STOURTON, Roger (by 1509-51), of Rushton, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. by 1509, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Edward Stourton, 6th Baron Stourton by Agnes, da. of John Fauntleroy of Marsh, nr. Sherborne; bro. of Sir William. m. settlement 1-2 Jan. 1530, Jane, da. of one Bures of Suff.1
J.p. Dorset 1537; commr. musters 1539, 1542, relief 1550; escheator, Som. and Dorset 1539-40.2
Edward, Baron Stourton, making his will in November 1535, left to his son Roger £3 6s.8d., ‘a hoop of gold, and half my raiment’; he had already, in January 1530, granted to Roger the manor of Up Cerne, Dorset. Roger Stourton, however, lived at Rushton, at the other end of the county, near Wareham, where he was assessed at £20 in lands in 1545. As the younger son of a peer of no great fortune, Stourton had a modest patrimony, but at the time of his death he owned at least 1,000 sheep at Up Cerne and another flock at Langford, Wiltshire, as well as corn and cattle on the Bures’ manor of Brook Hall in Essex.3
Stourton’s career in local administration began after the death of his father and flourished under the favour which his elder brother, the 7th Baron, enjoyed with Henry VIII. He was an occasional visitor at court, and in 1539 attended the reception of Anne of Cleves. His only known appearance in the House (he may have entered it earlier than 1545, when the returns are largely missing) was doubtless on the nomination of his elder brother, a leading figure in Dorset: Baron Stourton was the brother-in-law of John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, on whose influence in the past as lord admiral he could probably have relied. He was not re-elected in 1547, perhaps because his brother’s duties at Ambleteuse absorbed his interests and limited his patronage at home.4
Stourton made his will on 28 Jan. 1551, leaving to his wife his manor house at Rushton, Up Cerne and all sheep and cattle not otherwise bequeathed. They had no children and the heir to Stourton’s property was his nephew Charles, 8th Baron Stourton, appointed overseer of the will with Sir John Rogers. Roger Stourton died three days after making the will. His widow and executrix was soon at loggerheads with Baron Stourton. She complained to the King in 1553 of a series of minor persecutions which she had suffered at the hands of his servants since the death of her husband, when she had been left ‘unfriended’ in the county, having come to Dorset from Suffolk, the county of her birth. Jane Stourton, supported by her brother Robert Bures, had also to fight a running battle for the possession of Rushton with George Percy and his wife, the sister of Sir Henry Ashley, but the court of Star Chamber decided in her favour and in May 1557 the sheriff reinstated her.5