DIGBY, Simon (by 1499-1560), of North Luffenham, Rutland.

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 1499, yr. s. of Sir John Digby of Eye Kettleby, Leics. by 1st w. Catherine, da. of Nicholas Griffin of Braybrooke, Northants. m. by 1531, Catherine (d. 14 Aug. 1558), da. of Christopher Clapham of Beamsley, Yorks., 4s. 4da.1

Offices Held

Jt. (with fa.) bailiff, manor of Barrowden, Rutland 12 Aug. 1519-May 1533, sole May 1533-d.; esquire of the body in 1520; escheator, Northants. and Rutland 1540-1; gent. pens. by 1544-?54; sheriff, Rutland 1548-9; commr. relief 1550; j.p. by 1558-d.2


Simon Digby inherited his father’s property in Rutland in 1533, the rest of the estate passing to his nephew John Digby. He had followed his father into the Household, rising from esquire of the body to gentleman pensioner before his retirement at Mary’s accession. He was returned to the Parliament of 1542 with John Harington I shortly after he had been escheator and his friend Harington sheriff, and doubtless owed the seat to Kenelm Digby, head of the senior line of the family, who was sheriff at the election. Following the dissolution in 1544 Digby fought in the French campaign which led to the capture of Boulogne. Queen Mary gave him an annuity of £46 13s.4d. and later named him to the bench. Little more has come to light about Digby apart from his sheep-rearing and disputes with neighbours. By his will made on 1 Oct. 1559 he asked to be buried in the church at North Luffenham ‘above the steps near my seat’, provided for his children and named his son Roger executor and his ‘cousins’ Kenelm Digby and John Hunt supervisors. He died on 14 May 1560 and the will was proved a month later.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first Household post. Vis. Rutland (Harl. Soc. iii), 17 and Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 40-41 both give unreliable pedigrees drawn up in the 17th century. Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 14, 24; PCC 22 Alen, 35 Mellershe; C142/55/16, 18, 40, 131/168.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, ii, xix; Stowe 571, ff. 6-7v; CPR, 1553, p. 357.
  • 3. VCH Rutland, ii. 182; LP Hen. VIII, xix; Lansd. 156(28), f. 110; HMC Rutland, iv. 325; St.Ch.2/17/371; PCC 35 Mellershe; C142/131/168; CPR, 1560-3, p. 174.