ROSCARROCK, Richard (c.1507-75), of Roscarrock in St. Endellion, Cornw.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1507, 1st s. of John Roscarrock of Roscarrock by 1st w. Agnes, da. of Sir Thomas Grenville of Stowe in Kilkhampton; bro. of William and half-bro. of John Roscarrock. m. by Feb. 1528, Isabel, da. and coh. of Richard Trevenor alias Denny of Lamorran, 6s. inc. Thomas 3da. suc. fa. 26/27 Oct. 1537.1

Offices Held

Reeve, Camelford, Cornw. 1541-2; bailiff, Trigg hundred 1541-4, 1566-7, 1568-9, 1575; sheriff 1550-1, 1561-2; j.p. 1554-64.2


Richard Roscarrock was described in a dispute, perhaps conventionally but not without truth, as ‘a man of great worship, wealth and substance, and well friended’ in Cornwall: he was connected by descent or marriage with the leading families in the county, and among his closest kinsmen were numbered Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, Sir John Arundell, Richard Chamond and (Sir) Richard Grenville I. No trace has been found of Roscarrock’s career before 1541 when he obtained a minor post in the duchy of Cornwall. For the next quarter-of-a-century he figured prominently in local affairs and enjoyed some esteem: in the 1540s his name was put forward six times running for the shrievalty before the office came his way. His behaviour during the rebellion of 1549 is not recorded, but after its suppression some doubt attached to him and he was bound by Sir Ralph Hopton to appear before the Privy Council on the following 12 Nov.: when he did so he evidently cleared himself, for in the following year he was pricked sheriff for the first time.3

The reign of Mary saw the burgeoning of Roscarrock’s career. He gained the second knighthood of the shire in her first Parliament, where he was not one of those who opposed the restoration of Catholicism, and his acquiescence doubtless paved the way for his return to the next, held in the spring of 1554, when he shared the representation of the shire with his kinsman Sir John Arundell. In the same year he began his service on the Cornish bench, which was to last until his removal in 1564 as ‘a very enemy’ of the Anglican settlement. Apart from his occasional recourse to law Roscarrock’s closing years are obscure, but it is known that in December 1569 he subscribed to the Act of Uniformity as an ex-justice. He was a sick man when on 28 May 1575 he made his will. After providing for one unmarried daughter, remembering the poor and making amends for tithes forgotten, he bequeathed the residue of his estate to his wife and eldest son, whom he appointed his executors. Roscarrock lived for another two-and-a-half years, dying on 26 Oct. 1575.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: J. J. Goring


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s death, J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, i. 562-3. Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 400; Gilbert, Cornw. ii. 357; Paroch. Hist. Cornw. i. 331.
  • 2. Duchy Cornw. RO, 123, mm. 12v, 14; 222, m. 16; information from G. Haslam; CPR, 1553-4, p. 17; 1563-6, p. 20.
  • 3. C3/30/48; APC, ii. 356; A. L. Rowse, Tudor Cornw. 289; F. Rose-Troup, Western Rebellion, 355; LP Hen. VIII, xx, xxi; CPR, 1553, pp. 317, 328, 339, 349.
  • 4. Cam. Misc. ix(3), 69; SP12/60, ff. 83v-84; PCC 22 Carew; C142/173/9; Maclean, i. 558, 562-3.