The History of the Family of


In the Counties of Suffolk and Norfolk

From the Conquest

By Arthur Campling, London, 1937



Drury of Hedgerley, co. Bucks, and Ireland

SIR ROBERT DRURY, second son of Sir Robert, of Hawstead and Ann Calthorpe, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Edward Brudenel of HEDGERLEY, co. Bucks, and was of that place in her right. He was on the Commission of the Peace 1536, knighted before 1552 and was Sheriff of Bucks. He was one of the supporters of Queen Mary on her accession.

The will of Sir Robert Drury of Hedgerley was proved 28 April 1577. His wife Elizabeth predeceased him 12 December 1542. They had issue with four daughters, 1. Ann wife of Robert Woodleif of Aylesbury, esquire, 2. Margaret second wife of Henry Trenchard esquire, 3. Lucy wife of Robert Tesche, gent, and 4. Elizabeth wife of Rowland Hynde of Hedsworth, co. Bucks esquire; five sons, Robert, son and heir, who succeeded at Hedgerley, 2. Roger, died without issue, 3. Sir William, Lord Justice of Ireland, 4. Edmond, of Horton, co. Bucks, 5. Sir Dru Drury of Riddlesworth, co. Norfolk, knight.

The eldest son, ROBERT DRURY, was of HEDGERLEY, esquire, and was Sheriff of Bucks 1577. He died 1592 leaving by Ann his wife, daughter of Nicholas Boorman of Brook, Isle of Wight, Sir Henry, son and heir, Robert, second son, died unmarried, Elizabeth wife of John Banks of Shelford Parva, co. Cambridge, Ann and Mary.

SIR HENRY DRURY of HEDGERLEY, knight, succeeded. He became in 1614 next heir male of Sir Robert Drury of Hawstead, and died three years later. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Susan (daughter of Hugh Stukeley of March, co. Somerset esquire). She died 1640. Their issue were 1. Henry Drury, Clerk in the Court of Chancery, died 1606 without issue, 2. William Drury married 1618 Judith, daughter of William Payne of Highgate, co. Middlesex, 3. Robert Drury, killed at the Island of Rhe 1626, Sarah wife of John Penn of Penn co. Bucks, Frances and Mary.

SIR WILLIAM DRURY, third son of Sir Robert Drury of Hedgerley, and grandson of Sir Robert of Hawstead, was perhaps the most eminent man of the name. He was Marshal of BERWICK and Lord Justice of the Council in IRELAND. Born at Hawstead in Suffolk, he was of Gonville Hall, Cambridge, and attached himself as a follower to Lord Russell, afterwards Earl of Bedford, and accompanying this nobleman into France on the occasion of the joint invasion of that country by Charles V and Henry VIII in 1544, he took an active part in the sieges of Boulogne and Montreuil, but had the mishap to be taken a prisoner during a skirmish in the neighbourhood of Brussels. On being ransomed he served for a short time at sea, becoming "an excellent maritimal man". In 1549 he assisted Lord Russell in suppressing a rebellion that had broken out in Devonshire owing to the reforming and iconoclastic government of the protector Somerset.

William Drury took part in a tournament recorded by Edward VI in his Journal, now Cottonian M.S. Nero C.10. The King notes on 17 November 1551 that:

"the Earl of Warwick Sir Henry Sidney, Sir Henry Nevil and Sir Henry Yates did challenge all corners at Tilt the third of January and at Tornay the sixth of January and the challenge was proclaimed. And on the said third of January the King records that the Challenge that was made in the last month, was fulfilled. The Challengers were Sir Henry Sidney, Sir Henry Nevel, Sir Henry Gates. Defendants: The Lord Williams, The Lord Fitzwater, the Lord Ambrose, the Lord Roberts, the Lord Fitzwarren, Sir George Howard, Sir William Stafford, Sir John Parrat, Mr. Morice, Mr. Digby, Mr. Warcop, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Knolls, the Lords Bray, Mr. Paston, Mr. Cary, Sir Anthony Brown, Mr. Drury.

"These all ran six Courses apiece at Tilt against the Challengers and accomplished their courses right well, and so departed again.

"Jan. 6 – The foresaid Challengers came into the Tournay, and the foresaid Defendants entered in after, with two more with them, Mr. Terill and Mr. Robert Hopton, and fought right well, and so the Challenge was accomplished.

