HEIGHAM, Roger (by 1515-58), of London.

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 1515, 2nd s. of Robert Heigham of Higham in Werneth, Cheshire by da. of one Hopwood of ‘the Cliffe’. m. (1) disp. 8 July 1539, Alice, da. of (?John) Edwards (?of London), 1s,; (2) Joan.1

Offices Held

Gen. receiver and under steward, the Minories, London 11 July 1537; dep. chamberlain, Exchequer by 1553.2


A younger son in a Cheshire family, Roger Heigham had presumably settled in London by June 1537 when he obtained a lease of Minories property in the parish of St. Nicholas Shambles. In the previous year he had been granted the reversionary lease of a Suffolk rectory by this Franciscan abbey and in July 1537 he was appointed general receiver and under steward of its lands, an office he retained after the abbey’s surrender in 1538: it is not known when he acquired his only other post, that of deputy chamberlain of the Exchequer. One of Heigham’s fellow-tenants of the Minories, John Edwards, a mercer, may have been the father of his first wife. On 8 July 1539, apparently after the birth of their son William, they were granted a dispensation to marry in the diocese of London without banns being read and the unusual circumstances suggest her further identification with an ex-nun of the Minories, aged 39 in 1539. Another nun, Elizabeth Copley, was probably the connexion between Heigham and his patron at Gatton, Sir Roger Copley (a member of the Mercers’ Company), although the relationship between them has not been discovered. Heigham’s servant Donald Sharples was later to enter the service of the Copley family.3

Heigham probably took advantage of his position to survey the monastic land market. In 1544 he entered into partnership with William Greene, a Merchant Taylor like other associates of Heigham, to purchase property in London and Lincolnshire, selling that in Lincolnshire to Vincent Grantham later in the same year. In 1546 he purchased the Essex manors of Jenkyns in Hazeleigh and Badnocks in Asheldham and he bought further Essex lands in the following reign: he retained all these and they were valued at some £48 a year in his inquisition post mortem. By his will of 15 Apr. 1556 Heigham left Badnocks to his second wife, Jenkyns to his nephew Reynold Heigham and the rest of his property, including premises in the parish of St. Lawrence, Old Jewry, to his son William. He named as executors his ‘cousin and trusty friend’ Edward Jones, a Merchant Taylor, and his nephew Reynold Heigham. He died on 29 Aug. 1558 and on the following 22 Dec. the wardship of his son William, then nearly 20, was granted to Edward Jones.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. R. Johnson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 62, 217-18; Vis. Cheshire (ibid. lix), 124; C142/113/73; PCC 49 Noodes; Fac. Off. Reg. 1534-49, ed. Chambers, 190; M. C. Rosenfield, ‘The disposal of the property of London monastic houses’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1961), 242. Heigham seems to have had only one child (William) although credited with a larger family in the Essex visitations and with a son John in that for Cheshire.
  • 2. E315/218, f. 83 gives 11 July 1537 as date of Minories appointment but, according to CPR, 1563-6, p. 419, he was already ‘under steward and collecto’ in 1536; Stowe 571, f. 6v.
  • 3. Rosenfield, 242; CPR, 1563-6, p. 419; LP Hen. VIII, xiv; PCC 5 Mellershe; Letters of Sir Thomas Copley (Roxburghe Club 1807) p. xxvi; Coll. Top. et Gen. viii. 256-9.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xix, xxi; DKR, ix. 227; Rosenfield, 187-8; C142/113/73; PCC 13 Noodes; CPR, 1555-7, p. 210; 1558-60, p. 79; 1560-3, p. 117.