SLEGGE, Roger (c.1519-89), of Cambridge.

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. c.1519, 1st s. of Edward Slegge of Cambridge by Alice Cockerell of Suff. m. (1) c.1544, Elizabeth, illegit. da. of Sir William Bowyer; (2) Joyce, da. and sole h. of Thomas Thorne of Shrewsbury, Salop, 1s. 1da.; (3) Margaret, da. of Henry Serle of Cambridge, 5s. 1da. suc. fa. ?1558.

Offices Held

Mayor, Cambridge 1560-1, 1568-9, 1575-6, Mar.-Aug. 1585.


Slegge was a burgess of Cambridge, described in the 1564 bishops’ reports as ‘of godly religion’. He owned property in the town, and leased from the corporation certain booths, and ‘a sink running into the King’s ditch’. The borough records show frequent payments to him ‘for riding to London on the town’s business’ and sums paid to him as burgess of Parliament. In the Parliament of 1572 he spoke twice, on Stourbridge fair (10 June 1572) and on the vagabonds bill (20 May), urging the punishment only of ‘those minstrels ... which wander abroad, not [those] which keep a continual habitation’.

Slegge and his third father-in-law were the main participants in a quarrel between the town and university of Cambridge, which finally resulted in their being committed to the Fleet, pending a Privy Council inquiry. Slegge was accused of wasting the town’s money, keeping a gambling den, sowing sedition between the university and the town, and being a companion of lewd persons.

By 24 Sept. 1566 the corporation had had enough of both Slegge and Serle and the mayor wrote to Cecil to ask that they should by replaced as MPs. They were not, and there is no sign that Slegge changed his attitude to the university, for in January 1568 the vice-chancellor was complaining that the differences between town and gown might be settled ‘but for the factious conduct of ... the mayor and his adviser, Roger Slegge’. Slegge died in 1589, and was buried 14 Dec. in St. Sepulchre’s church.

St. Ch. 4/2/52; C2/Eliz./S13/58; Vis. Cambs.(Harl. Soc. xli), 46; Add. 5812, f. 125; F. Blomefield, Coll. Cant. 225; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 25; Downing Coll. Camb. Bowtell mss; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. ff. 29, 60; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 36, 244, 245, 278, 305; Add. 1547-65, pp. 553-4; APC, vii. 149; Lansd. 51, f. 144; 54, f. 34 seq.; 84, f. 225; J. M. Gray, Notes on Cambridge Mayors, 28.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.J.C.