DRURY, Dru (1588-1632), of Riddlesworth, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 7 Oct. 1588, o.s. of Sir Dru Drury† of Riddlesworth and his 2nd w. Catherine, da. and h. of William Finch of Lynsted, Kent.1 educ. Peterhouse, Camb. 1607.2 m. 28 June 1608, Anne, da. and coh. of Edward Waldegrave† of Lawford, Essex, 5s. (3 d.v.p.) 3 da. (2 d.v.p.).3 suc. fa. 1617; cr. bt. 7 May 1627.4 d. 23 Apr. 1632.5 sig. Dru Drury.

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. 1614-d.,6 Suff. 1618-d.,7 Thetford, Norf. 1626-d.;8 commr. sewers, Suff. 1619,9 subsidy, Norf. 1621, 1624, 1628,10 Thetford 1621, 1624,11 Suff. 1621,12 oyer and terminer, Norf. 1624-at least 1628,13 Privy Seal loan 1626,14 piracy, 1627,15 Admty. causes 1627,16 charitable uses, 1629-d.,17 knighthood fines, 1630-d.18


Drury’s father, the fifth son of Sir Robert Drury† of Hedgerley, Buckinghamshire, acquired the manor of Riddlesworth through his marriage to a Norfolk heiress, and served as a gentleman usher of the privy chamber to both Elizabeth and James.19 In 1608 he arranged his 20-year-old son’s marriage to Anne Waldegrave, thereby bringing the other half of the Riddlesworth estate into the family’s possession. Upon his father’s death in 1617, Drury inherited considerable wealth, and received a gold jewel engraved with a picture of Queen Elizabeth.20 His father’s will commended him to his old friends, Lords Wotton and Zouche. Drury was certainly in communication with the latter, for in 1624 he informed Zouche, the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, that Sir John Corbet*, on whose behalf he had solicited for a seat in one of the ports, had decided to stand in the Norfolk county election.21

Drury never became as prominent in national affairs as his father but the standing of the family seems to have assured him of appointment to a plethora of county commissions. In 1614 Sir Henry Woodhouse petitioned the Privy Council that he had been imprisoned for debt at Drury’s behest despite having been granted royal protection. Drury’s servants, accompanied by six serjeants of the sheriff of London, were accused of having broken down the doors of his lodging and of ‘rejecting in a very contemptuous manner the said protection’. The matter was referred to Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke*, whose findings are unknown.22

Drury’s grandfather, father and two uncles had all sat in Parliament. Drury himself was returned as knight of the shire for Norfolk in 1621, and made his maiden speech on 12 Feb., when he argued that the Lords should not see the House’s petition on free speech.23 He also railed against the abuses of (Sir) Giles Mompesson*, calling him a ‘delinquent’ (28 February).24 Drury was appointed to one general committee (to review the officials and fees charged in the Fleet prison) on 14 Feb. and three legislative committees.25 These concerned the import of corn (8 Mar.), inferior courts (20 Apr.) and the Hertfordshire manor of Little Munden (1 December).26

Drury did not stand for Norfolk in 1624, but instead backed Sir John Corbet and Sir Thomas Holland. He was present at the election, and vouched for the validity of Corbet and Holland’s return when it was questioned by the privileges committee.27 Probably as a result of his family’s longstanding connection with the Howards, Drury was instead elected for Thetford as the junior Member after Framlingham Gawdy had secured the first place.28 On the first full day of parliamentary business (23 Feb.) he was named to the privileges committee, and on 30 Apr. to a joint conference on bills concerning the Exchequer Court.29 His legislative appointments encompassed such matters as depopulation (24 Mar.), the incorporation of the Apothecaries’ Company (21 Apr.), a decree in the Court of Requests between John Edwards and his son (16 Apr.) and the estate of the late Sir William Somervile (26 April).30

Drury made his will in January 1631 and died on 23 Apr. 1632. He beseeched his three executors, who included (Sir) Edmund Moundeford*, to hold all his property until his debts were discharged. Among various bequests he left £20 to his ‘very loving friend’ Sir William Denny*. Riddlesworth passed to his only surviving son, William. No further member of the family sat in Parliament.31

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. F. Blomefield, Hist. Norf. i. 277.
  • 2. Al. Cant.
  • 3. Norf. RO, MC44/120; Norf. Gen. xxii. 44; A. Campling, Hist. Fam. Drurys, 85, 103.
  • 4. CB.
  • 5. MI, Riddlesworth par. church.
  • 6. C66/1988; C231/4, f. 67; C193/13/1, f. 73; C181/2, f. 258v; C66/2527.
  • 7. C231/4, ff. 65, 217.
  • 8. C181/3, f. 198; C231/4, f. 207.
  • 9. C181/2, f. 349v.
  • 10. C212/22/21, 23; W. Rye, Norf. State Pprs. 137.
  • 11. C212/22/21, 23.
  • 12. Add. 39245, f. 51v.
  • 13. C181/3, ff. 117, 257.
  • 14. Rye, 48.
  • 15. C181/3, f. 236v.
  • 16. HCA1/32/1, f. 4.
  • 17. C192/1, unfol.
  • 18. E178/5520, ff. 7, 13, 19, 22.
  • 19. Campling, 81-5.
  • 20. PROB 11/129, ff. 316-18.
  • 21. SP14/155/32.
  • 22. APC, 1613-14, p. 548.
  • 23. CJ, i. 517b.
  • 24. Ibid. 532b.
  • 25. Ibid. 521a.
  • 26. Ibid. 545a, 583a, 654a.
  • 27. Ibid. 749a.
  • 28. Thetford Town Council, King’s House, T/C1/4, p. 1.
  • 29. CJ, i. 671b, 695b.
  • 30. Ibid. 748b, 768a, 772a, 775a.
  • 31. PROB 11/162, ff. 314v-15.