PEMBRUGGE (PEMBRIDGE), Anthony (c.1567-1610), of Wootton, Wellington and Hereford, Herefs. and the Inner 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



29 Oct. 1605 - July 1610

Family and Education

b. c.1567, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Thomas Pembrugge of Mansell Gamage, Herefs. by Jane, da. and coh. of William Baskerville of Wellington.1 educ. Lyon’s Inn, I. Temple 1585, called 1595.2 m. (1) Griswold, da. of one Woodrose, of Northants, 1s. 2da.; (2) Anne, da. of John Breynton of Stretton Sugwas, Herefs. wid. of Thomas Baskerville of Pontrilas, Herefs., 3s. 2 da.; 1 other s. d.v.p.3 d. by 13 July 1610. 4 sig. Antho[ny] Pembruge.

Offices Held

Under-sheriff, Herefs. 1588-9,5 j.p. 1599-1605;6 common councilman, Hereford by 1601-?;7 commr. sewers, Wye valley 1603.8

Solicitor to 2nd earl of Essex by 1592-at least 1599.9


Pembrugge’s ancestors acquired property in the parish of Mansell Gamage in 1252, but the greater part of the estate passed by marriage to a brother of Cardinal Morton.10 Pembrugge himself inherited the manor of Wootton, in the parish of Wellington, five-and-a-half miles from Hereford, from his mother. Described by his colleague John Hoskins* as ‘little Mr. Pembrugge’, he trained as a lawyer and practised on the Oxford circuit. By 1609 he was living at Wootton, but he also maintained an establishment in Hereford, where a libel was attached to his door in 1608.11 Initially attached to the Coningsby faction in Elizabethan Herefordshire,12 he entered the service of Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, helping to manage the latter’s Herefordshire estates as well as Essex’s legal affairs.13 Essex vouched for his conformity to the Church of England when Pembrugge was accused of recusancy in 1590, and nominated him for a parliamentary seat at Hereford in 1597. However, Pembrugge was not involved in his master’s rising in 1601.14

Pembrugge opposed Sir John Scudamore† when the latter stood for the high stewardship of Hereford in 1601. He was subsequently accused in Star Chamber of plotting with Sir Thomas Coningsby† to disenfranchise the mayor-elect and 15 members of the common council to ensure the success of his preferred candidate, William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke, who was apparently ready to nominate Pembrugge as his deputy steward.15 However Pembroke lost the contest and Pembrugge was himself disenfranchised the following year by the triumphant Scudamore faction, although he had been restored by 1604, when he was a party to the election return.16 Following a riot by Catholics the following year, the bishop of Hereford, a close ally of the Scudamores, had him removed from the county bench on account of his wife’s recusancy.17 Despite this blow to his prestige, Pembrugge was returned to Parliament for Hereford at a by-election a few months later. During the session of 1605-6 he made three recorded speeches. In the first of these he criticized the bill for the better assurance of copyhold lands (28 Jan. 1606), but despite his opposition to the measure he was appointed to the ensuing committee.18 Two days later he spoke in favour of limiting abuses of purveyance by statute rather than by composition.19 In the debate of 10 Mar. concerning the jurisdiction of the Council in the Marches over the four English counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, he attacked the letter of support which had been obtained by the Council from the corporation of Ludlow declaring that it had been ‘contradicted’.20 As well as making these speeches, Pembrugge was named to several bill committees. His former association with Essex explains his appointment to consider measures to enable the 3rd earl to make a jointure for his countess (13 Mar.) and restore in blood Rowland Meyricke* (1 April), whose father had been attainted for his part in the 1601 rising.21 He was also named to help consider two bills of local interest, one of which aimed to facilitate enclosures in several parishes in central Herefordshire (20 Mar.) and the other which sought to provide for the repair of Chepstow bridge, which was located at the mouth of the Wye (31 March).22 His remaining committees concerned bills to prevent unnecessary delays in the collection of debts (27 Mar.), to reduce the costs of conveying malefactors to gaol (1 Apr.), and to improve electoral procedure (3 April).23

