BRYDGES (BRUGGE), Roland (1472/73-1540), of Clerkenwell, Mdx. and the Ley, Weobley, Herefs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. 1472/73, ?s. of Thomas Brydges of the Ley, Weobley by Sybil. m. Margery, 1da.3
Commr.Commr. gaol delivery, Hereford castle 1511; j.p. Herefs. 1531-2.4
Roland Brydges probably resembled his fellow-Member Reginald Mynors in being a Herefordshire lawyer of gentle birth, and he is thus to be identified with a testator of 1540, whose Latin will reveals his Herefordshire origin, and bequest of law books to a servant his profession. What remains uncertain is Brydges’ place in the family seated at the Ley in Weobley, kinsmen of the Brydges of Coberley, Gloucestershire: a Roland Brydges appears in its visitation pedigree as the second son of Henry Brydges and Sybil Bromwich, but the testator’s selection of Thomas Brydges and his wife Sybil for remembrance in prayer suggests that these were his parents. At Weobley he would have had for neighbour the young Walter Devereux, 3rd Lord Ferrers, who could have promoted his election for Hereford as steward of the city at about that time.5
Their Membership of the second and third of Henry VIII’s Parliaments is known only from the letters sent by Brydges and Mynors to the mayor and common council of Hereford about their remuneration. Writing from London on 10 July 1514 with regard to ‘all the last long Parliament so oft prorogued and as yet in part not finished’, Brydges reminded the corporation that he had agreed at his election to accept a composition of 20s. ‘if the said Parliament were not prorogued’, and hoped that such order would be taken ‘that I have no reasonable cause to seek for further remedy therein ... though it be part to my great loss, the which a commonalty might better sustain than I’; as for the ‘50 days or thereabouts’ (in fact 55) of the first session, he was willing to ‘rebate all that to the 20s. and other promises made for the same’ if fairly dealt with for the remaining ones. He must have been disappointed in his expectation, for on the following 8 Feb. Mynors wrote much more forcefully. Reporting that he and Brydges had attended the opening of the new Parliament three days before—they had evidently been re-elected in deference to the King’s request to that effect—he rebutted an accusation that in the previous one they had failed the city by allowing an Act to pass by which the Queen’s tenants were to go free of toll. Such recriminations make it unlikely that either of them was elected to the Parliament of 1523, when the Members for Hereford are unknown: the ordinance which the city had by then passed that no one should be chosen ‘except he were of the ... election and common council of the city’ may indeed have been prompted by its experience of being represented by two London lawyers.6
It was presumably Brydges who served on the Herefordshire bench in the 1530s. He made his will on 30 May 1540 as of Clerkenwell and the Ley, Weobley, and asked to be buried without pomp at Clerkenwell or, if he died in Herefordshire, in Hereford cathedral next his mother. He held lands in Shopland, Essex. His heir was his daughter Elizabeth, already married to Sir Ralph Vane, and later to be characterized by Foxe as ‘the good Lady Vane’. The will was proved on 22 Dec. 1540 and the Vanes had livery on 18 May 1542.7
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Muriel Booth
- 1. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 306-7.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. Aged 67 at making of will, PCC 19 Alenger; LP Hen. VIII, xvii.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, i, v.
- 5. Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 13-14; Duncumb, Herefs. i. 154, 365-6; R. Johnson, Anct. Customs, Hereford, 229.
- 6. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 306-7.
- 7. PCC 19 Alenger; Morant, Essex, i. 310; Vis. Kent (Harl.Soc. lxxv), 114; Foxe, Acts and Mons. vii. 234; LP Hen. VIII, xvii.