cathedral closes and university colleges (25 January).20 He may have arrived late for the third session, as he was belatedly added to committees for three bills, dealing with abuses of the Marshalsea court (3 Mar. 1607), explaining an Elizabethan statute against clerical non-residence and plurality (9 Mar.), and bastardy (7 May).21
In the autumn of 1607 Eure followed his brother, newly appointed president of the Council in the Marches, to Ludlow, evidently in some official capacity, as he signed several council documents; he was unsuccessfully recommended as puisne justice for the Anglesey circuit when the incumbent died in December.22 Two years later, on the death of the Ludlow MP Richard Benson*, Eure’s brother recommended him to the corporation as a replacement. The return of a candidate who already had a seat in the Commons was most irregular - (Sir) Thomas Thynne’s return as knight for Wiltshire had been rejected on these grounds in 1606 - but Lord Eure presumably hoped to establish the Council’s right to nominate of one of the borough’s Members in principle, while conceding the seat in practice. This scheme foundered upon the corporation’s prior resolution to elect a townsman.23 Eure left no trace on the records of either of the 1610 sessions, but he apparently attended, as he later recalled debates on the bill concerning the Welsh Act of Union.24
The Eures’ Yorkshire interest diminished with their removal to the Marches, and consequently Eure does not appear to have sought re-election at Scarborough in 1614. Two years later he married the heiress of the Caernarvonshire landowner Sir William Maurice*, shortly after his brother finally secured his appointment as chief justice of North Wales. While it was expected that he would transfer to South Wales to avoid contravening the clause in the Henrician Act of Union against assize judges forming local ties, he remained in place and was assigned to arbitrate a land dispute involving Maurice, and another between his own stepson and Sir Richard Bulkeley*.25 This flouting of the Act of Union encouraged a Catholic barrister, Edward Floyd, to petition the Privy Council for his removal in July 1619. Eure exploded with rage at being ‘blasted ... with imputation and scandal’ within his circuit, and his complaint was upheld: Floyd was committed to the Fleet prison and eventually consented to perform a public submission before Eure at the Caernarvon assizes. However, his bail was set at the enormous sum of £1,000, which may explain why he remained in prison in April 1621.26
Eure apparently avoided direct involvement in the disputed Caernarvonshire election of December 1620, retaining the friendship of (Sir) John Wynn† despite his wife’s canvassing on behalf of John Griffith III*.27 During the session, Eure was one of the Welsh judges consulted by the new lord president, the 1st earl of Northampton, about the proposed bill cancelling the clause in the Act of Union which permitted the Crown the right to make statute law for Wales by Proclamation. Their recommendation for a proviso to preserve the prerogative basis of the Council in the Marches was written into the bill at the committee stage.28 Eure made a brief nuncupative will on 9 Apr. 1621, leaving his modest personal landholdings to the sons of his first marriage. He bequeathed the residue of his goods to his second wife, who subsequently completed his planned establishment of six almshouses in Oswestry. He died on 1 May 1621, the same day on which Floyd was censured in the Commons.29
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 114.
- 2. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.; PBG Inn, ii. 161.
- 3. Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 205, 613-15; PROB 11/77, f. 211.
- 4. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 126; Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxiv. 87.
- 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 132.
- 6. C142/388/3.
- 7. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 7-9, 25-6, 43-5, 67, 104, 137.
- 8. Scarborough Recs. ed. M.Y. Ashcroft (N. Yorks. RO, xlvii), 30.
- 9. NLW, Wynnstay 62/1.
- 10. C181/2, f. 268v.
- 11. PBG Inn, ii. 181, 192.
- 12. C231/4, p. 40; Scarborough Recs. 30; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 251; C181/2, ff. 254, 268; J.R. Burton, Hist. Bewdley, p. xli; C66/2095.
- 13. Eg. 2882, f. 84v.
- 14. Vis. Yorks. 609-14.
- 15. PBG Inn, ii. 161.
- 16. Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby ed. D. Meads, 197-8.
- 17. CJ, i. 185a, 187b, 237a, 241b, 245b, 246b, 961b.
- 18. Ibid. 199b, 965a; W. Notestein, Commons 1604-10, pp. 42-44.
- 19. P. Croft, ‘Parl. Purveyance and the City of London’, PH, iv. 13-19; CJ, i. 202a, 212a, 244b.
- 20. Bowyer Diary, 8; CJ, i. 260-1, 267b, 269b.
- 21. CJ, i. 346a, 350b, 1042a.
- 22. HMC Hatfield, xix. 306; HMC Sackville, i. 22-23; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 389; R.H. Clive, Hist. Ludlow, 359.
- 23. Cal. Clenennau Pprs. ed. T. Jones Pierce, 73; SP14/50/5; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. lvi. 289.
- 24. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 261; Notestein, 353-4, 416; CJ, i. 450b.
- 25. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 257; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 126; Clenennau Pprs. 99; APC, 1616-17, p. 338.
- 26. CSP Dom. 1619-23, pp. 64-65; APC, 1619-21, pp. 42-43, 97-98, 262.
- 27. Cal. Wynn Pprs. 148, 157; Clenennau Pprs. 114-15.
- 28. R. Zaller, Parl. of 1621, pp. 104-6; CD 1621, vii. 112; CJ, i. 593b.
- 29. PROB 11/137, f. 266v; 11/150, f. 16; C142/388/3.