ROUS, Ambrose (by 1570-1620), of Edmerston, nr. Modbury, Devon; later of Halton, nr. St. Dominick, Cornw.

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 1570,1 1st s. of Sir Anthony Rous* (d. Nov. 1620) of Halton and Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Southcote† of Bovey Tracey, Devon and coh. to her mother Grace; bro. of Francis*.2 educ. M. Temple 1584.3 m. by 1595, Magdalen, da. of Peter Osborne† of Chicksands, Beds.,4 15ch., at least 3s. 4da.5 d. 23 July 1620.6

Offices Held

Collector subsidy, Cornw. 1602-3,7 j.p. Cornw. 1609-d.8


Rous probably received a thorough education, though no details survive prior to his admission to the Middle Temple.9 By 1595 he was living at Edmerston, his family’s secondary seat in Devon.10 His father’s prominence in east Cornwall doubtless facilitated his election to Parliament in 1604 for Launceston, where Sir Anthony later served as recorder. Rous does not appear by name in the records of the first three sessions, though as a Cornish burgess he was entitled to sit on committees dealing with the pilchard trade (20 June 1604) and a Devon school’s funding (25 Feb. 1607). In the fourth session he was nominated to four legislative committees, two of which considered estate bills, one relating to John Arundell* of Trerice, Cornwall (27 Apr. 1610), the other to Reginald Rous of Baddingham, Suffolk (24 May), who was not a close relative. The other committees concerned the regulation of hawking (17 Apr.) and the supply of water to the proposed Chelsea College (22 June).11

Appointed to the Cornish bench in 1609, Rous now spent much of his time with his father at Halton, where he was assessed for the subsidy of 1612.12 By 1620 he allegedly possessed a personal estate with a sale value of more than £3,000, though after he died at Halton in July of that year, predeceasing Sir Anthony by just over three months, it was claimed that he left substantial debts. His widow, Magdalen, obtained administration of his possessions in March 1621 on the strength of a nuncupative will, Rous having already provided for his younger children in a document entrusted to his brother-in-law John Upton*. The precise contents of this document and Rous’s affairs in general were the subject of a lengthy legal dispute between Magdalen and his eldest son William*.13 A lavish funerary monument erected at St. Dominick to Rous and his father is now badly decayed.14

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Age calculated from date of admiss. to M. Temple.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 413; WARD 7/58/188.
  • 3. M. Temple Admiss.
  • 4. (J. Polsue), Complete Paroch. Hist. of Cornw. i. 301. Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 195 incorrectly identifies Magdalen’s fa. as John Osborne†.
  • 5. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 413; Polsue, i. 298; C2/Chas.I/R11/35.
  • 6. G.C. Boase and W.P. Courtney, Bibliotheca Cornubiensis, ii. 595.
  • 7. E401/1873-4, 2400-1.
  • 8. C66/1822; 66/2174.
  • 9. C. Fitzgeffrey, Elisha his lamentation (1622), pp. 42-3.
  • 10. C54/1510.
  • 11. CJ, i. 243a, 340b, 418b, 421b, 432a, 442b.
  • 12. E179/88/286.
  • 13. WARD 7/58/188; C2/Jas.I/R8/26; 2/Chas.I/R11/35; C3/375/31; Boase and Courtney, ii. 595; PROB 11/137, f. 240.
  • 14. N. Pevsner and E. Radcliffe, Buildings of Eng.: Cornw. 168.