SCROPE, Ralph (by 1529-72), of Hambleden, Bucks., Doncaster, Yorks. and Cockerington, Lincs.

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



Oct. 1553
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1529, 2nd s. of John Scrope of Spennithorne, Yorks. and Hambleden by Phyllis, da. of Ralph Rokeby of Mortham, Yorks. educ. L. Inn, adm. 4 July 1543, called 1548-9. m. by July 1560, Elizabeth, da. of William Windsor, 2nd Lord Windsor, wid. of Henry Sandys (d.c.1555) and Sir George Paulet, at least 3s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Pens. L. Inn 1558, marshal 1559, keeper of Black Bk. 1561, treasurer 1564, gov. 1570, 1571.

J.p.q. Bucks. 1558/59-d.


Ralph Scrope was a cadet of the noble family of Scrope of Masham and Bolton. His career at Lincoln’s Inn was punctuated by reproofs for evading promotion: in 1549 he risked the loss of his commons for not taking up his call to the bar and in June 1558 he was expelled for similar reluctance when made a bencher. Having put this right by the following November, he was named Autumn reader in 1560 and either Lent or Autumn reader, alternating with Robert Kempe, in 1561, but he did not read, being discharged from the duty in May 1562 at a cost of £40.3

Scrope probably owed his two elections for Knaresborough, which belonged to the duchy of Lancaster, not to any personal link with the duchy but to his web of family connexions. These included relationships with the 2nd Earl of Cumberland, chief steward of the honor of Knaresborough, and the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, president of the council in the north and the leading parliamentary patron in Yorkshire, as well as with the Rokeby family, prominent both in the north and at Lincoln’s Inn, and with Marmaduke Wyvill, one of the first two Members for Ripon at the same time as Scrope filled that role at Knaresborough. The marriage of his sister to Thomas More II, with whom he was to sit in the third Marian Parliament, brought Scrope into the More circle, and he may also have been connected with John Long, who sat for Knaresborough in the second Parliament and for Hedon in the third. Scrope was one of the Members found absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555 and he was accordingly informed against in the King’s bench in the following Easter term. That his dereliction, however, was not regarded as subversive is implied by his avoidance of further process, especially as his brother-in-law More, for whom he stood surety, was fined for the same offence.4

Although when standing surety Scrope was described as of Doncaster, he was to settle and to be buried at Hambleden, long a Scrope property. It was to the Buckinghamshire bench that he was named at Elizabeth’s accession; he kept his place on it despite his censure as a ‘hinderer of religion’ in 1564, but five years later the bishop of Winchester urged Cecil not to allow him, among others, to be put on the Hampshire commission. Scrope’s will was witnessed on 1 Sept. 1572 and he died on 28 Oct. 1572. His executors included his brothers, John, Adrian and Robert. His son and heir, another Adrian, was then aged nine years nine months and 15 days. A memorial was erected on the south wall of the tower of Hambleden church.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from education. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 5, 6; Test. Vet. ed. Nicolas, ii. 722-3; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 268-9; CP, xi. 444-5; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 329-30; PCC 40 Daper.
  • 3. Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 287-8, 290-1, 323-5, 331, 333-4, 336; Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales, 252.
  • 4. DNB (Rokeby, John and Ralph); Test. Vet. ii. 752-7; KB27/1176.
  • 5. Lincoln Rec. Soc. ii. 49, 251; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 32; HMC Hatfield, i. 392-3; PCC 40 Daper; C142/164/121, 180/18; CPR, 1572-5, p. 164; VCH Bucks. iii. 52.