BOWYER, Robert I (by 1529-67/68), of the Middle Temple, London and Chichester, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1529, 2nd s. of Robert Bowyer of Chichester by his w. Margaret; bro. of William Bowyer II. educ. M. Temple. m. bef. 1551, Anne, da. and coh. of Miles Grover of Kingston-upon-Thames, Surr., 4da.

Offices Held

Steward of the bp. of Chichester’s manor of Aldingbourne temp. Eliz.; commr. i.p.m. Suss. 1567.


Bowyer was a lawyer, the second son of a Chichester merchant who had represented the town in Parliament during the first half of the sixteenth-century. Robert Bowyer’s brothers sought their fortunes in London, but he remained in Chichester as a minor official. Bowyer voted against a government bill in the Parliament of 1555 and left no trace in the records of that of 1559. He made a fortunate marriage, very likely arranged by his London relatives (for the Grovers had connexions there) and, through his wife, he inherited Surrey property at Molesey, Kingston and Southwark.

Bowyer’s will made 18 Nov. 1567, was proved by his widow on 30-Nov. 1568. He bequeathed his ‘whole body and soul into the hands of the holy blessed Trinity’, and left a life interest in his lands to his wife, after whose death they were to be divided between his four daughters. Three of his best horses went to his London brothers Francis, Henry and William Bowyer II.

Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 61-62; A. Hay, Hist. Chichester, 569; CPR, 1566-9, p. 239; Suss. Rec. Soc.lviii. 35, 52; Chichester RO, Add. mss 249, 250, 272; Suss. Arch. Colls.xlii. 19-36; lxiv. 105-7; Guildford Mus. Loseley 1331/2; PCC 24 Babington, 18 Powell, 8 Dyngeley.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R. J.W. Swales