BUTLER, Robert (by 1530-58/59), of Bristol, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1530. m. by 1551, Elizabeth, 2s. 5da.1

Offices Held

Warden, merchant adventurers Bristol 18 Dec. 1552.2


Butler was a Bristol merchant who, on being returned to Parliament, styled himself gentleman. It is possible that he owed his nomination to (Sir) David Broke whose second wife may have been a kinswoman. Broke’s connexions with the city were longstanding, and in 1558 his nephew John Walshe was Bristol’s recorder. Walshe, however, was to sit as a knight for Somerset in this Parliament, thus leaving free the seat reserved for the recorder. Butler was paid £5 6s. on 20 Aug. 1558 for his attendance of the first session and he made his will on the following 7 Sept. After a few charitable bequests including money to the poor of the parish of St. Nicholas, Butler left to his wife and children at least nine tenements in Bristol which he had purchased and also others inherited from his grandfather. He left £20 each to his sons Francis and Nicholas at 22, ‘to begin the world withal’, and to his five daughters on marriage. Should his children all die without heirs his property was left to his brother William Butler and his sister Helen Marbery. The will was proved on 19 June 1559 by his widow and executrix. His fellow-Member William Tyndale died before the reassembly of Parliament in November 1558 and Butler perhaps died about the same time. Unlike Tyndale he is not marked ‘mortuus’ on the list of Members in use for the second session, but there is no record of payment of wages to him or his heirs for that session.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 29 Chaynay.
  • 2. CPR, 1550-3, p. 258.
  • 3. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xii. 112; xxi. 245; City Chamberlains’ Accts. in the 16th and 17th Cents. (Bristol Rec. Soc. xxiv), 2; Bristol Wills (Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc.), 192-3; Bristol AO, 04026/5/203; PCC 29 Chaynay.