ROY, John (-d.1619), of Weymouth, Dorset

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

m. Joan, da. of Robert White* of Weymouth, at least 2s. 2da. admon. 12 Oct. 1619.1 sig. John Roye.

Offices Held

Member, Spanish Co. 1605.2

Mayor, Weymouth 1615-16,3 alderman 1616-d.,4 bailiff 1617-18.5


Roy, whose surname was apparently unknown in Tudor Weymouth, probably hailed from the nearby town of Dorchester, where he certainly had relatives.6 If so, he was presumably descended from Philip Roye, an immigrant who settled in Dorchester by 1545.7 Roy established himself as a leading Weymouth merchant at the start of the seventeenth century. Although he joined the Spanish Company in 1605, he traded principally with northern France, exporting Dorset cloth and Newfoundland fish in exchange for canvas, vinegar and fruit.8 In 1610 he and Edward Roy, his brother and business partner, petitioned lord treasurer Salisbury (Robert Cecil†) for redress, after one of their vessels was attacked by a Marseilles ship.9

Roy’s local standing was undoubtedly enhanced by his marriage into the prominent White family. He was elected to represent Weymouth in the 1614 Parliament, but played no known part in its proceedings. As mayor in 1615-16 he oversaw the acquisition of a new borough charter.10 Roy drew up his will on 20 Apr. 1619, noting that most of his wealth was currently invested in mercantile ventures overseas. Assigning £15 to be bestowed on the poor at his brother Edward’s discretion, he also provided for each of his children to receive £100 when they came of age. Roy died shortly afterwards, the will being proved in the following October.11 One of his sons, who became a London merchant, married into the Dorset branch of the aristocratic Hastings family, but none of Roy’s descendants is known to have sat in the Commons.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. PROB 11/134, ff. 88-9; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 615.
  • 2. Spanish Co. ed. P. Croft (London Rec. Soc. ix), 48.
  • 3. Hutchins, ii. 438.
  • 4. H.J. Moule, Docs. of Bor. of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, 53.
  • 5. Hutchins, ii. 451.
  • 6. PROB 11/134, ff. 88-9.
  • 7. Dorset Tudor Subsidies ed. T.L. Stoate, 108.
  • 8. E190/869/6.
  • 9. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 226.
  • 10. Hutchins, ii. 438.
  • 11. PROB 11/134, ff. 88-9.
  • 12. Hutchins, ii. 615.