"The same night was first of a Play, after a Talk between one that was called Riches, and the other Youth, whether of them was better. After some pretty Reasoning, there came in six Champions of either side. On Youth’s side came – My Lord Fitzwater, Mr. Lord Ambrose, Sir Anthony Brown, Sir William Cobham, Mr. Cary, Mr. Warcop. On Riches side – My Lord Fitzwarren, Sir Robert Stafford, Mr. Courtney, Dibgby, Hopton, Hungerford.

"All these fought two to two at Barriers in the Hall. Then came in two apparelled liked Almains, the Earl of Ormond and Jaques Granado, and two came in like Friars, but the Almains would not suffer them to pass till they had fought; the friars were Mr. Drury and Thomas Cobham. After this followed two Masques, one of men, another of women. Then a Banquet of 120 dishes. This day was the end of Christmas.

"Jan. 7 – I went to Debtford to dine there, and broke up the Hall."

William Drury, a staunch adherent of the reformed Church, refused to countenance the ambitious designs of the Duke of Northumberland in his attempt to alter the succession, and on the death of Edward VI he was one of the first to declare for Queen Mary. His religion, however, and his connection with the Earl of Bedford rendering him distasteful to Mary, he prudently retired from court during her reign. The accession of Elizabeth at once restored Drury to public life; and the government of Mary of Lorraine seeming to call for English interference in Scotland, he was despatched to Edinburgh in October 1559 to investigate the state of parties there, and to view the new fortifications of Leith. The propriety of sending him on this secret mission was at first doubted by Cecil, owing to the fact that his brother "was thought to be an inward man with the emperor’s ambassador." But his conduct speedily removed these suspicions and confirmed Sir Ralph Sadler’s opinion of him as being honest, wise and secret.

Elizabeth having determined to assist the lords of the congregation, and the siege of Leith having been undertaken, Drury had again the misfortune to fall into the enemy’s hands; but beyond a short detention he seems to have suffered no other injury, for in October 1560 he married Margaret, daughter of Thomas, lord Wentworth, and widow of John, last lord Williams of Thame. His experience, prudence, and personal bravery qualifying him for service on the borders, he was, in February 1594, appointed to succeed Sir Thomas Dacre as Marshall and Deputy governor of Berwick, an office which he continued to fill until 1576, and his letters to Cecil regarding the progress of events in Scotland are among the most important state documents relative to this period. In April 1567 he received a challenge from Bothwell for uttering foul reproaches against him, but having expressed his willingness to meet him, the earl’s ardour cooled and the meeting never took place. The winter of 1569-70 was an anxious time for the wardens of the marches, owing to the rising of the northern earls. But the rebellion having been suppressed, and the Earl of Northumberland carried prisoner to Lochleven Castle, Drury and Sir Henry Gates were, in January 1569, commissioned to treat with the regent Murray for his surrender. While passing through the streets of Linlithgow on his way to meet them, Murray met his death at the hand of Bothwelhaugh. Drury, too, seems to have had at the same time a narrow escape, for it was planned for Ferniehurst and Buccleuch to have slain him on his return from Edinburgh. Owing to the nightly raids of the Scots, the state of the North country at this time was such, he wrote to Cecil, "it would pity any English heart to see." In April 1570, he accompanied the Earl of Sussex on a retaliatory expedition into Scotland. Ninety castles and strongholds razed to the ground and three hundred towns and villages in flames marked the course of the army through Liddisdale, Teviotdale and the Merse. On 11th May, having been knighted by the lord-lieutenant the Earl of Sussex, Drury with an army of 80 lances, 230 light horse, and 1,200 foot, again entered Scotland. Marching rapidly to Edinburgh he endeavoured, according to his instructions, to persuade Lethington and Grange surcease of arms on Elizabeth’s terms; but failing in this he hastened to Glasgow, only to find that the Duke of Chatelherault and the Earl of Westmorland had raised the siege and taken refuge in the highlands. Lord Fleming, however, was at Dumbarton, and with him he endeavoured to open negotiations, which were brought to an abrupt termination by a dastardly attempt to assassinate him, there being good reason for believing the connivance of Fleming himself, to whom accordingly Sir George Cary sent a challenge, which was declined by that nobleman. On his return journey he razed the principal castles belonging to the Hamiltons and ravaged the whole of Clydesdale with fire and sword. The good effect of these raids proving only temporary, he was despatched in May 1571, into Scotland to discover the relative strength of parties there, and Elizabeth finding from his report that the regent was "in harder case than was convenient for the safety of the king", he was ordered "to travail to obtain a surcease of arms on both sides to that it may be beneficial for the king’s party." His travail was in vain; and whilst at Leith he again narrowly escaped being shot in the open street. These repeated attempts on his life caused him considerable anxiety, not such much, he wrote to Burghley, on account of personal danger, but more because of his wife and children. In February 1572 Thomas Randolph was joined with him on the same bootless errand. They were politely received by the regent and by those in the castle; but finding their intervention ineffectual, they returned to Berwick on 23rd April. But the arrival of De Croc in May with instructions from the French king to persuade the queen’s party to submit to the regent induced Elizabeth once more to send Drury to assist in negotiating a peace. Fearing that he might never return from a journey so fraught with danger, he besought Burghley to extend his favour to his wife and children if he chanced to end his life in her majesty’s service. On 12 July he wrote that he had again been attacked on the highway; this being the eighth shot that had been discharged at him in Scotland.

