YEARWOOD, Richard (c.1562-1632), of Boroughside, St. Saviour's Southwark, Surr.

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.1562.1 educ. appr. London c.1580/1.2 m. (1) Ellen, at least 1s. 1da.; (2) 28 May 1627, Katherine (bur. 9 July 1635), da. of Thomas Rogers, butcher, of Stratford-on-Avon, Warws., wid. of Robert Harvard, butcher, of Southwark and John Elletson, cooper, of Southwark, s.p. bur. 18 Oct. 1632.3 sig. Ric[hard] Yearwood.

Offices Held

Freeman, Grocers’ Co. London 1588, liveryman 1613,4 asst. 1623, 2nd warden 1626-7, upper warden 1631-2.5

Vestryman of St. Saviour’s, Southwark 1604-at least 1628, churchwarden 1606-8, 1613-15, 1620-1;6 gov. St. Saviour’s g.s. by 1610;7 commr. subsidy, Southwark, Surr. 1622, 1624;8 gov. St. Thomas’ hosp., Southwark, Surr. by 1626-d.9

Commr. execution of poor laws 1632.10


Of Cheshire origin,11 Yearwood served an apprenticeship to a member of the London Grocers’ Company in the 1580s. In 1593 he was assessed at £4 for the subsidy, by which date he was resident in the Boroughside district of St. Saviour’s, Southwark.12 In 1605 he was called to testify in the High Court of Admiralty about the trade in onion seeds, suggesting that that commodity was part of his stock in trade.13 He also had interests in Southwark’s important brewing industry; by 1604 he was a partner in a ‘beer house’ in St. Olave’s Southwark, and he invested heavily in property in and around Southwark, including The Green Dragoon Yard in St. Saviour’s Southwark, which had previously belonged to Sir Thomas Cawarden†. This entangled him in a Chancery suit concerning Cawarden’s inheritance in 1617: he managed, despite this, to retain possession of the property.14

Yearwood became a liveryman of the Grocers’ Company in 1613 and was returned for Southwark in the following year while serving as churchwarden of St. Saviour’s. He left no mark on the records of the Addled Parliament. Re-elected to the third Jacobean Parliament, he received no committee appointments but made two recorded speeches, both during the second sitting. On 30 Nov. he spoke in favour of a petition from the London Brewers’ Company against the toll of 4d. for every quarter of malt levied as composition for purveyance, when he was identified by the diarist Edward Nicholas as a brewer. He called the levy ‘an imposition’, arguing that ‘six ... of the principal brewers ... lay long in prison before they would yield to it’. He moved that those imprisoned should be released, and repeated his demand on 19 Dec. when the House hurriedly dealt with grievances after reading the Protestation.15

The 1624 Southwark election was contested and the sheriff returned two indentures; Yearwood’s name appeared on both and on 2 Mar. he was allowed to take his seat. He received one committee appointment, on 22 Apr., when he was named to the committee to consider the unsuccessful bill to confirm the charter of the Apothecaries’ Company, opposed by the Grocers, who claimed jurisdiction over the trade. On 27 May he was appointed, at Sir George More’s motion, to distribute part of the Commons’ Benevolence in Southwark.16

Re-elected in 1625, on 1 July he delivered the bill for the poor prepared during the last Parliament and a week later he was named to the committee to consider a bill to enable the 3rd earl of Dorset’s trustees (including Sir George Rivers*, steward of Southwark) to sell lands to settle the earl’s debts.17 In the aftermath of the Parliament he was assessed to pay £20 towards the Privy Seal loan.18 Although returned again in 1626 and 1628, he left no mark on the surviving parliamentary records. His second marriage in 1627, to the daughter of a prominent inhabitant of Stratford-upon-Avon may have been arranged by his colleague William Coxe*, who had also married into a Stratford family. One of his stepsons was the eponymous benefactor of Harvard College in Massachusetts. In 1631, while serving as upper warden of the Grocers’ Company, he was appointed to a committee of the court of assistants to consult about the starch monopoly.19

In his will, dated 8 Sept. 1632, Yearwood wrote that he feared that ‘the debts my wasteful son hath brought me unto are so great that my personal estate will not be sufficient’. To clear his debts he ordered his executors to sell property he had purchased in Surrey and Kent. He nevertheless bequeathed his son a life interest in Redhall manor, in Burstow in Surrey, and Yearwood instructed his executors to distribute two-thirds of the residue of his estate to him ‘if they discern him to be reformed and become a frugal man’. He left £2 each to the two ministers of St. Saviours and £10 to the poor of Boroughside, and was buried there on 18 Oct., in accordance with his wishes ‘with as little charge as conveniently may be’. His son died, presumably without issue, before 1650, by which date Yearwood’s son-in-law Edward Payne was in possession of Redhall. None of his descendants are known to have sat in Parliament.20

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


J. Boulton, Neighbourhood and Soc. 87

  • 1. HCA 13/37, f. 243.
  • 2. Estimated from date for freedom of the Grocers’ Co.
  • 3. PROB 11/162, f. 262; LCC Survey of London, xxii. 24; H.F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in Eng. 130, 188, 191; E.I. Fripp, Shakespeare Studies, 70.
  • 4. GL, ms 11592A, unfol.
  • 5. GL, ms 11588/3, pp. 256, 324, 458.
  • 6. LMA, P92/SAV/450, pp. 374, 397, 405, 446, 454, 499, 568.
  • 7. LMA, P92/SAV/233 (binding).
  • 8. C212/22/21, 23.
  • 9. LMA, HI/ST/A/1/5, ff. 26v, 40v.
  • 10. PC2/42, f. 54.
  • 11. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. lix), 2.
  • 12. A.R. Bax, ‘Lay subsidy assessments for the county of Surr. in 1593 or 1594’, Surr. Arch. Colls. xviii. 175.
  • 13. HCA 13/37, f. 243.
  • 14. Southwark Local Stud. Lib., Stolave/1623, f. 1; Boulton, 87, 198; C2/Jas.I/C21/51.
  • 15. CJ, i. 652b; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, ii. 253; CD 1621, ii. 476, 543.
  • 16. CJ, i. 724b, 772b, 796b.
  • 17. Procs. 1625, pp. 282, 350.
  • 18. A.R. Bax, ‘Names of those Persons in the County of Surr. who contributed to the Loan to King Charles I’, Surr. Arch. Colls. xvii. 82.
  • 19. GL, ms 11588/3, p. 464.
  • 20. PROB 11/162, ff. 262-3; Waters, 130; VCH Surr. iii. 179.