SYNGE, Richard (c.1567-1632), of Bridgnorth, Salop

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.1567,1 3rd but ?1st surv. s. of George Synge, tanner of Bridgnorth and 2nd w. Anne, da. of Hugh Catistrey of Catistrey, Salop. m. 1 Jan. 1594, Alice, da. of Roger Rowley of Rowley, Salop, 9s. 1da.2 bur. 7 Mar. 1632.3 sig. Rich[ar]d Synge.

Offices Held

Bridgemaster, Bridgnorth 1594, chamberlain 1596-7, millmaster 1598-9, treas. 1600-1,4 alderman by 1605, bailiff 1605-6, 1623-4, 1631-d.5

Bailiff, Salop estates of (Sir) William Whitmore* by 1609-at least 1615.6


Synge made no claim to kinship with the prominent Irish family of that name, tracing his ancestry instead to a clergyman called John Millington alias Synge, a prebendary in the collegiate church of St. Mary Magdalen, Bridgnorth at its dissolution in 1548.7 The family ran a tannery at Bridgnorth, clearly a prosperous concern, as Synge was described as ‘tanner and gentleman’ at his marriage in 1594 and worked his way up the hierarchy of municipal offices until he became bailiff in 1605. Thereafter his local standing was enhanced by his role as steward to the wealthy newcomer William Whitmore, and by the fact that in 1613 he himself purchased property in Bridgnorth worth £55 a year.8 The key factor in Synge’s return to Parliament for Bridgnorth in 1614, though, was probably not his improved social status but the fortunate coincidence that his cousin Humphrey Synge was one of the borough’s two bailiffs at the time of the election.9

Although the corporation sent Synge to Westminster with £10 for expenses, he left no mark on the records of his only Parliament. Immediately upon his return home he was involved in a lawsuit in which the bailiffs and recorder, Sir Henry Townshend*, were accused of perverting the course of justice in a debt case before the borough court.10 In 1621 Whitmore succeeded Synge as MP, who served as bailiff twice more, dying in office in March 1632. His eldest son George, a minister for whom he had purchased the rectory of Birmingham, Warwickshire, became chancellor of Armagh diocese, while one of his younger sons, Richard, served as bailiff of Bridgnorth in the 1650s.11 None of his descendants sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. Aged about 40 in 1607: STAC 8/176/22, f. 25v.
  • 2. Salop RO, Worfield par. reg. transcript; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 449.
  • 3. Salop RO, Bridgnorth St. Mary Magdalen par. reg. transcript.
  • 4. Salop RO, BB/D1/2/1/12, 14, 16-19.
  • 5. STAC 8/166/5, f. 20; C2/Chas.I/H43/61; 2/Chas.I/S37/9; Salop RO, Bridgnorth St. Mary Magdalen par. reg. transcript.
  • 6. Salop RO, 5586/5/5/1, ff. 0v-1, 4v-7, 39v-40.
  • 7. Vis. Salop, 449; Bodl. Blakeway 18, f. 109.
  • 8. Salop RO, 5586/5/5/1; C142/499/11; C2/Chas.I/H43/61; 2/Chas.I/S37/9.
  • 9. Relationship explained in STAC 8/166/5, f. 7.
  • 10. Salop RO, BB/D1/2/1/32; STAC 8/56/3.
  • 11. C142/499/11; C2/Chas.I/D15/13; Salop RO, Bridgnorth, St. Mary Magdalen par. reg. transcript.