With De Croc playing his own game, little good could be expected from the negotiations; and having heard that a request had been made to Burghley that some more efficient person than himself might be sent, he expressed his hope that their wish might be granted, "for he would sooner serve the queen in Constantinople than among such an inconstant and ingrate people". At last Elizabeth determined to reduce the recalcitrants by force; and once more, in April 1573, he appeared in Edinburgh; this time with an English army and a heavy train of artillery at his back. The castle having refused to submit, he planted his guns with skill and care, and on 21 May the assault began and continued day and night until on the 28th the castle surrendered. With its capture, the death of Maitland, and the execution of Kirkcaldy of Grange, the civil war came practically to an end. Drury, it is said, was greatly distressed at the fate of Kirkcaldy, "for he was a plain man of war and loved Grange dearly." A few days before his death Kirkcaldy said of Drury that "he had ever found him to deal uprightly to his sovereign’s cause" and there can be little doubt that it was his probity of conduct that caused him to be so much hated and detested by the time-serving men around him.

The very vague and probably malicious charge preferred against him concerning the crown jewels of Scotland is without foundation. These were in his possession for a time.

"The memorial of the jewels presently resting in the Marshal of Berwick’s hands:

"Certain buttons of gold etc. Garneisings including one containing 11 diamonds, Nine great rubies and 40 great pearls. Other pieces being laid in wod to divers were recovered and brought to Leith to the Laird of Grange, he being then in the Marshal’s hands, and by him delivered to Master Archibald Douglas, who delivered them to the said Marshal. More, a ring with a great diamond which was the Queen’s marriage ring and other diamonds and garesings in like manner delivered to the Marshal by Mr. Archibald Douglas, who had them in wod for sums of money.

"More, 10 diamonds or white sapphires set in gold with 11 knoppes of gold between, one chain of pearls with two ranks of pearls, with 25 merkes of little diamonds and small rubies in gold, 10 pearls between every merk, two quaiffes, a collar, and a pair of sleeves of pearl. These in the hands of Umquhill James Mosman, laid in wod to him by the Laird of Grange….were redelivered by Mosman to Grange, who put them in the hands of Mr. Archibald Douglas for payment of sums owing to him, and he put them in the hands of Sir William Drury, Marshal of Berwick."

In 1574, owing to the threatening state of affairs in Ireland, the privey council had half determined to send him with an army into Munster. But the danger passed away, and with it the necessity for immediate action. In July 1576, however, Elizabeth, having given her consent to the re-establishment of a resident government in Munster and Connaught, he was persuaded, much to the satisfaction of Sir Henry Sidney, to accept the post of president of Munster.

Queen Elizabeth wrote from the Manor of Greenwich, 15 June 1574, to the Lord Deputy (Fitz Williams):

"…As you have often required us to send over for your better assistance some express gentlemen, we made an especial choice of this bearer, Sir William Drewrye, whom you shall swear one of our Council there. In all martial affairs you shall repose much in his advice. He shall serve with such title and authority in martial affairs as you shall think convenient for so worthy a person, and well approved by many a perilous tourney."

No sooner had he been established in his government than he proceeded to reduce the province to order and obedience. The nobility and gentry were obliged to enrol the names of their followers and become sureties for their good and peaceable behaviour; assessments levied for the maintenance of the army and the increase of the revenue; Limerick castle repaired and other garrisons fortified; the practice of coyne and livery suppressed; sheriffs appointed in Desmond and Thomond; assizes held at Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Kilkenny, and four hundred natives hanged for malpractices within a year. His government was severe, but he found the natives on the whole well inclined to justice, though the anger of the nobles was hot against him for his interference between them and their peasantry, especially in the matter of coyne and livery.

