MOLYNS, Robert (1515/16-74), of Bridgwater, Som.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1515/16, s. of William Molyns of Sandhills, Hants by 1st w. Evelyn, da. of William Walrond of Bovey House, nr. Seaton, Devon; half-bro. of Michael Molyns. m. Ellen, da. of Thomas Halworthie, ?1da.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Bridgwater 1544-5, 1550-1, comptroller of customs 1554-d., mayor 1555-6, 1566-7, member of town council by 1558.2


Although he came of a family of minor gentry, all references to Robert Molyns are connected with his activities in Bridgwater. He is always called ‘gentleman’, and there is no indication of his engaging in trade, but he had been living in Bridgwater for some years before he was made comptroller of the customs there. During the 1550s he was several times in receipt of 20s.from the town ‘for his [unspecified] charges’, and in 1554-5 Bridgwater’s receiver paid him 20s. towards his parliamentary wages as well as an unnamed amount ‘to make up the sum of £10’.3

He may be the Mr. Molyns, a ‘hungry man’ abused in 1549 by John Clerke II in a letter to the dean of Wells: All is fish that cometh to the net. I am advertised that he selleth gutters, windows and such like, if it be worth a penny.He made his will on 22 Aug. 1574, asking to be buried in the parish church. He mentioned no children except ‘my son’ (presumably son-in-law) Robert Cuffe to whom he left his rights and interests in the farm of Ham. He bequeathed £60 for the poor and 20s. each and wages to his servants, the residue going to his wife and executrix. He died not long afterwards since his will was proved on the following 18 Oct.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Aged 40 in 1556, Bridgwater corp. ms 1698, m. 1. Vis. Som. ed Weaver, 51.
  • 2. Bridgwater corp. mss 124; 1698, mm. 1, 7; S. Jarman, Bridgwater, 269; E122/28/16, 29/2, 8; Lansd. 14, f. 107.
  • 3. Bridgwater corp. mss 804, 1456, 1459, 1831.
  • 4. PCC 36 Martyn; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 2, ff. 97-97v.