SHUTE, Richard, of Stamford, Lincs.

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

Agent or receiver to Lord Burghley in Stamford region and overseer of work at Burghley House by 1578; commr. sewers in that area 1584; feodary, Lincs. 1588; alderman (i.e. mayor), Stamford 1583, 1591, 1592.1

Offices Held


As Lord Burghley’s servant and a resident of Stamford Shute was prominent enough in the town to lead the opposition in 1589 to Edward Heron and others who had caused the removal of the town clerk and recorder and deprived Shute himself of his place on the corporation.2 The Cecil influence evidently soon brought about his restoration, and in 1593 his master secured him a seat in Parliament for the borough. But next year he was Burghley’s ‘unfaithful servant’, accused of stealing building materials. His status at Stamford was soon threatened and in November 1595 the Privy Council ordered him to be examined for ‘uttering foul abuses’ against the corporation. By 4 Dec. he was a prisoner ‘at the Fleet, a place uncomfortable for a heavy heart’. He was, he told Burghley, resigned to his shame, loss and imprisonment, but by 1598 he had convinced himself that he had been wronged, writing to Sir Robert Cecil of his ‘long’ and ‘honest’ service to Burghley, and still complaining of his ‘great wrongs’ in the following year. There is no sign that he was ever restored to favour.3

A will of a Richard Shute, ‘citizen of London’, referring to a family in West Deeping (near Stamford) was proved in 1611.4 The beneficiaries were the widow, Mary, and the family of Robert Spenser of West Deeping. Provision was made for the wife’s children by a previous marriage. The testator is unlikely to have been the 1593 Member, though probably a relative, perhaps his son.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: D.O.


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 597; Recs. Commrs. Sewers (Lincoln Rec. Soc. liv), p. lxxvii; HMC Rutland, i. 261, 263; J. Drakard, Hist. Stamford, 102.
  • 2. APC, xvii, 66, 91, 233; xviii. 193; xxiii. 98.
  • 3. HMC Ancaster, 319-20; APC, xxv. 76; Lansd. 80, f. 30; HMC Hatfield, viii. 296; ix. 223.
  • 4. PCC 104 Wood, 57 Fenner.