But troublous days were at hand, and Sidney, foreseeing what he was unable to resist, obtained the appointment of Drury as Lord Justice on 20 April 1578, and shortly afterwards took his departure into England, as is described in this Memorandum:

"Of Sir Henry Sydney, Lord Deputy, having taken boat at the Wood Quay, of the city of Dublin, about eight of the clock at night on the 12th September, in the twentieth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1578), and there delivered the sword to the Lord Chancellor, which remaining in his custody until the 14th of the same month, he, in presence of the nobility assembled at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dublin, delivered to Sir Wm. Drury, Lord President of Munster, and Lord Justice of the realm."

A letter dated from Dublin 1 June 1579 is as follows:

My speciall good Lorde I have latelie received fyve severall Lettres from your Lordship whereof fowre in recommendacion of the Bryngers as of Sir Nicholas Malby, of Mr. St. Leger, of Capten Furres and of Edwarde Whyte, who all shall fynde, eche in his degree, of what force your Lordships letters are with me, yf they happen to have occasion whereby I may frende them; and the fyveth of the thirde of this presente moneth whereby it pleaseth you to note unto me those special poyntes, which your Lordship hath observed in this tyme of my governement here to your lykynge, and which your Lordship saieth you have at sondrie tymes reported unto her Majestie as thinges marquable, and to be allowed of in the same. Trulie my Lord as the speciall care which I knowe your Lordship hath, and have alwaies had, of the service of her Majestie as well abroade as at home maie well enoughe be the pryncipall cause that moveth you to loke as well into my accions, as into all other men. I have somewhiles herd that Alexander the great with teares, procedinge of a praise worthy enuniacion bemoned his owne case estemynge Achilles happie in that he gatt soe famous a trumpett as Homer was to sound his glorious prayses; Not that I wolde have your Lordship to thinke that I mencion soe great a man to compare any waie my symple service with his noble enterprises, or that I recken your Lordship in that kynde the setter forth of my small deserte; But onelie that I meane hereby to inferre, howe muche I may in this esteme my self bounde unto your Lordship that it pleaseth you both soe to conceive, and soe to reporte of my schlender endeavour to my most advantage, and to procure me the gracious acceptacion of her Majestie by your honorable testymonye of my procedinges, beinge of that credit with her highnes, and of that aucthorytie with the worlde, as it suffiseth to geve light to those accions, that otherwise might be obscured. Your honorable Lordships most assured W. Drury."

"To the right honorable and my speciall good Lord the Lord Burghley, Lord Highe Treasurer of England &c. geve these."

Hardly had Drury received the sword of state when the country was convulsed by the landing of James Fitzmaurice and Dr. Sanders in Kerry on 18 July 1579, and by the subsequent rising of the Earl of Desmond. Stricken thought he was with "the disease of the country", and barely able to sit in his saddle, the lord justice determined ‘to stand stoutly to the helm’, and Colonel Malby having inflicted a defeat on the rebels he proceeded about the end of September to take the field against them. But before he was able to accomplish his purpose he was obliged to return to Waterford, where he died about the 13th October. His body was embalmed and taken to Dublin, where after lying in state for some time, it was buried almost secretly in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the funeral obsequies being left to a more convenient season. Subsequently a monument bearing his effigy was erected in his honour, no vestige of which now remains. He was a man of sincere piety, faithful to his trust and loyal to his Queen, severe in his government, but endeavouring to be scrupulously just.

Administration of his estate was granted 14 June 1580 to Henry Parkyns, gentleman, his relict Dame Margaret Drury, renouncing.

ROBERT DRURY, (1567-1607) the catholic divine, second son of Robert Drury of Hedgerley, co. Bucks, was educated in the English College of Douay, then temporarily removed to Rheims where he arrived 1 April 1588. He received the minor orders at Rheims on 18 August 1590, and on the 17th of the following month he, with several other students, was sent to the college lately founded at Valladolid by Philip II of Spain for the education of the English clergy. After being ordained priest there, he was sent in 1593 to England, where he zealously laboured on the mission, chiefly in London and its vicinity. He was one of the appellant priests who opposed the proceedings of the archpriest Blackwell, and his name occurs among the signatures attached to the appeals of 17 November 1600, dated from the prison at Wisbech. He was one of the thirteen secular priests who, in response to the Queen’s proclamation subscribed the celebrated protestation of allegiance 31 Jan. 1602-3, which was drawn up by William Bishop, afterwards Bishop of Chalcedon. In 1606 the government of James I imposed upon catholics a new oath, which was to be the test of their civil allegiance. About this time Drury was apprehended, brought to trial, and condemned to death for being a priest and remaining is this realm, contrary to the statute of 27 Eliz. He refused to save his life by taking the new oath, and consequently he was drawn to Tyburn, hanged, and quartered on 20 February, 1606-7.

