ROOKWOOD, Nicholas (by 1511-57), of Lincoln's Inn, London and Euston, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. by 1511, 2nd s. of Edmund Rookwood of Euston by 1st w.; half-bro. of Brice Rookwood. educ. L. Inn, adm. 20 Nov. 1525. m. by 1554, Elizabeth, da. of George Peryent of the diocese of Norwich, wid. of Sir Humphrey Style (d.1552) of Beckenham, Kent, 1s.2
Chief prothonotary c.p. by May 1533-d.; commr. gaol delivery, western circuit 1537-d., clerk of assize by 1552; j.p.q. Kent, Suff. 1554-d.3
Sprung from a well connected family of East Anglia, Nicholas Rookwood became a lawyer. It was as chief prothonotary of the common pleas that in 1533 he obtained his predecessor’s chambers at Lincoln’s Inn and as a kinsman of Bishop Nikke of Norwich that he had the entry fee remitted. The city of London retained his services as its attorney in the common pleas, but most of what is known about his career refers to his work as a commissioner of gaol delivery or to land transactions in East Anglia. In 1537 he bought the family seat at Euston from his elder brother, who had no son, and he was to acquire other property in the locality. His marriage to a widow of a Kentish knight gave him a say in local administration in Kent as well as in Suffolk.4
During Wyatt’s rebellion Rookwood was wounded in the nose by an arrow while denying the rebels entry to Lincoln’s Inn; his honourable scar may have helped to commend him for a seat in Parliament, which for the rest he could have owed to his local standing, Thetford being only four miles from Euston, and to his ties with Sir Henry Bedingfield and with officials of the duchy of Lancaster. Predictably, he is not to be found among the opponents of the government in the House. Rookwood made his will at Euston on 13 Sept. 1557 and died that day. After providing for his wife, he remembered his relatives and left rings to the attorney-general, William Cordell and (Sir) Clement Heigham. John Sulyard witnessed the will, which was proved on the following 23 Oct. by Rookwood’s executors, his widow and his stepmother Lady Burgh. His son Edward, who was aged three on 31 Oct. 1557, was to die a Catholic.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from education. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 235; Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), i. 140-2; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 156; C142/112/146.
- 3. Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 235; LP Hen. VIII, xii-xviii, xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 78; 1550-3, p. 249; 1553-4, p. 30; 1554-5, p. 103; 1555-7, p. 418.
- 4. Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 235; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 13(2), f. 541; LP Hen. VIII, xii-xxi; Coppinger, Suff. Manors, i. 292; Blomefield, Norf. i. 144.
- 5. Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii), 132; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 2, ff. 191-91v; PCC 39 Wrastley; C142/112/146; A. H. Smith, County and Ct., 202, 218.