MASSINGER, Richard, of Gloucester and Lambeth and Battersea, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

s. of William Massinger of Gloucester, and bro. of Arthur.

Offices Held

Jt. (with Anthony Calton ?1581-8, with George Paule 1588-1600) registrar of diocese of Ely ?1581-1600.


Massinger was the godson of Richard Pate, recorder of Gloucester, who left him a silver angel in his will. Both he and his brother left Gloucester to seek their fortunes; Arthur in the service of the earls of Pembroke and Richard as an ecclesiastical official. In 1600 Paule and Massinger sold their registrarship at Ely to John Lambe, later dean of the arches, in return for an annuity of £32 out of its profits. In may be inferred from this that Massinger was, like Paule, in the service of Whitgift or an official in the archbishop’s courts. It is not known how Massinger came to be returned for Penryn in 1601. Possibly his brother Arthur arranged it, but he had another link with the borough. John Osborne, who sat in 1593, was the brother of Richard Osborne, who, like Massinger, was a godson of Richard Pate. Their father, Peter Osborne, was an executor of Pate’s will. Massinger spoke at least twice during this Parliament. On 3 Dec. 1601 he moved that anyone who had had, or should have in the future, any private bill passed by the House, should make a contribution toward the relief of ex-soldiers and mariners. A week later he proposed that the House should choose collectors for ‘the ten pound and five pound upon every private bill’, and that no such bill should be sent to the Lords before the fee had been paid.

The date of Massinger’s death is unknown. He was alive in June 1603, when he recorded Arthur’s nuncupative will, and in 1606, when he was described in a deed as of Battersea, Surrey. It is possible that he finally retired to his birthplace as a Richard Massinger’s will was proved in the consistory court of Gloucester in 1608.

Rudder, Glos. 115, 116, 117; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxiv. 318; lvi. 223; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, pp. 388, 389; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 280, 309; PCC 5 Harte, 8 Leicester; Glos. RO, D. 326; Glos. Wills 1541-1650 (Brit. Rec. Soc. Index Lib. xii), 121.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy