AMYAS, George (by 1513-53), of Lynn, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1513, yr. s. of Richard Amyas of Godmersham, Kent by Barbara, da. of Roger Barber of Bury St. Edmunds, Suff. educ. ?Oxf. BA 1525, determined 1526. m. Margaret.2
Common councilman, Lynn 1535-46, chamberlain 1535-6, coroner 1545-6, alderman 1546-d.3
Although George Amyas was of Kentish origin, he made his career in East Anglia where he had maternal connexions. His decision to settle at Lynn was perhaps influenced by his cousin Thomas Amyas who had obtained the freedom of the town in 1515. It was as a physician that on 13 Mar. 1534 he himself was admitted to its freedom, but a licence granted to him in June 1552 to export wheat and malt to Ireland is evidence of trading activity and he was to describe himself as a merchant on making his will. References in his will to his ‘black book of physic and a book of practice’ indicate that he combined trade with medical treatment, and to other books that he was a cultured man perhaps identifiable with an otherwise shadowy Oxford graduate.4
Amyas’s municipal career followed the normal progression, although he never achieved the mayoralty. In 1546 he was one of those appointed to ride to Norwich to certify before the King’s commissioners for the guilds. His by-election to Edward VI’s first Parliament followed William Overend’s outspokenness against the chantry bill in 1547, which made Overend’s Membership unacceptable to the Protector’s regime. A writ for Overend’s replacement was issued early in the second session and on 31 Jan. 1549 Amyas was chosen in his stead. Presumably he entered the Commons before the close of this session, and the silence as to his part then and in the remaining two sessions suggests that he proved a more pliant figure than his precursor, although as a conservative he cannot have welcomed the religious innovations made during his Membership. After the dissolution he received £10 14s.10d. in payment of wages ‘for the last session of Parliament and for other charges’.5
On 20 Apr. 1552, five days after the dissolution, Amyas made his will. After asking to be buried in St. Margaret’s church in Lynn or wherever he died, he left money for alms to be distributed annually for his soul and those of his father and two others. He provided for his wife and remembered several kinsmen and friends. He left all his books to William Hardy except the two medical books already mentioned and his Chronica Chronicorum which he bequeathed to Thomas Amyas. As executors he appointed his wife and Thomas Young (and if they renounced the task Thomas Amyas and William Palmer) and as supervisor his brother John living in Kent. Amyas attended meetings of the governing body at Lynn regularly until September 1553 when his name disappears from the list of aldermen; his will was proved at Norwich on the following 16 Nov. and again at the prerogative court of Canterbury four years later.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Lynn congregation bk. 5, f. 104v; Hatfield 207.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. Vis. Norf. (Norf. Rec. Soc. iv), 3; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 8; Norwich consist. ct. 135 Wilkins; PCC 50 Wrastley.
- 3. Lynn congregation bk. 4, f. 299v; 5, ff. 33, 48v.
- 4. Lynn congregation bk. 4, ff. 151, 294v; CPR, 1550-3, p. 322; Norwich consist. ct. 135 Wilkins; PCC 50 Wrastley.
- 5. Lynn congregation bk. 5, ff. 104v, 167.
- 6. Norwich consist. ct. 135 Wilkins; PCC 50 Wrastley.