SAVERY, Richard (by 1503-72), of Totnes and Staverton, Devon.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1503, 2nd s. of John Savery of Harberton. city bro. of Christopher. m. by 1527, Agnes, da. of one Buckington or Darkington, 3s. 1da.1

Offices Held


When Richard Savery was elected to his only Parliament it was with his elder brother Christopher who had sat twice before. The less prominent and successful of the two, Savery none the less prospered as a merchant, often in association with his brother; in 1523-4 he was assessed for subsidy on goods worth £31 13s.4d. and in 1550-1 he paid £3 on goods. Like his brother he sued out a general pardon at Elizabeth’s accession and in September 1560 both were among the merchants of Totnes pardoned for breaches of statutes governing trade. Savery purchased many properties in and around Totnes, among them the manor of Little Totnes for which he paid the 2nd Earl of Bath 800 marks in 1542; it was perhaps his landed wealth which prompted him to style himself ‘gentleman’, and he took pains in the division of his property among his kin.2

By his will of Sept. 1571 Savery asked to be buried in Totnes church, made several bequests to local charities and provided for his wife and children. An inquisition held at Exeter on 20 Oct. 1572 found that Richard Savery the elder (thus distinguished from his nephew and namesake) had died on the previous 4 Feb. and that his heir was his son Nicholas aged 45 and more.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 253; Vis. Devon, ed. Colby, 186; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 670.
  • 2. L. M. Nicholls, ‘The trading communities of Totnes and Dartmouth in the late 15th and early 16th cents.’ (Exeter Univ. M.A. thesis, 1960), 12, 83;E179/99/221; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 288-9; 1558-60, pp. 183, 334; 1566-9, p. 44; LP Hen. VIII, xix; J. E. Kew, ‘The land market in Devon, 1536-58’ (Exeter Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1967), 176.
  • 3. PCC 19 Daughtry; C142/160/2.