TAVERNER, Robert (by 1523-56), of Lambourne, Essex.

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 1523, yr. s. of John Taverner, and bro. of Richard and Roger. m. by 1556, Elizabeth, da. of Brian Newcomen of Saltfleetby, Lincs., 1s.1

Offices Held

Reeve, manor of Boyton, Cornw. by 1555-d.; bailiff, manor of Stapleford Abbots, Essex by 1556.2


Robert Taverner ‘gentleman’ took the junior place for a Cornish borough in the last Parliament of Henry VIII’s reign. The election, which saw his return with William Cordell, was held at Dunheved on 20 Sept. 1545, eight months after the meeting of the county court at nearby Launceston castle to choose the two knights for Cornwall and long after most constituencies had decided on their representatives: probably the hand of Sir Thomas Arundell, receiver-general for the duchy and chancellor of Queen Catherine Parr, can be discerned in this delay for on this occasion he supervised the elections in the south-west. Since Cordell was presumably Arundell’s nominee, Taverner may have been as well. His only known experience of the House perhaps anticipated his lease of the prebend of St. Endellion which he held with Edmund Bedingfield at least by 1548, and his reeveship of a manor not far from Dunheved. His elder brother Richard, the translator of the Bible, who was clerk of the signet, may have promoted his nomination.3

The first glimpse of Taverner is in June 1544 when he acquired property in several counties from augmentations for just over £600. In the following ten months in conjunction with two of his brothers he bought land worth over £4,200, much of which they soon alienated, and he continued to make joint purchases with these two brothers in the closing years of Henry VIII’s life and throughout the reigns of Edward VI and Mary until his death. He was able to buy and consolidate a small estate for himself in the neighbourhood of Lambourne and it was there that he made his will on 30 Apr. 1556, providing for his wife and recently born son Thomas, and appointing his mother, wife and brother Roger as executors. Taverner died not long afterwards as the will was proved on 30 May, although when his widow obtained the wardship of their son on 8 Mar. 1557 it was stated that he had died on 10 Oct. 1556. She took as her second husband William Hulcote.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 499; The Gen. iv. 260; C142/109/154.
  • 2. Duchy Cornw. RO, 128/39; 129/43; 130/37v; CPR, 1555-7, p. 300.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xix, xx; Duchy Cornw. RO, 128/39; E6.1/18v; DKR, x(2), 283-6; DNB (Taverner, Richard).
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xx, xxi; CPR, 1547-8 to 1555-7 passim; VCH Essex, iv. 77-81; PCC 7 Ketchyn, 25 Pyckering; C142/109/154.