SAUNDERS, Robert (c.1514-59), of Flore, Northants.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1514, 2nd surv. s. of Thomas Saunders of Sibbertoft by Margaret, da. of Richard Cave of Stanford; bro. of Edward Saunders. educ. M. Temple, ?adm. 1518. m. (1) Margaret, da. and h. of Thomas Stanton of Stanton, Mon., 2s. 1da.; (2) by Oct. 1558, Joyce, da. of Sir John Goodwin of Upper Winchendon, Bucks., at least 1s.

Offices Held

Jt. (with Francis Saunders) steward, Brackley 1558.


Saunders’ life was spent for the most part in and around Brackley, where the records show him buying wool and suing various local merchants for minor debts. Two of his brothers were better known. Edward was a judge under Queen Mary, and Lawrence was martyred at Coventry in the same reign. As Robert himself was one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’ in the Parliament of October it is likely that his religious views were closer to those of Lawrence than to those of Edward, who had written to Lawrence urging him to submit. After his stand in 1553 Robert Saunders did not represent his borough again in Parliament until Mary’s last, before the second session of which he made his will, 3 Oct. 1558, bequeathing £1 towards the repair of Flore church, and a further £1 to the poor of the parish. By this time he had made a second marriage into the well-known family of Goodwin, and his wife Joyce was residuary legatee. Saunders was sick when he made the will. Nevertheless he was returned to Elizabeth’s first Parliament, but died soon afterwards, Nov. 1559. The joint executors were the widow and Saunders’ brother Blase, and it was the latter who proved the will on 27 Aug. 1560. The widow married Anthony Carleton.

PCC 31 Porche, 44 Mellershe; Baker, Northants. i. 152, 153, 293, 509; Bridges, Northants. i. 508, 509; Northants. RO, Ellesmere mss; Foxe, Acts and Mons. vi. 612-36; Bodl. e Museo 17; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 64.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière