PEYTON, Robert (c.1523-90), of Isleham, Cambs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1523, 1st s. of (Sir) Robert Peyton by Frances, da. and h. of Francis Haselden of Guilden Morden, Cambs. and Chesterford, Essex. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1535-6. m. by 1550, Elizabeth, da. of (Sir) Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich, 3s. inc. John II 3da. suc. fa. Aug. 1550.

Offices Held

Commr. to collect relief, Cambs. 1550, for church goods 1553; j.p. from c.1559, Isle of Ely from c.1564; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1553-4, 1567-8, 1586-7; dep. lt. Cambs. 1569.


Peyton was a considerable landowner in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. As the son-in-law of Lord Rich and brother-in-law of Sir Roger North, he was of sufficient standing to take a turn as knight of the shire for Cambridgeshire. The bishops’ letters to the Privy Council in 1564 described him as ‘conformable’ in religion. In October 1559 he sat on the commission to inquire into lands taken by the Crown from the bishopric of Ely. In addition to his duties at sessions and in general administration, he was called upon to report to the Council on various private disputes, for example in November 1578 about the complaints made against the bishop of Ely by his tenants at Somersham and elsewhere; some years later he inquired into a case of debt between two of the local gentry. In November 1588 he was given custody of his brother William, who had been arrested for unspecified ‘suspicious behaviour’. As a commissioner for musters or deputy lieutenant, he was responsible for training and equipping the Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely levies.

He died at Isleham 19 Oct. 1590, leaving as heir his second but elder surviving son John, aged nearly 30. His will, made a week before he died and proved 9 Nov. 1590, has a long religious preamble. He asked to be buried in the tomb which he had already prepared in the south chapel of Isleham parish church, ‘until it shall please my Saviour to glorify the same at His second coming and to join together my soul and body again, all corruption being taken away’. Apart from bequests of plate to his three married daughters and a daughter-in-law, and legacies to servants, the whole of the non-landed property was to be divided equally between the two executors, the heir John and the widow. There were no bequests to churches, to the poor, or to friends, and his servants received only the wages due to them.

E150/98/2; Vis. Cambs. (Harl. Soc. xli), 4; SP12/59/ff. 200v, 206; CPR, 1549-51, p. 189; 1550-3, p. 395; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 351, 417; 1558-60, pp. 30-1; 1563-6, p. 20; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 24; APC, x. 389; xiv. 296; HMC Montagu, 21; Lansd. 56, f. 168 seq.; C142/228/76; PCC 74 Drury.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.