WROTH, Robert (1488/89-1535), of Durants, Enfield, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 1488/89, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Wroth of Durants by Joan. educ. G. Inn. m. by 1517, Jane, da. of Sir Thomas Haute of Kent, wid. of Thomas Goodere of Hadley, Herts., 4s. inc. Thomas 2da. suc. fa. 23 Aug. 1517.2
J.p. Mdx. 1522-d.; commr. subsidy 1523, 1524; other commissions, Herts., London and Mdx. 1525-d.; steward, manor of Cheshunt, Herts. 1524-d.; attorney-gen. duchy of Lancaster 1531-d., steward, Savoy manor 1532-d., Herts. and Mdx. 1534-d.; steward, Finsbury, Mdx. 1532-d.; jt. (with Thomas Cromwell) steward, Westminster abbey 1534-d.; steward, manor of Edmonton, Mdx. Feb. 1535-d.3
Robert Wroth was in his late twenties when he inherited the manor of Durants, in Enfield, which had been the family residence since the early 15th century, with the greater part of his father’s lands in Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Somerset. In 1518 he was granted livery of the lands in Somerset, Richard Hawkes entering into bond with him for the payment of what was due to the crown.4
Wroth had been educated at Gray’s Inn, where he was elected Autumn reader in 1528 but did not read, and it was through the law that he made his way in the world. He was retained as counsel by his influential neighbour Sir Thomas Lovell I, from whom shortly before Lovell’s death in 1524 he was given the reversion of the stewardship of Cheshunt, and whose will included a bequest to him of a silver cup and £5: the young gentlemen then in Lovell’s household included Wroth’s stepson Francis Goodere. Wroth’s most important appointment was as attorney-general of the duchy of Lancaster in 1531; his other offices included stewardships of lands belonging to the city of London and to the crown. Several of his forbears had been knights of the shire for Middlesex, and as a rising lawyer Wroth was probably able to add crown support to his own claim to be returned as senior knight in 1529 and may have had a hand in the choice of his colleague Hawkes. He became a friend of Cromwell whom he advised in 1532 on a point of law; on 14 Feb. 1534 Cromwell and Wroth were jointly appointed to the stewardship of Westminster abbey, an office which Cromwell had held alone since the previous September. Wroth’s name was included in a list drawn up by the minister on the back of a letter of December 1534 and thought to be of Members with a particular but unknown interest in the treasons bill then on its passage through Parliament.5
Wroth died in his mid forties and while still a Member of the Parliament of 1529, in which he is not known to have been replaced for the last session.He made his will on 8 May 1535, ‘every day looking for the messenger of God’, who summoned him three days later. He bequeathed his best grey horse to Cromwell and a black colt to Sir William Fitzwilliam I, his chief in the duchy of Lancaster, while two thirds of all his lands went to his wife for the education of his children ‘in virtue and learning’. In accordance with the will Wroth’s ward Edward Lewknor married his daughter Dorothy.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Helen Miller
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m.s, C142/32/31, 83, 57/7, 33. PCC 36 Hogen, 16 Pyckering correcting visitation peds. as Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 132; LP Hen. VIII, ii; D. O. Pam, Protestant Gentlemen: the Wroths of Enfield and Loughton (Edmonton Hundred Hist. Soc. occasional ppr. n.s. xxv), passim.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv, viii; Somerville, Duchy, i. 407; Somerville, The Savoy, 235; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 8, f. 233; Westminster abbey, reg. 3, f. 298v.
- 4. W. Robinson, Enfield, i. 143; LP Hen. VIII, ii.
- 5. G.I. Adm. 2; Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, 292; LP Hen. VIII, iii-v, vii, viii; HMC Rutland, iv. 260; PCC 27 Jankyn; Westminster abbey, reg. 3, ff. 288, 298v.
- 6. PCC 36 Hogen; C142/57/7, 33; LP Hen. VIII, xi.