BOWYER, Simon (c.1550-1606), of London.

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. c.1550, prob. 5th s. of John Bowyer of Hartfield, Suss. by his w. Dionysia. m. Barbara, da. of Sir Edward Carne, of Llewenny Priory, Glam.1

Offices Held

Gent. usher to Q. Eliz. 1569-97, of the black rod from c.1593; capt. of St. Andrew’s castle, Hants c.1577-c.96.2


Bowyer was a courtier and probably owed his return at Great Bedwyn directly or indirectly to the Earl of Hertford. The contact may have been at court, or through Bowyer’s father-in-law, for the Carnes as well as the Seymours had lands in South Wales.

One of Bowyer’s duties as a gentleman usher was to prevent unauthorised entry to Privy Council meetings. On one occasion he offended the Earl of Leicester by turning away one of his henchmen, and was supported by the Queen in the ensuing dispute. The date of Bowyer’s appointment as usher of the black rod has been taken from the warrant issued for his robes. Soon after he was appointed captain of St. Andrew’s castle (worth a little under £100 p.a.) the fortifications were made good. Bowyer had the usual perquisites of the late Elizabethan courtiers, in his case licences to regulate the buying and selling of wool and to inquire into offences against the wool statutes.3

He died in 1606.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.N.


  • 1. Comber, Suss. Genealogies Ardingly Centre, 26.
  • 2. E351/541 passim; Add. 5756, f. 230; APC, passim.
  • 3. E351/541; Nichols, Progresses Eliz. i. 385; Add. 5756, f. 230; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 550, 556, 698; 1581-90, p. 679; 1595-7, pp. 150, 192; Lansd. 48, f. 157; 65, f. 194.