PATE, Richard (1516-88), of Minsterworth, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 24 Sept. 1516, ?s. of Walter Pate of Cheltenham. educ. Corpus, Oxf. 1532; L. Inn Aug. 1541, called 1558. m. Matilda, da. of John Rastell of Gloucester, wid. of Henry Marmion, mayor of Gloucester 1533, 1541, and of Thomas Lane of Gloucester, 1s. 3da.

Offices Held

Steward of reader’s dinner, L. Inn 1562, Lent reader 1563, assoc. bencher 1571; commr. chantries, Glos. 1547, escheator 1548-9; recorder, Gloucester 1556-87; j.p. Glos. from 1547, Cheshire, Herefs., Salop, some Welsh counties 1564; dep. justice, Glam., Brec., and Rad. 1559; member, council in marches of Wales 1560; commr. grain, Glos. 1573, piracy 1577, sheriff 1580-1.


Pate was the nephew and namesake of the Marian bishop of Worcester deprived in 1559. He was himself, despite his Marian offices, ‘an ancient professor of the gospel’, and a speculator in ex-monastic lands. On the accession of Elizabeth he received a general pardon as ‘of Minsterworth alias of Lincoln’s Inn’ and was appointed to the council in the marches, regularly attending its meetings and being otherwise active in local affairs. As recorder he might have expected to be returned to Parliament for Gloucester as a matter of course, but after sitting in the first two Elizabethan Parliaments and being one of four Members appointed to draw up the subsidy (31 Jan. 1559), Pate was at least twice defeated by his deputy Thomas Atkins. In 1571 Sir William Cordell protested to Burghley that Pate, ‘a good Parliament man, and very diligent and painful there’, had been ‘unkindly used’, and supplied, by way of a precedent, a writ directed to London in the time of Henry VIII, ordering a new election to be held, on the grounds that the recorder had not been returned. It is unlikely that Burghley would have sanctioned the extension of this precedent to Gloucester, and, as Pate himself wrote, there was insufficient time to take any action before Parliament met. In any event Pate was anxious lest ‘the doing thereof might breed more unquietness’ in the city. ‘Unquietness’ arose next year, when Atkins defeated Pate ‘by gathering together of a multitude by great labour, and by some threatening words, contrary to the law’. This time Pate appealed direct to Burghley, who again refrained from interfering. Atkins was returned in 1584, but in 1586 Pate, now in his seventies, regained his seat, taking Atkins with him to Westminster as his junior colleague. On 4 Nov. 1586 Pate was appointed to the committee on Mary Queen of Scots. Shortly afterwards, being ‘aged and weak in body’, he sought to resign his recordership to his ‘friend’ William Oldsworth, which caused more trouble in Gloucester.

Pate died 27 Oct. 1588, aged 73. In his will, made 30 Aug. that year ‘not without some heaviness of heart’ for his sins, he directed that his body was to be buried in Gloucester cathedral and divided his property between his widow and his orphaned grand-daughter Susan Brooke, the executrix, with remainder to his nephews. He left small bequests to Magdalen and Corpus, Oxford. The will was proved 2 Nov.

Emden, Biog. Reg. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 436; DNB; W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Glos. 190; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xlvi. 329-35; lvi. 201-25; Gloucester Recs. ed. Stevenson, 33, 444; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1558-60, pp. 92, 184, 394; 1560-3, p. 490; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 274-5; APC, viii. 159; x. 133; xi. 266-7, 455; xiv. 321; CSP Dom. 1548-80, pp. 408, 441; 1581-90, p. 320; CJ, i. 53; D’Ewes, 394; PCC 4 Leicester.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.J.C.