BURY (BERRY), Anthony (by 1505-55), of Braunton and Combe Martin, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1505, 1st s. of John Bury of Ilfracombe by 2nd w. Margaret Lobb. educ. M. Temple, adm. 31 May 1519. m. 21 Oct. 1540, Elizabeth, da. of John Menwhenyke of Cornw., wid. of Robert Kelloway of Stowford, Devon, 1da.1

Offices Held

Bencher, M. Temple 1536, Lent reader 1536, 1545.

J.p. Devon 1536-d.; commr. oyer and terminer 1540, 1554, relief 1550, sewers 1554; mayor’s attorney, Barnstaple by 1538-d.; escheator, Devon and Cornw. 1552-3.2


Bury had connexions both locally and at his inn of court. A double link with the Chichesters—his father’s first wife and his mother’s second husband were of that family—brought him property at Braunton and Barnstaple, and at the Middle Temple he followed Hugh Yeo, also of Braunton, and preceded Richard Pollard: Yeo was to sit with Bury for Barnstaple, and Pollard, who married a distant kinswoman of Bury’s, was younger brother to the recorder of Barnstaple and himself a future knight of the shire for Devon.3

To such connexions Bury could add the advantage, in the eyes of the borough, that as a practising member of his inn he was normally resident in London and might be content to serve for little or no wages: the items under this heading during Bury’s Membership, as recorded in the borough records, have the appearance of token payments. He was probably returned again to the Parliament of 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, and he may have sat in 1539, when the names of both Members are lost, and in 1542, when only one name survives: the borough receiver’s payment in the year 1541-2 of Bury’s and his wife’s expenses in riding to London could have related to the opening session of this last Parliament. Nothing is known of Bury’s part in the proceedings of the Commons but his career outside the House has left its traces. As a lawyer he was sufficiently established by 1535 to be one of those chosen by Richard Pollard, at Cromwell’s direction, to confer with a group of civilians on matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and from the following year he was a bencher and reader at his inn. In 1538 he was appointed counsel to the borough of Barnstaple at an annual fee of 6s.8d., and as he was then also a justice of the peace for Devon he probably began to spend more of his time in the county: it was as a resident of Combe Martin (where Pollard held the manor) that Bury was assessed at 20s. towards the subsidy of 1543 and during the next 12 years he served in various capacities in the county.4

Bury made his will on 17 Oct. 1555. He asked to be buried at his wife’s discretion and besought God to grant him ‘a thousand forgivenesses’ and the Virgin and the saints to intercede for him. He appointed his wife sole executrix and gave her a life interest in his estate ‘for her gentleness showed to me at all times and for the very true love declared to me at all seasons’. To his brothers Thomas and Harewood he left £20 each and to his daughter Elizabeth 100 marks. The will was witnessed by, amongst others, his nephew and namesake with whom he is liable to be confused. He died six days after making the will and was buried in Westleigh church, leaving as his heir his 14 year-old daughter. The will was proved on 7 Feb. 1556.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: L. M. Kirk / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from education. Vis. Devon, ed. Colby, 31 where John Bury’s second wife is incorrectly given as Margaret Gubb; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 76, 510; N. Devon Athenaeum, Barnstaple, D. Drake ms ‘M.P.s Barnstaple’, 20-21.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, x, xv; CPR, 1553, p. 352; 1553-4, p. 28; 1554-5, p. 106; N. Devon Athenaeum, passim. The corporation recs. provide no evidence for the statement (D. Drake ms loc. cit) that Bury was thrice deputy mayor of Barnstaple.
  • 3. N. Devon Athenaeum.
  • 4. Ibid.; LP Hen. VIII, ix, x; PCC 27 Pynnyng; E179/98/225.
  • 5. PCC 40 More; C142/107/22; N. Devon Athanaeum, D. Drake ms op. cit. 21.