PULESTON, Roger I (bef.1542-87), of Emral, Worthenbury, Flints.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. bef. 1542, 1st s. of Roger Puleston of Emral by Anne, da. of Richard Grosvenor of Eaton, Cheshire. educ. I. Temple Nov. 1555. m. (1) by 1562, Magdalene (Maud), da. of Thos. Hanmer, 2s. inc. Roger II, 1 da.; (2) c. June 1582, Margaret. suc. fa. 1572.1
The Pulestons were a family of Shropshire origin who settled in Wales as English officials immediately after the Edwardian conquest, with their principal seat at Emral in Flintshire. Intermarrying with Welsh heiresses and becoming assimilated into Welsh society, they established other branches of the parent stock in the counties of Denbigh and Caernarvon. In Flintshire they enhanced the family fortune by marrying into neighbouring families of superior wealth: this MP and his grandfather married Hanmers; his father married one of the Cheshire Grosvenors, who already in Henry VIII’s day were also landowners in Worthenbury, paying subsidy at 20 times the rate of the Pulestons; his son was to marry a niece of the lord chancellor.2
As the son of another Roger Puleston this man was distinguished from his father during his young manhood by the designation ‘the younger’. The Roger Puleston on the commissions of the peace in Flint in 1562 and 1564 is more likely to have been the father, but the son was beginning to serve the community and himself about this time. In June 1564 he acquired the lease of lands in Denbigh with Sir Edward Puleston and another Roger Puleston (either his father or Sir Edward’s son). Described as ‘of the Inner Temple’, he was concerned with his kinsman Anthony Grosvenor in a Chancery case about the missing deeds of Astbury Rectory, Cheshire of which they had the lease, in or after 1566. In 1584 he was one of the signatories to an instrument of association in Flintshire for the Queen’s preservation.3
Despite his interests in Flintshire and the neighbouring counties and, after 1572, his succession to the family estate at Emral, Puleston’s life was largely spent outside Wales. He entered the service of the Earl of Hertford some time between 1572, when his name was not included in a list of Hertford’s lawyers, and 1575, when he and Edward Stanhope concluded a deed with the Earl. Puleston’s service to Hertford is illustrated in a number of letters in the Seymour papers. In January 1577 he reported from Oxford, whither the Earl’s two sons had recently gone up, and tried to enlist his master’s sympathy with the new vice-president of Magdalen on behalf of President Humphrey. In January 1582 he was handling Hertford’s business at court and two months later he was involved in John Newdigate’s challenge to the will of Francis Newdigate; in 1582 he was fobbing off James Howson the saddler with £40 ‘on part of payment’ of Hertford’s account with him. He was evidently intimately concerned with Hertford’s affairs. It was probably he whose name appears in a household expense list of the Earl’s for the 13 months ending February 1582, at a rate of 20s. a month. A letter from Puleston to Hertford of 30 Jan. 1585 is the evidence that there was some thought of adjourning the parliamentary session.4
It is not difficult to see how Puleston came to sit for Great Bedwyn; this was one of the Seymours’ boroughs and the Earl was always pleased to put his lawyers into the family seats. Although he appears to have won his most urgent legal battle for his inheritance before 1584, Hertford always had interests to be cared for. At that time the most delicate was probably the question of the legitimacy of his sons and this might be raised in Parliament at any time. The presence of Puleston in the Commons, together with Richard Wheeler, his fellow-Member for Great Bedwyn, and Edward Stanhope who sat for Marlborough, in the two Parliaments which followed the majority of the elder boy may have been in the nature of an insurance. Puleston is not recorded as having spoken in either Parliament.5
Puleston was described in his father’s inquisition post mortem as ‘30 years and more’ in 1572, and he must have been well over 30 as he had entered the Inner Temple in 1555. By 18 Sept. 1562 he had already been married for some time; on that date a commission was issued to the bishop of London and others to hear an appeal by Maud Pilston (alias Hanmer) against the excommunication and other injustices which she had suffered as the result of proceedings taken against her by her husband before the bishop of Chester. His marriage survived these unpleasantnesses, however, and in his will, which he prudently drafted ten years before his death, which occurred 28 Apr. 1587, he mentioned the affection which he bore Maud when he made provision for her. In the codicil, added a day before he died, he referred to his wife and called her his daughter Dorothy’s mother, but there is reason to believe that this was a second wife and a stepmother to the children of the first marriage. In June 1582 he told Hertford that he was settled at Highgate (where he was still living in 1585) ‘a newly married man’, and the widow in his own inquisition post mortem is named Margaret. As befitted his connexion with Hertford, Puleston was a protestant who hoped to be pardoned and washed from all his sins through the merits of the Saviour’s blood-shedding and precious blood and ‘to be accounted one of the joyful number of his elect in the general resurrection’. But before that prospect could be fulfilled he carried many earthly responsibilities. He had arranged with his executors to dispense large sums of money for the advancement of his sister, Katherine Puleston, and his daughter, Dorothy, and for the preferment of his youger son George, and younger brothers. He must also remember his married sisters, Dorothy Bostock and Jane Broughton, and numerous cousins and friends, and leave all his servants a year’s wages. Despite his sojourn in London, Puleston’s executors were predominantly Welsh: Thomas Mostyn, of Mostyn, Flintshire, George Ravenscroft of Bretton, Flintshire, Thomas Egerton (a cousin) of Lincoln’s Inn, Edward Puleston (another cousin) of the Inner Temple, Thomas Puleston (a brother), and Roger Davith of Dungrey, near Worthenbury, Flintshire. His codicil witnessed rising fortunes. He was able to increase his provision for his younger children, making an especial bequest for George’s use when he should enter the inns of court, and to leave £20 towards the building of a new bridge at Bangor if raised ‘new out of the ground’. He named the bishop of Chester and the chief justice (Sir) George Bromley, his elder son’s father-in-law, as his overseers.6
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: S. T. Bindoff
- 1. Vis. Cheshire 1613, p. 115; CPR, 1560-3, p. 253; HMC Bath, iv. 153; C142/163/29, 215/272.
- 2. DWB, 816-17; E179/221/207, 210.
- 3. CPR, 1560-3, p. 446; 1563-6, pp. 31, 157; C3/143/55; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 211.
- 4. HMC Bath, iv. 142, 147, 148, 180-1, 204; Wilts. N. and Q. viii. 319; Neale, Parlts. ii. 48.
- 5. HMC Bath, iv. 197.
- 6. C142/163/29, 215/272; CPR, 1560-3, p. 253; PCC 27 Spencer; Lansd. 53/176/108.