PALLADY, Richard (1515/16-59/63), of St. Bride's, London and Ruscombe, Berks.

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. 1515/16. educ. Eton c.1529; King’s, Camb. adm. 18 Aug. 1533, fellow 1536-7. m. (1) by 1544, Catherine, da. of Guy Armston of Armston, Northants.; (2) Anne, da. of William Kirkby of Upper Rawcliffe, Lancs.1

Offices Held

Attorney, sheriff’s ct. London 27 July 1540-5 Mar. 1548; servant, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset by 1548; j.p. Berks. 1558/592.


At the opening of the 16th century there was a yeoman family named Pallady living at Irthlingborough in Northamptonshire, and as its sons were customarily baptized Richard, the Member so named was probably one of them. At about the time he was born Irthlingborough passed into the custody of Sir Nicholas Vaux, afterwards Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who in 1515 secured the wardship of its young heir Elizabeth Cheyne; when she married his own heir Thomas, Irthlingborough became part of the Vaux estates and was long used as a family residence. By 1529, when Pallady entered Eton, Thomas, 2nd Lord Vaux, was 19 and had perhaps spent some time at Cambridge, where four years later Pallady was to become a scholar of King’s: it may well have been to the cultured Vaux that this humble neighbour owed his start in life. He was to become a servant of Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, whose steward (Sir) John Thynne had earlier been a member of Vaux’s household: Thynne had made the transition in 1536 and Pallady may have joined him within a year or two, although he is first met with in Hertford’s service some ten years later. By then he had married and had been sued by his wife’s kinsmen over the title to the manor of Armston in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire which had given her family its name: at one point the plaintiffs, Robert Kirkham (Pallady’s cousin) and Thomas Henson, called Catherine Armston illegitimate. No decree survives, but an agreement may have been reached, for in 1546 Kirkham and Pallady sold the manor to a local gentleman, John Lane, who resold it in the following year to Edward Montagu.3

Although Pallady has been credited with the design of Somerset Place, the town mansion which Seymour began as Earl of Hertford and continued as Duke of Somerset, he was probably responsible solely for the accountancy of its construction: this was a task usually given to a financially experienced officer of the household concerned, and all that is known of Pallady suggests that this was his place in Somerset’s establishment. It was doubtless as such that he was elected to the Parliament of 1547 for Peterborough. If, as is possible, the city was returning for the first time, Somerset probably took the initiative in its enfranchisement, at the same time nominating at least one of the Members: it lay on his route both to and from Scotland in the summer of 1547 and, as elsewhere, the matter may have been settled in his presence. A link with its high steward, Sir John Russell, Baron Russell, who in the previous year had recommended Pallady for a stewardship to the aldermen of London, perhaps facilitated his election, while Pallady’s local origin—Irthlingborough is some 30 miles from Peterborough—and connexions would have commended him. Nothing is known of his part in the proceedings during the first two sessions of the Parliament, but on the eve of the third he was one of the dependants of Somerset who followed the fallen Protector into the Tower: he was kept there for three months, thus missing the whole of the third session, and was then released with William Cecil, Richard Whalley and Edward Wolf, in a recognizance of 4,000 marks to appear before the Council to answer charges. There is no evidence that these were ever brought, and in the absence of any indication to the contrary on the list of Members as revised for the final session of January 1552 it is to be presumed that he avoided further trouble at the time of Somerset’s trial and execution and resumed his seat in the House.4

It was while the duke was still in power that Pallady had joined Francis Foxhall, a London mercer, in paying £1,522 for property in London, Warwickshire and elsewhere in the midlands. The crown did not have undisputed title to all the property granted, for Pallady was obliged to sue the churchwardens of All Hallows the Less for at least one tenement; although the outcome of that suit is unknown, in April 1549 the treasurer of augmentations had a warrant to pay Pallady and Foxhall £462, probably because the title to property recently acquired from that court had proved to be defective. Whether Pallady retained these possessions is not known, and there are few indications of where or how he passed his remaining years. A lawsuit of 1555 against the dean and chapter of Worcester, from whom he had leased tithes at Warton in Lancashire, may be connected with his second marriage, but he does not appear to have settled in his wife’s county: on the pardon roll of 1559 he is described as ‘late of Ruscombe, Berkshire’, and he seems to have ended his days at Buckland, Gloucestershire. His election to the Parliament of 1559 for Heytesbury suggests a continuing association with Sir John Thynne, by then a leading figure in west Wiltshire with an interest in that borough. Pallady died intestate before 27 Mar. 1563 when letters of administration were granted to his widow.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Aged 17 on admission to Cambridge. Bridges, Northants. ii. 418; Vis. Lancs. (Chethan Soc. lxxxi), 41.
  • 2. City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 10, f. 168v; 11, f. 429; Egerton 2815.
  • 3. Northants, consist. ct. G41, Y176; C1/1020/52; 3/139/9; Peterborough cath. lib. 28, p. 37; G. Anstruther, Vaux of Harrowden, 25, 62, 94, 96; Bridges, ii. 418; Req.2/6/133, 7/120.
  • 4. Egerton 2815; City of London RO, rep. 11, f. 311; APC, ii. 322, 372.
  • 5. CPR, 1548-9, p. 25; 1558-60, p. 150; APC, ii. 273; Ducatus Lanc. 209, 298, 302; PCC admons. act bk. 1563, f. 59.