PEAKE, Nicholas (by 1505-58/59), of Sandwich, Kent.

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 1505, s. of John Peake of Wye by Margaret, da. of Simon Anselm. m. Joan, da. of Roger Manwood I of Sandwich, 3s. inc. Edward 3da.2

Offices Held

Common councilman, Sandwich (St. Peter’s parish) 1526-33, (St. Clement’s parish) 1533-7, treasurer 1529-30, auditor in 1531, 1534, 1535, 1539, 1541-3, 1549, keeper of the common chest and of the orphans 1537-8, 1543-6, keeper of the common chest 1542-3, keeper of the orphans 1549-50, 1553-5, mayor 1537-8, 1544-6, jurat 1538-d., clerk of the market 1538-9, 1541-2; bailiff to Yarmouth 1541-2.3


Nicholas Peake was a merchant of Sandwich. In an investigation into the depredation of pirates he deposed that on 31 Oct. 1536 a Spaniard from Sluis stopped his crayer off the Kentish coast, broke both his topmasts, and stole goods worth 30s. In 1552 the Privy Council ordered him to supply the garrison at Guisnes with 40 quarters of wheat; in 1555 he is entered in the port book of Sandwich as sending wheat and malt to London.4

Peake was elected to Parliament for the first time in March 1539; the treasurers of 1540-1 paid him £7 for his parliamentary wages. He was a candidate for election in January 1553 and March 1554 and was elected for the second time on 4 Oct. 1555 to serve at the customary wage of 2s. a day. In this Parliament Peake’s name is not to be found, as is his fellow-Member Sir John Perrot’s, on the list of Members who voted against one of the government’s bills. He had also been chosen to attend the coronation of both Edward VI and Mary. He went to the Brotherhood at Romney 19 times between 1525 and 1558, and in 1557 was appointed a solicitor for the Cinque Ports’ suit in defence of their liberties challenged by a writ of quo warranto.5

Peake had several brushes with authority. Two months after Edward VI’s coronation the Privy Council ordered his examination for allegedly using words ‘sounding very evil against the King’s majesty’, and he was one of four Sandwich men summoned to appear before the Council, for what reason is unknown, in March 1551. He was again before the Council in October 1557, this time with his son-in-law Thomas Menys, then mayor of Sandwich, about a letter sent by the town to Sir Thomas Cheyne, lord warden of the Cinque Ports, which Cheyne must have resented; Peake and five others had to report daily to one of the clerks of the Council until further order.6

Peake made his will on 31 Dec. 1558. He asked to be buried in the churchyard of St. Clement’s beside his late wife, with dirges or masses ‘or such other service as at that time by authority shall be set out’. To his son Roger he left his dwelling house, malt-house, orchard and garden in Sandwich, and to his other surviving son Edward a house with a quay in Sandwich and his manor in the neighbouring parish of Ash. His daughters Agnes, widow of Thomas Menys, and Alice, wife of Matthew Menys, were to have £30 apiece, his daughter Christian 100 marks on marriage, and his ‘cousins’ Roger Manwood II, John Manwood and Thomas Manwood a horse each. Roger and Thomas Manwood were executors of the will, which was proved on 15 Mar. 1561.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Sandwich old red bk. f. 111.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 67, 141; PCC 10 Loftes.
  • 3. Sandwich white bk. f. 367v; old red bk. passim; little black bk. passim.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xii; APC, iv. 35; E122/131/8.
  • 5. Sandwich old red bk. ff. 111, 193; treasurers’ acct. bk.; little black bk. ff. 31, 45v, 55v, 74; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix), 193-256 passim.
  • 6. APC, ii. 468-9; iii. 235; vi. 189; Sandwich old red bk. ff. 220v, 222v-223; little black bk. f. 47v.
  • 7. PCC 10 Loftes.