OVERBURY, Walter (1593-1637), of Barton-on-the-Heath, Warws. and the Middle Temple, London

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

bap. 2 Apr. 1593, 6th s. of (Sir) Nicholas Overbury* and Mary, da. of Giles Palmer of Compton Scorpion, Ilmington, Warws.1 educ. Magdalen, Oxf. 1610, demy 1610-12, BA 1612; M. Temple 1610, called 1617; travelled abroad 1612.2 m. (1) lic. 6 Nov. 1621, Mary (d. 9 Mar. 1623), da. of Sir Edward Pinchon of Writtle, Essex, 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 21 June 1627, Magdalen, da. of Thomas Marsham, Merchant Taylor, of Milk Street, London, wid. of Edward Grimston* of Bradfield, Essex, 4s. (1 or 2 d.v.p.) 3da.3 d. 6 Apr. 1637.4

Offices Held

Registrar of assurances (jt.) c.1629-at least 1635.5

J.p. Warws. 1631-d.;6 commr. Avon navigation 1636.7


Overbury evidently owed the reversion to the assurance office, granted to him and his brother Giles in 1609, to the influence of his eldest brother Sir Thomas, the intimate and adviser of the rising Scottish favourite Sir Robert Carr.8 In the following year he was sent to Magdalen and not, like his brothers, to Queen’s, probably so that he might be placed in the care of the puritan divine Richard Capell, then a fellow of the college and son of Overbury’s father’s friend Christopher Capell*.9 He went on to the Middle Temple, travelled abroad with his brother Giles, and then qualified as a barrister. In 1620 he was returned for Cardigan Boroughs, presumably thanks to the influence of his father, who was chief justice of south Wales. He left no mark on the records of the third Jacobean Parliament. Shortly before the opening of the winter sitting he made a fortunate but short-lived marriage to a niece of Sir Richard Weston*. Four years later he acquired Barton-on-the-Heath, where he rebuilt the manor house.10 He was returned a second time for Cardigan Boroughs in 1626, but once again he went unmentioned in the parliamentary records.

The assurance office reversion fell in about 1629, whereupon Overbury and his brother Giles leased it out for £400 p.a.11 In 1633 they agreed between themselves that the survivor would continue to pay £100 p.a. into the other’s estate. In his will, dated 30 Jan. 1635, Overbury instructed his brother, who outlived him, to pay this money to his executors for the benefit of the children of his second marriage, leaving to the only surviving child by his first wife a portion of £400. He added a codicil on 13 Feb. 1637, in which he gave £7 for ‘a chalice and plate of silver for the bread and wine at the holy communion’ to the church at Barton and appointed his father and wife as additional executors. He died at Barton and was buried in accordance with his wishes in the parish church. No later member of the family sat in Parliament.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. G.W. Marshall, ‘Ped. of Overbury’, The Gen. i. 271-3.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.; SO3/5, unfol. (Nov. 1612).
  • 3. Marshall, 273-4; Bp. of London Mar. Lics. 1611-1828 ed. G.J. Armytage (Harl. Soc. xxvi), 105, 189; O. Manning and W. Bray, Hist. and Antiqs. of Surr. i. 477; PROB 11/145, f. 219.
  • 4. C142/564/156.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 134; T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 1, p. 77.
  • 6. C231/5, f. 62; SP16/405, f. 68v.
  • 7. Rymer, ix. pt. 2, p. 6.
  • 8. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 572.
  • 9. Ath. Ox. iii. 423.
  • 10. VCH Warws. v. 13, 15.
  • 11. CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 134.
  • 12. PROB 11/174, f. 222; Marshall, 273.