GAYER, Robert (by 1530-65 or later), of the Middle Temple, London and Foxley in Bray, Berks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1530, s. of William Gayer of Knaresborough, Yorks. by Agnes, da. of Richard Derelove of Knaresborough. educ. M. Temple. m. (1) Denise, da. of one Pope of Kent, wid. of Robert Preston of East Meon, Hants, s.p.; (2) Ursula, da. of John Brabham of Cookham, Berks., 2s. 1da.1

Offices Held


Robert Gayer’s ancestors are said to have come from Cornwall, but he was of Yorkshire birth and probably settled in Berkshire on his marriage into the influential Pope family. He was a practising lawyer and a friend of one of his more promising colleagues at the Middle Temple, Humphrey Cavell. Presumably it was to Cavell that he owed his election for a Cornish borough to the first Parliament of Mary’s reign: Cavell, who stood close to Sir John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, had been chosen to sit for the same town in the previous Parliament, although in the event he preferred to represent Ludgershall. Unlike his fellow-Member Robert Beverley, Gayer did not oppose the restoration of Catholicism, but he received no mark of favour and he was not re-elected to Parliament.

At the accession of Elizabeth, Gayer sued out a general pardon. He was then living at Foxley by virtue of his wife’s lease from the 2nd Lord Sandys. Robert Maidenhead came by the deeds and he had to refer the matter to the court of requests to prevent Maidenhead from disposing of the lease. The last trace found of Gayer comes in June 1565, when the Middle Temple acknowledged the receipt of a pension from him.2

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: J. J. Goring


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference, M.T. Recs. i. 80. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 56; A. E. Gayer, Fam. Gayer, 6 where he is mistakenly identified as a younger brother of
  • 2. CPR, 1558-60, p. 184; Req. 2/6/168; VCH Berks. iii. 102; M.T. Recs. i. 147.