In the third session Pembrugge was named to seven committees and made six speeches. His first intervention was during the debate of 4 Mar. 1607 on the bill for the better attendance of Members, which was mainly directed at lawyers-Members such as himself who absented themselves in order to go on circuit.24 The same day he was appointed to the committee for the revived Herefordshire enclosure bill, which he presumably chaired, successfully moving for a further meeting on 9 Mar. and reporting the measure on 27 March.25 On 28 Apr. he obtained ‘a peremptory day’ for the hearing of counsel on the leather bill, ‘notice being taken of the often attendance and great charge of the parties upon former orders’, and two days latter he was appointed to the committee for the curriers bill.26 He was also named to the committee for expediting the payment of the king’s debts (2 May).27 On 11 May he took part, as a representative of a clothing town, in the third reading debate on the bill for the true making of woollen cloth, which was recommitted, under the chairmanship of his colleague John Hoskins. The same day, together with three other lawyers, he argued over the jurisdiction of the Court of Marshalsea, but failed to prevent the bill from passing. In the debate of 28 May on Union with Scotland, he declared himself ‘against remanding in cold blood’, because of the experience of his own county over the delivery of offenders for trial in Wales. His last committee appointment was to consider the bill for the better execution of sewer commissions (12 June).28

During the recess Pembrugge fell dangerously ill. On 15 July 1609, ‘being recovered to some strength of body and mind’, he drew up his will, which began with a prayer to almighty God ‘that I may be a true and faithful member of his holy Catholic church before I depart this life’. In doctrinal terms this wording suggested that he was a crypto-Catholic, but he subsequently hedged his bets, leaving a bequest to the vicar of Wellington and expressing the hope that he would be counted ‘one of the elect’ at the day of judgment. Having already settled his lands he left £100 to an unmarried daughter and £200 to his eldest son Anthony, he also mentioned property in leased from Sir Humphrey Baskerville*.29

Pembrugge left Hoskins to represent Hereford single-handed in the fourth session, stealing away from Westminster on very short notice and apparently without leave.30 He was one of the three Members reported dead of the plague on 13 July 1610. His son Anthony served as mayor of Hereford in 1633-4, while his grandson migrated to Gloucestershire. The family produced no other Member of Parliament.31

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 56; Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 133; Vis. Herefs. (Harl. Soc. n.s. xv), 45.
  • 2. I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 3. Vis. Herefs. (Harl. Soc. n.s. xv), 45-6; Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 13; PROB 11/116, ff. 238-9.
  • 4. T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, i. 124.
  • 5. STAC 5/A46/23.
  • 6. C231/1, f. 72; HMC Hatfield, xvii. 235.
  • 7. Add. 11042, f. 10.
  • 8. C181/1, f. 54.
  • 9. HMC Hatfield, iv. 132; C115/101/7615; HMC Bath, v. 269.
  • 10. C.J. Robinson, Hist. of Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 193.
  • 11. W.H. Cooke, Collections towards Hist. and Antiqs. of County of Hereford, iv. 176; L.B. Osborn, Life, Letters and Writings of John Hoskyns, 65; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 339.
  • 12. R.E. Ham, County and Kingdom, 45.
  • 13. P.E.J. Hammer, Polarisation of Elizabethan Pols. 273.
  • 14. APC, 1590-1, p. 116.
  • 15. C115/101/7615; STAC 5/P44/22; Add. 11042, f. 9; W.J. Tighe, ‘Country into Court, Court into Country: John Scudamore of Holme Lacy (c.1542-1623) and his circles’, Tudor Political Culture ed. D. Hoak, 171, 174.
  • 16. C115/69/6191; C219/35/1/77.
  • 17. HMC Hatfield, xvii. 235, 259; Ham, 117.
  • 18. CJ, i. 260b.
  • 19. Ibid. 262a.
  • 20. Ibid. 281b.
  • 21. Ibid. 283b, 291b.
  • 22. Ibid. 287b, 291a.
  • 23. Ibid. 290b, 291a, 293a
  • 24. Ibid. 347a.
  • 25. Ibid. 347b, 355a, 1028b.
  • 26. Ibid. 364b, 365a
  • 27. Ibid. 366a.
  • 28. Ibid. 372a, 372b, 382a, 1047b.
  • 29. PROB 11/116, ff. 238-9.
  • 30. Osborn, 64, 65.
  • 31. Duncumb, County of Hereford, i. 368; Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 133.