EDMUND DRURY, fourth son of Sir Robert of Hedgerley and Elizabeth Brudenell, was of HORTON, co. Bucks. He married Jane, daughter of Thomas Trenchard of Lychett, co. Dorset. Their second son, Robert Drury, was of Laughlin, co. Carlow, whose grandson Robert Drury of Callow, co. Roscommon died 13 January 1673. His funeral certificate runs as follows:

"Robert Drury of Callow in ye County of Roscomon Esqr. was the onley son of Thomas Drury of Laughlin in the County of Catherlogh Esqr. and of Margarett de la Freigne daughter of Robert de la Freigne and of Katherine Butler of Ballyready in the County of Kilkenny, wich Thomas was the only son of Robert Drury of Laughlin aforesd. Esqr. and of Eliz. Carew sister of Sir Peter Carew kt. called Baron of Idrone (descended with other estates to ye Carews his Ancestors from the Heyres generall of Raymond le Crose and Robert Fitz Stephens, two of the first Conquerors of Ireland) which Robert Drury was 2d son of Edmond Drury of Horton in Co. Bucks, and of Jeane daughter of Thomas Trenchard of Lickett in Dorsett-shire Esqr. and sister of Henry Trenchard wch Edmond was 4th son of Sr. Robert Drury of Hedgerley in Co. Bucks kt. and Brother of Sir William Drury of Weston in Co. Oxon kt., Lord President of Munster in Anno 1570 and Lord Depty. of Ireland in Anno 1578 wich Sir Robert was 2d son of Sr Robert Drury of Hawsted in Co. Suffolk kt. a Privy Counsellor to King Henry ye 7th and King Henry ye 8th, and Brother to Sir William Drury of Hawsted afforsd. kt., a Privy Counsellor to Qeen Mary. The first mentioned Robert Drury took to wife Margarett, daughter of Thomas Lloyd and Honor Price of Cloone in the County Leitrim, but first of Flini and Denby-shires in Wales, by whom he had issue 5 sons and 5 daughers (viz) Robert, eldest son who dyed young, John, 2d son and heyre now of Hawsted al’s Callow aforesd, who took to wyfe Grace, daughter of James Walcope and of Margarett Maxwell of Dromanelis and Finebroge in ye County Downe, and had Issue 4 sons and 4 daughters (viz) 2. Johns, 2 Williams, Valeria, Henrietta, Jeane and Mary, but all dyed young; William 3d son died ye 17th of Aprill 1680. Lt. Edward Drury 4th son now of Kingsland in ye County Roscommon, who took to wife Elizabeth daughter of Sir Francis Core kt. and of Ann Parks of Sligo, and hath issue 2 sons and 6 daughters (viz) John eldest son, now liveing, Robert 2d son dyed young, Margarett, eldest daughter, Ann 2d, Jeane 3d, Elizabeth 4th, Frances 5th and…6th daughter. Major Robert Drury 5th son now living unmarryed. Katherine eldest daughter, died young, Elizabeth 2d died young, Margaret 3d daughter, marryed to John Forster of Tullaghan in the County of Monoghan clerke, by whom she had severall children who dyed young and she deceased ye 25th of December 1679; Jeane 4th daugher dyed…August 1684 unmarried; Frances 5th daughter, marryed to Michaell Mosse of Bandon clerke (nephew to the Rt. Reverand Richard Boyle, Bishopp of Laughlin and Fernes, and Roger Boyle, Bishopp of Downe and Conor and afterwards of Clogher) by whom she left one daughter, Jean Mosse now liveing unmarryed and dyed 1690.

"The above said Robert Drury first named departed this Mortall life in the 63 yeare of his age, on ye 13th of January 1673, and the said Margarett his wife in the 57 yeare of her age, likewise deceased on ye 3d of May 1677. Both were buryed with funerall Rites according to their degrees and lye interred under one Tombstone in the Chancel (railed in and shingled for them and their family’s Burying-place, before the late Troubles, but in that disorderly Time broke down) in the Abby of Cloon Shanvoyle in the County of Roscomon. The truth of the premises is testified by the Subscription of ye said John Drury Esqr. 2d. son and heyre of ye said Robert and Margarett, his honored father and mother. Entred the 8th of September 1712. J. DRURY"

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