ROSS, Richard (-d.1645), of Holm Street, Norwich, Norf.

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

s. of Robert Ross of Norwich, glazier. m. Margaret, da. of one Bright of Maddermarket, Norwich, 1s. 1da.1 d. bef. 10 Apr. 1645.2

Offices Held

Scrivener, Norwich bef. 1589-d.3

Freeman, Norwich 1589, under-sheriff 1595, common cllr. 1596-1611, 1612-1616, speaker 1597, 1603, 1616, Clavor 1611, 1613-17, sheriff 1611, auditor 1613-15, alderman 1616-42, mayor 1618-19,4 j.p. 1618-d.,5 commr. oyer and terminer 1620-42,6 bankruptcy 1620-1;7 dep. lt. Norf. by 1628;8 commr. piracy, Gt. Yarmouth, Norf. 1630.9


Ross was admitted a freeman of Norwich in 1589 and remained heavily involved in corporation affairs until his removal from the aldermanic body in 1642 for supporting the king.10 Almost nothing is known of his background or life beyond his official duties. He was frequently appointed to corporation committees,11 and in 1628 the Privy Council asked him, in his capacity as a Norfolk deputy-lieutenant, to help examine Norwich’s complaints on the billeting of Irish soldiers.12 As a senior corporation member, Ross probably supported Norwich in its battle to limit the number of soldiers billeted in and around the city.13 Ross owned lands in three Norwich parishes, and after 1613 leased a property from the corporation in Holm Street, St. Julian’s parish, at an annual rent of £7 6s. 8d. Although this sum was low, he was required to restore the buildings and make improvements worth £100.14 He could afford these renovations, for being rated at £9 in goods for the subsidy in 1624, he was one of Norwich’s wealthiest inhabitants.15

As was customary for Norwich Members, Ross served only once in Parliament. His contribution to the 1621 assembly was small. On 2 May he proposed that the bill for the better relief of the poor in London be extended to encompass other regions.16 He also attended a committee meeting on the inferior courts bill, as did his fellow Norwich Member, William Denny.17 Ross and Denny were ordered by Norwich corporation to introduce a bill for the city’s worsted weavers, but if they did so it failed to receive a first reading. They were sent a copy of a further measure to regulate Norwich stuffs and ‘dornick’ weaving exhibited by some Norwich merchants.18

Ross drafted his will in July 1643, which was proved on 10 Apr. 1645. In it he left Norwich properties in St. Mary’s, St. Martin-in-the-Oak and St. Peter of Southgate to his son, Richard, while his daughter, Susan, was granted his other (unspecified) landholdings.19 No further member of the family served in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. B. Cozens-Hardy and E.A. Kent, Mayors of Norwich, 74.
  • 2. Norf. RO, Norwich Consist. Ct. 4 Burlye, ff. 4v-5v.
  • 3. Norf. RO, NCR case 16/C/5, f. 62.
  • 4. Norwich City Officers ed. T. Hawes (Norf. Rec. Soc. lii), pp. xxxii, 132.
  • 5. Ibid. p. xiv.
  • 6. C181/3, f. 14; 181/4, f. 123v; 181/5, f. 210v.
  • 7. C66/2228.
  • 8. APC, 1627-8, p. 367.
  • 9. C181/4, f. 50v.
  • 10. F. Blomefield, Hist. Norf. iii. 385.
  • 11. Norf. RO, NCR case 16/C/5, f. 385v; case 16/D/5, ff. 5v, 32.
  • 12. APC, 1627-8, p. 367.
  • 13. Norf. RO, NCR case 16/D/5, ff. 229, 238v.
  • 14. Ibid. case 16/C/5, f. 428v.
  • 15. E179/153/583.
  • 16. CJ, i. 602b.
  • 17. HLRO, main pprs. 20 Apr. 1621.
  • 18. Norf. RO, NCR case 16/A/15, ff. 327, 341, 526v; Kyle thesis, 113-20.
  • 19. Norf. RO, Norwich Consist. Ct. 4 Burlye, ff. 4v-5v.