BUCKING (BOCKING), Robert (-d.1604), of Bridgwater, Som.
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Family and Education
Freeman, Spanish Co. 1604.6
Bucking’s parentage has not been established. He was perhaps descended from a family of goldsmiths active in both Bridgwater and London in the 1480s and 1510s.7 Bucking himself was first recorded in Bridgwater in 1572, when he married the daughter of the town’s most prominent mid-Elizabethan merchant.8 From this point onwards he began to figure in the town’s customs records, frequently in partnership with his father-in-law. He traded principally with Spain, exporting cloth and earthenware pots, and importing salt and wine.9 In 1582 Bucking consolidated his local presence by purchasing seven Bridgwater properties, including the house on the quayside, ‘with two cellars and two chambers or lofts, with a courtyard’, which he had been renting and occupying.10 At some stage he also acquired a 50-acre holding on the manor of Ham, just outside the town.11 In 1588, when Bridgwater was instructed to supply a ship for use against the Spanish Armada, Bucking not only provided his own vessel, the William, but also advanced most of the money needed to set it out.12 However, by February 1591 local collections had raised only half of the £378 that he was now owed by the town, and when the government requested a further ship for that year’s expedition to the Azores, he understandably proved reluctant to repeat his earlier gesture.13 Bucking’s name ceased to appear in the port books after 1591, possibly due to a slump in Bridgwater’s export trade. In 1600 he was assessed for the subsidy at only £6 in goods, a relatively moderate rating within the town.14
That Bucking remained a significant local figure is demonstrated by his election in 1604 to represent Bridgwater in Parliament. He left no trace on the Commons’ records, but received parliamentary wages of £16 from the corporation following the first session.15 Bucking died in August 1604, and was buried at St. Mary’s, Bridgwater.16 Under the terms of his nuncupative will, his lands at Ham passed initially to his widow, while his other properties in Bridgwater descended to his son Emanuel, who left the town by the 1620s, and may have settled at Holborn, London. No other member of this family sat in Parliament.17
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: George Yerby
- 1. Som. RO, St. Mary’s, Bridgwater par. reg.; Som. Wills ed. F. Brown, i. 59.
- 2. PROB 11/104, f. 228v.
- 3. Som. RO, St. Mary’s, Bridgwater par. reg.
- 4. Som. RO, D/B/bw 1474, 1581, 1587.
- 5. Ibid. 1478.
- 6. Spanish Co. ed. P. Croft (London Rec. Soc. ix), 43.
- 7. Bridgwater Bor. Archives ed. R.W. Dunning and T.D. Tremlett (Som. Rec. Soc. lxx), 991; Early Hist. of Goldsmiths’ Co. ed. T. Reddaway and L. Walker, 197.
- 8. E190/1081/3, 10; 190/1082/7.
- 9. E190/1081/10; 190/1082/7; 190/1083/2, 10.
- 10. Som. RO, D/B/bw 1227.
- 11. PROB 11/104, f. 228v.
- 12. VCH Som. ii. 256; APC, 1588-9, p. 108.
- 13. APC, 1591-2, p. 222; HMC Hatfield, iv. 121.
- 14. E179/171/321.
- 15. Som. RO, D/B/bw 1589.
- 16. Som. RO, St. Mary’s, Bridgwater par. reg.
- 17. PROB 11/104, f. 228v; C142/295/51; REQ 2/401/8; Som. RO, D/B/bw 1606; E179/171/349; GL, ms 6667/2, unfol. (28 Sept. 1624).