DRURY, Sir Anthony (c.1576-1638), of Besthorpe, 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. c.1576, 1st s. of Anthony Drury of Besthorpe and Anne, da. of John Garneys of Spexhall, Suff.1 educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1591, aged 15.2 m. 1596, Bridget (d.1639), da. of John Spelman of Narborough, Norf., 3s. 5 da. (1 d.v.p.).3 kntd. 23 July 1603;4 suc. fa. 1616.5 d. 13 Oct. 1638.6

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. 1614-d.;7 commr. sea breaches, Norf. and Suff. 1616, 1625, 1638;8 sheriff, Norf. 1617-18,9 commr. subsidy, 1621, 1624,10 piracy, 1624, 1627,11 fen drainage, Norf. and Suff. 1625;12 dep. lt., Norf. from 1625;13 collector (jt.), Privy Seal loan 1625-6,14 commr. Admty. causes 1627,15 charitable uses 1629, 1633.16


Drury was a fourth generation member of the junior branch of the Buckinghamshire Drurys, who had settled in various parts of Norfolk in the early sixteenth century.17 Although none of the Besthorpe Drurys were particularly active in national affairs, the family’s high standing locally is reflected in Drury’s father’s service as captain of the Norfolk Light Horse and Drury’s own shrievalty in 1617. Among other local duties, he was ordered in 1624 to help inquire whether fuller’s earth was being shipped overseas from the pits at Alpington and Apton, Norfolk.18

Drury was elected knight of the shire for Norfolk in 1625, but not before a contest in which he and Sir Edward Coke defeated Sir Robert Gawdy and Sir Charles Le Gros*.19 He occurs only once in the Parliament’s records, being named to the committee for a bill to mitigate the sentence of excommunication and preserve ecclesiastical jurisdiction (25 June).20 Nothing further is known of Drury, except that he made a nuncupative will on 13 Oct. 1638, died the same day, and was buried at Besthorpe. His heir and executor, the eldest son Sir William, inherited his estates.21 No subsequent member of the Besthorpe Drurys sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. F. Blomefield, Hist. Norf. i. 493.
  • 2. Al. Cant.
  • 3. A. Campling, Hist. Drury Fam. 89-90.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 165.
  • 5. C142/363/200.
  • 6. Norf. RO, Norwich consist. ct. Smythe 121.
  • 7. C66/1988; C231/4, f. 29; C193/13/1, 2.
  • 8. C181/2, f. 261; 181/3, f. 189v; 181/5, f. 103.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 88.
  • 10. C212/22/21, 23.
  • 11. C181/3, ff. 115v, 236v.
  • 12. Ibid. f. 163v.
  • 13. W. Rye, Norf. State Pprs. 6, 17, 29, 55, 100.
  • 14. E401/2586, pp. 121, 138.
  • 15. HCA1/32/1, f. 4v.
  • 16. C192/1, n. f.
  • 17. Campling, passim.
  • 18. APC, 1623-5, p. 389.
  • 19. Corresp. Lady Katherine Paston ed. R. Hughey (Norf. Rec. Soc. xiv), 82.
  • 20. HMC Lords, Addenda, 190.
  • 21. Norf. RO, Norwich consist. ct. Smythe 121.