RAVENSCROFT, Robert (1589-1640), of Bretton, Hawarden, Flints.
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Family and Education
bap. 20 Dec. 1589, o.s. of Thomas Ravenscroft of Bretton and Katherine, da. of Roger Brereton.1 educ. L. Inn 1610.2 m. Elizabeth (d.1661), da. of Sir Randall Mainwaring of Over Peover, Cheshire, 7s. 5da. suc. fa. 1639. bur. 15 Apr. 1640.3 sig. Rob[er]t Ravenscrofte.
The Ravenscrofts, who took their name from a village near Middlewich, Cheshire, settled in Flintshire in the fifteenth century, when Hugh de Ravenscroft, steward of the manors of Hawarden, Hope and Mold, married the heiress of the Bretton estate.6 Ravenscroft’s grandfather sat as knight of the shire in 1563, and his father served as custos rotulorum of the county bench from 1596, but his own return to the Commons in 1614, only a few years after he came of age, probably owed more to the fact that his great-aunt was the first wife of Lord Chancellor Ellesmere (Sir Thomas Egerton†).7 He left no trace on the surviving records of the Parliament and lost his electoral patronage following Ellesmere’s death in 1617.
Although a magistrate from 1625, Ravenscroft played little known part in local administration. He and his father joined in an entail of the family estate on 12 Feb. 1639, when his eldest son Thomas married a daughter of William Salesbury*. The deed reserved life annuities of £30 each for his six younger sons and dowries of £500 each for his five daughters. Ravenscroft was appointed custos of the Flintshire bench following his father’s death on 9 Sept. 1639, but died a few months thereafter, being buried on 16 Apr. 1640. His will, which does not survive, is known to have repeated the provisions of the 1639 entail, and was proved by his widow, probably at St. Asaph; his eldest son took over the estate.8 The latter began the Civil War as a royalist, but delivered Hawarden to the parliamentarian forces in 1643 and held local office throughout the Interregnum. His grandson Thomas was returned for Flintshire Boroughs in 1697, but died in the following year, after which the estate passed away through the female line.9
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, 315-16; Flints. RO, P28/1/1, p. 21.
- 2. LI Admiss.
- 3. Dwnn, 315-16; C2/Chas.I/R8/15; Flints. RO, P28/1/2, p. 34.
- 4. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 106-9.
- 5. E179/224/598, ff. 2, 5; C193/12/2, unfol.; E179/221/229.
- 6. DWB (Ravenscroft of Bretton).
- 7. Dwnn, 315-16.
- 8. C2/Chas.I/R8/15; JPs in Wales and Monm. 109; Flints. RO, P28/1/2, p. 34.
- 9. DWB.