BOWRING, Robert (by 1473-1514), of Bowringsleigh and Alvington, Devon and the Middle Temple, London.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1473, 1st s. of Thomas Bowring of Bowringsleigh and Alvington. educ. M. Temple, called by 1502. m. by May 1497, Alice, 1da. suc. fa. 26 Mar. 1504.2

Offices Held

Autumn reader, M. Temple 1507, Lent 1513, bencher 1507.

J.p. Devon 1494-d.; commr. musters 1511, to seize goods of Scots 1513; recorder, Plymouth by 1509-d.3


Son of a distinguished Devon lawyer, Robert Bowring followed his father to the Middle Temple, where he became a barrister and bencher, and was early made a justice of the peace in his native county. In 1504 he succeeded to his inheritance near Kingsbridge and elsewhere in south Devon, and it was as of Wood House and Alvington, Devon, Bishopsworth, Somerset, and London that he sued out a pardon in 1510. The town of Plymouth paid him 10s. in 1508 for examining its charters and from the following year he received similar occasional payments as well as an annual fee of 26s.8d. as recorder. The accounts for 1513-14 record a payment of £5 to him ‘for his attendance at the Parliament’, and three years later a further 26s.4d. ‘paid to the recorder’s brother for his fee for the burgess-ship of the Parliament for our town’ probably represents a belated payment of arrears.4

Bowring had died on 3 May 1514, holding lands in Devon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. By his will, made on the day of his death and proved on the following 16 June, he made provision for his wife and left £40 each to his brother Ralph Bowring and his sister Alice Pyke and smaller sums to servants and others including James Horswell. He named six executors including his wife, his daughter Thomasin, his brother-in-law William Pyke and (Sir) William Courtenay I. His daughter survived him by less than four years, dying on 13 Jan. 1518, and the inheritance passed to Bowring’s brother.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1513-14.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. CIPM, Hen. VII, ii. 886; C142/78/146; PCC 33 Fetiplace.
  • 3. CPR, 1494-1509, pp. 546, 636; LP Hen. VIII, i; Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1507-8, 1508-9, 1513-14.
  • 4. CPR, 1485-94, P. 474; LP Hen. VIII, i; CCR, 1500-9, p. 121; Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1507-8, 1513-14, 1514-15, 1516-17.
  • 5. C142/30/52, 33/19, 78/146; PCC 33 Fetiplace.