SOUTHCOTE, George (by 1533-89), of the Middle Temple, London and Calverleigh, Devon.

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. by 1533, 2nd s. of John Southcote I of Bovey Tracey, Devon by 1st w. Joanna, da. of one Hankford; bro. of Thomas. educ. M. Temple, adm. 10 Nov. 1551. m. by 1561, Frances, da. and coh. of William Robins of London, 4s. 5da.1

Offices Held

Clerk of the peace and the crown, Devon 14 Sept. 1556-d.2


George Southcote’s admission to the Middle Temple was sponsored by two lawyers from Devon, his cousin John Southcote II and John Ridgeway with whom he was allowed to share chambers in 1553; he was to marry his cousin’s sister-in-law, the daughter of a London alderman. Southcote was probably in his early twenties when he was returned to the second Marian Parliament for Lostwithiel, a Cornish town which retained his father’s counsel. He was not elected again until after his father’s death, when he almost certainly owed his seat at Tavistock to his elder brother’s association with the 2nd Earl of Bedford, the lord of the borough. In 1543 his father had obtained for him the succession to his clerkship of the peace and crown, but Southcote had held office for less than three months in 1556 when he was ejected by the custos rotulorum, Sir Thomas Denys, in favour of Richard Hart. He brought an action in Chancery to establish his interest and was presumably successful since he was exercising the clerkship in 1559 and retained it until his death. In 1558 he purchased Calverleigh, which he made his home, from (Sir) Gawain Carew and on the accession of Elizabeth he sued out a general pardon. Nothing has come to light about his remaining 30 years outside his official duties: he made his will on 8 Oct. 1589 providing for his wife and children and died on the following 11 Nov.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Presumed to be of age at election. Vis. Devon ed Vivian, 697; PCC 12 Drury; C142/224/34.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xviii; C1/1467/29.
  • 3. M. T. Recs. i. 83, 93; J. Morris, Troubles of Our Catholic Forefathers, i. 365; LP Hen. VIII, xvii; C1/1467/29-31; 142/224/34; CPR, 1557-8, p. 339; 1558-60, p. 196; PCC 12 Drury.