WROTE, Robert (c.1544-89), of Bungay, Suff.; Gunton and Tunstall, Norf.

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.1544, s. of John Wrote of Bungay by Bridget, da. of John Harvey of Ickworth, Suff. educ. Jesus, Camb. ‘impubes’ 1558; I. Temple 1561 or 1562, called. m. Catherine, da. and coh. of Vincent Randall of London, wid. of Thomas Fleet, 2s. 7da.

Offices Held

J.p. Suff. from 1579.


This Member probably owed both his parliamentary seats to Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. His exact connexion with the Earl is difficult to trace, but in 1585 he was acting with Thomas Dudley, presumably in a legal capacity, over debts owed to Leicester, as lord of Oswestry, by the Earl of Arundel. Though he never rose to any eminence in the law, it is likely that the large sums of money which he bequeathed in his will reflect the gains of a flourishing legal practice. His landed property on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk was not considerable, and though his wife brought him part of the manor of Sutton at Hone, Kent, he never became a substantial country gentleman in that county or in East Anglia: he was over 30 before his name appeared on the Suffolk commission of the peace. The only reference to his serving on a special commission there is in 1583, when he was instructed to investigate a complaint against Henry Jernegan for attacking one John Thorneton alias Arnold, who had served a subpoena on him.

Wrote died, apparently as a result of violence, on 25 Sept. 1589, though nothing is known of the circumstances beyond the fact that in the following year one Thomas Wigges was released from the penalty of burning in the hand, to which he had been sentenced ‘touching the death of Robert Wrote’. Whatever the story behind this, Wrote had drawn up his will the day before he died. It was proved in November the same year. Among the witnesses was Thomas Crompton, possibly the MP who served Leicester’s stepson, the Earl of Essex.

Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xvii), 373; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 211; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 340; C142/255/174; Lansd. 45, f. 208 seq.; Hasted, Kent, ii. 348; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 121, 660; PCC 91 Leicester.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge