GODFREY, Richard I (by 1559-1631), of Salisbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. by 1559.1 m. (1) 5 July 1585, Eleanor, da. of one Dubbin, of Salisbury, 2da.;2 (2) 23 Sept. 1594, Anne, da. of Edward Windover of Salisbury, s.p.3 bur. 18 Apr. 1631.4 sig. Ri[chard] Godfrey.

Offices Held

Member of the Forty-Eight, Salisbury 1585-92, auditor (jt.), chamberlain’s accts. 1588, 1595, 1598, 1601, 1602, 1604, 1620, 1624, 1628,5 alderman 1588, 1624,6 chamberlain 1592, member of the Twenty-Four 1592-d., mayor 1594, Aug.-Dec. 1616,7 j.p. 1597;8 bailiff, bp’s cts., Salisbury 1605-at least 1609;9 overseer, free sch., Salisbury 1609, treas. (jt.), corporation rents 1614;10 commr. subsidy, Wilts. 1621, Salisbury and Wilts. 1624, Salisbury 1628.11


Godfrey was probably born in the parish of St. Thomas’s, Salisbury - by his own account he was living there in 1559. He became a fishmonger, perhaps his father’s trade, but his marriages allied him to two of the city’s more prominent families. He joined the corporation in 1585, serving as mayor in 1594, and again more briefly in 1616, following the death of the incumbent.12

Godfrey’s return to the Commons in March 1604 coincided with negotiations for a fresh charter, which may have been the prime focus of his sojourn in London. He left little trace on the records of his only Parliament: in the first session he was named to the committee for the bill to confirm the charter of Berwick-upon-Tweed (16 May 1604); and in the second, to the committee to draft the subsidy bill (10 Feb. 1606).13 On 14 May 1610 he was noted as having recently been absent without leave - perhaps at the call of the House on 17 Mar. - but it was ordered that his excuse was to be considered before it was decided whether to require him to pay the cost of the messenger sent to summon him.14 In January 1606 Salisbury’s corporation asked Godfrey to assist his fellow Salisbury Member, Giles Tooker, rebut the bishop of Salisbury’s claim to seigniorial rights within the city, an awkward request, as Godfrey was bailiff of the episcopal market court.15 In September 1609 Godfrey travelled to London to help Tooker in ‘examining and effecting the charter’. After Prince Frederick Ulrich, son of the duke of Brunswick, had been petitioned while visiting the city in May 1610 to lend his support, Godfrey was enjoined to confer with the prince’s interpreter.16

Although he never sat in Parliament again after 1610, Godfrey continued to attend council meetings regularly until March 1631. He made his will on 14 Apr. following, leaving his household goods to his wife, and £200 apiece to his married daughters. An inventory of his estate, valued at £367, listed materials and goods in his two shops in Butcher Row and the Market Place. He was buried at St. Thomas’s on 18 April.17

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Henry Lancaster


  • 1. STAC 8/274/15.
  • 2. Wilts. RO, 1900/5.
  • 3. Wilts. Par. Regs.: Marriages ed. W. Phillimore, v.11.
  • 4. Wilts. RO, 1900/5.
  • 5. Ibid. G23/1/3, ff. 98v, 161v, 167v, 170v, 178v, 203v, 278, 307v, 336.
  • 6. Ibid. ff. 110, 300.
  • 7. Ibid. ff. 110, 121, 122, 128, 137v, 253.
  • 8. C231/1, f. 27.
  • 9. STAC 8/274/15.
  • 10. Wilts. RO, G23/1/3, ff. 205, 215v, 252.
  • 11. E179/199/393; C212/22/23.
  • 12. Wilts. RO, G23/1/264, f. 24.
  • 13. CJ, i. 212a, 266b; Wilts. RO, G23/1/223/12.
  • 14. CJ, i. 428a.
  • 15. R.C. Hoare, Hist. of Wilts. ‘Salisbury’, 312; STAC 8/274/15.
  • 16. Wilts. RO, G23/1/3, f. 208.
  • 17. Wilts. RO, Consistory Ct. of Sarum wills; 1900/5.