STRETE, Henry (by 1481-1535/36), of London and Devon.

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 1481. m. by 1511, Richard.2

Offices Held

Yeoman of the crown by 1502, of the guard bef. 1509; keeper, Stockenham park, Devon 28 June 1508; yeoman usher, the chamber by June 1509-May 1513; bailiff, manor of Exe Island 3 June 1509-d., earldom of Devon’s lands, Hayridge hundred, Devon 3 Nov. 1509; serjeant-at-arms 18 May 1513-?d.; coroner, Devon by 1514-24 or later.3


Henry Strete claimed gentle birth but his parentage has not been established. He may have been a Devonian since a John Strete ‘of Devonshire’ died in 1495 and he himself made his home in the county about 1510 after living in London. On the death of the 8th Earl of Devon in 1509 the King granted Strete during pleasure two administrative offices in the estates which passed to the crown by reason of the attainder of the earl’s son and heir: his tenure of both posts was confirmed for life two years later on the eve of the reversal of the attainder. Although the appointments were ostensibly in reward for service in the Household he had perhaps held them before the earl’s death, and thus the pattern of his later life combining duties at court with employment by the Courtenay family may have been fixed from the outset of his career. Courtenay interest may explain Strete’s election at Plymouth, for the family patronized Plympton priory which owned nearly all the land in the port: it could also have been favoured by his colleague in the Household, John Stile, who had sat for Plymouth in the previous Parliament but who in 1509-10 was on embassy to the Queen of Castile. After the dissolution Strete sued out a general pardon and received moneys towards his expenses from his fellow-Member John Bryan. Not all the names of the Members for Plymouth and Plympton are known for the next three Parliaments, so that Strete may have been one of those whose names are lost. As a dependant of the Courtenays and coroner of the shire he was to play an important part in local affairs during Henry VIII’s reign. In 1527 he witnessed the sealing of the dowager Countess of Devon’s will. He accounted for the manor of Exe Island for the last time at Michaelmas 1535 but by October 1536 he had been replaced as bailiff by Thomas Spurway.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1509-10.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Devon RO, Exe Island ct. roll 1510-11, ex inf. W. Harwood.
  • 3. CPR, 1494-1509, pp. 261, 358; LP Hen. VIII, i. ii; add. roll 13907; SC6/Hen. VIII, 527; Devon RO, CR532; E372/359, 367, 369, ex inf. Harwood.
  • 4. HP, ed. Wedgwood, 1439-1509 (Biogs.), 822; LP Hen. VIII, i; Plymouth receivers’ acct. bk. 1509-10; Devon RO, 1508M/London/Test. pprs. i, ex inf. Harwood.