ELYOT, Robert (by 1500-45), 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 1500, 1st s. of John Elyot of Bristol. m. by Sept. 1524, Elizabeth, 3s. 3da.; 3s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Bristol 1521-2, mayor 1540-1, constable staple 1541-2, auditor, chamberlain’s accts. 1541, 1543.2


Robert Elyot is first mentioned in his uncle Thomas Elyot’s will of 9 Feb. 1505, by which he would receive the reversion of his uncle’s possessions if his cousins died childless. He followed the family trade, became a merchant with a house on Broad Street, and had his goods assessed at £160 for the subsidies of the period. He took part in the transatlantic expedition of 1527, and was to argue for the colonization of Newfoundland. It appears that before his death he had begun to invest in land in Somerset, where he also leased property owned by Forde abbey. Of his civic activities little is known; in 1524 an action was brought against him for wrongful collection of scavage and in 1539 he was abused as ‘stuttering Elyot’.3

While in London for Parliament Elyot co-operated with his fellow-Member, David Broke, in a number of matters of interest to the corporation, for which he was rewarded with 26s.8d. Both men made other visits to the capital for the same purpose, one of these between the sessions lasting 30 days. In his will dated 23 Aug. 1545 and proved the following 7 Oct. Elyot asked to be buried in the crypt of the church of St. John the Baptist next to his wife. He divided his property between his children with the provisos that his eldest son and one of his two illegitimate sons called John should receive their legacies only if their ‘conditions’ were good. The governors allocated to his children were instructed to continue their education, a concern evidently dear to Elyot as the contract apprenticing a son on 28 Feb. 1537 included provision for schooling.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from civic career. PCC 8 Adeane, 36 Pynnyng; Great Red Bk. Bristol (Bristol Rec. Soc. iv), 73.
  • 2. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xix. 130; LP Hen. VIII, xvi; Bristol AO, 04026/2/362, 3/132.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xx; Ricart’s Kalendar (Cam. Soc. n.s. v), 49-50; Great Red Bk. Bristol, 14-17; R. Hakluyt, Voyages, ii. 178; vii. 155; PCC 8 Adeane; E179/113/192, 205; Bristol AO, 04720/2/139d.
  • 4. Bristol AO, 04026/3/71, 85, 132, 186, 188; PCC 36 Pynnyng; Cal. Bristol Apprentice Bk. (Bristol Rec. Soc. xiv), 90.