Robert Dormer, 1st Baron Dormer (1551 - 1616) MP

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Birthplace: Eythorpe,Buckinghamshire,England
Death: Died in Wing, Buckinghamshire, England
Managed by: Nancy Sawalich
Last Updated:

About Robert Dormer, 1st Baron Dormer

Born: 26 Jan 1551, Eythorpe, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 8 Nov 1616, Wing, Buckinghamshire, England

Buried: 19 Nov 1616, Wing, Buckinghamshire, England

Notes: Letters of Sir Francis Englefield to Duchess of Feria in 1570 show plainly how Sir Robert Dormer, in his "old age" was in danger of falling away from the Roman Catholic interest. He was said to be beset by heretics (such as the Earl of Bedford) so that one letter quoted "he breathes their spirit" and "the use of ill company and all lack of good occasions of reviving a man's slow devotion to good things, in time corrupts the mind, affection and soul". It was hoped at the same time that his son's marriage with a daughter of Lord Montague would make him a "pillar to that family that shall succeed in that realm". This marriage did not make Sir Robert an open recusant but it kept him within the old circle and all his children married into Roman Catholic families. Between 1577 and 1586 there was an increase in recusants throughout the country due largely to the activities of Jesuits and seminary priests. In 1585 Sir Robert as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire was ordered to draw up a list of recusants for the shire "that they may be compelled to pay their fines and provide horses for the queen's service". 22 names were included representing 15 families. Created a Bart. 10 Jun 1615. Baron Dormer of Wing 1615.

Father: William DORMER (Sir Knight)

Mother: Mary SIDNEY

Married: Elizabeth BROWNE ABT 1580

Children:

1. William DORMER (Sir)

2. Anthony DORMER of Grove Park

3. Robert DORMER of Peterley

4. Elizabeth DORMER

5. Magdalen DORMER

6. Catherine DORMER -------------------- Born: 26 Jan 1551, Eythorpe, Buckinghamshire, England

Died: 8 Nov 1616, Wing, Buckinghamshire, England

Buried: 19 Nov 1616, Wing, Buckinghamshire, England

Notes: Letters of Sir Francis Englefield to Duchess of Feria in 1570 show plainly how Sir Robert Dormer, in his "old age" was in danger of falling away from the Roman Catholic interest. He was said to be beset by heretics (such as the Earl of Bedford) so that one letter quoted "he breathes their spirit" and "the use of ill company and all lack of good occasions of reviving a man's slow devotion to good things, in time corrupts the mind, affection and soul". It was hoped at the same time that his son's marriage with a daughter of Lord Montague would make him a "pillar to that family that shall succeed in that realm". This marriage did not make Sir Robert an open recusant but it kept him within the old circle and all his children married into Roman Catholic families. Between 1577 and 1586 there was an increase in recusants throughout the country due largely to the activities of Jesuits and seminary priests. In 1585 Sir Robert as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire was ordered to draw up a list of recusants for the shire "that they may be compelled to pay their fines and provide horses for the queen's service". 22 names were included representing 15 families. Created a Bart. 10 Jun 1615. Baron Dormer of Wing 1615.

Father: William DORMER (Sir Knight)

Mother: Mary SIDNEY

Married: Elizabeth BROWNE ABT 1580

Children:

1. William DORMER (Sir)

2. Anthony DORMER of Grove Park

3. Robert DORMER of Peterley

4. Elizabeth DORMER

5. Magdalen DORMER

6. Catherine DORMER

Debrett's Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 15th Ed. (1825) on page 353: "Sir Robert Dormer, of Wenge, co. Bucks (grandson of Sir Robert Dormer, who was treasurer of the English army in Picardy, temp. Hen. VIII.), was by King James I. 10 June 1615, created baron Dormer, of Wenge. He m. Elizabeth, da. of Anthony Browne, visct. Montague, and had issue, 3 sons; 1. Sir William, d. in his father's lifetime, leaving issue, Robert, 2d lord; 2. Anthony, grandfather of the 4th lord; 3. Robert, grandfather of the 5th lord. His lordship d. 1616, and was succeeded by his grandson, Robert, 2d lord." -------------------- Family and Education bap. 26 Jan. 1551, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir William Dormer by his 2nd w. Dorothy, da. of Anthony Catesby of Whiston, Northants. educ. G. Inn 1567; Oxf. supp. BA 1569. m. Elizabeth, da. of Anthony Browne†, 1st Visct. Montagu, 6s. 3da. suc. fa. 1575. Kntd. 1591; cr. Bt. 10 June 1615, Baron Dormer 30 June 1615.1

Offices Held

J.p. Bucks. from c.1577, q. by 1591, sheriff 1584-5, commr. musters 1595; marshal and master of the King’s hawks from c.1600.2

Biography Dormer succeeded in 1575 to the considerable lands of his father in Buckinghamshire and elsewhere, together with a fortune estimated by the Spanish ambassador to amount to 100,000 ducats. At the end of his life he was able to pay between £8,000 and £10,000 for his peerage, and still to leave large estates to his grandson and heir. This is the more remarkable as (though both he and his father must have conformed) he had strong Catholic sympathies. His half-sister was Queen Mary’s most intimate companion and married the Spanish ambassador, Feria. The explanation seems to lie in Sir William Dormer’s friendship with the extreme puritan magnate the and Earl of Bedford, who in 1570 was reported to be about to arrange Robert Dormer’s marriage. The Dormer exiles, however, managed to veto this, and he married instead into the Catholic Montagu family. Bedford was presumably responsible for the continuing freedom of the family from the penal measures, and was very probably Dormer’s patron at Tregony in 1571. As knight for Buckinghamshire in 1593 he was eligible to attend the subsidy committee (26 Feb.) and a legal committee (9 Mar.).3

Dormer died 18 Nov. 1616, a month after his eldest son, and was succeeded by his infant grandson Robert, later Earl of Carnarvon, to whom, by his last will made two days before his death, he left the bulk of his property. As executors he appointed Sir John Dormer and Sir William Borlase, as overseer the lord chancellor, Thomas Egerton I, Lord Ellesmere. The executors, though reluctant to perform ‘such a busy piece of business’, proved the will 5 Dec. ‘If he were alive they would not do half so much for him for all the means and entreaty he could make.’4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603 Author: Roger Virgoe Notes 1. CP; G. Lipscomb, Bucks, iii. 532. 2. HMC Hatfield, v. 523; x. 270; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 43. 3. CSP Span. 1568-79, p. 493; Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i. 602; Letters from George, Lord Carew (Cam. Soc. lxxvi), 13; C142/358/99; H. Clifford, Life of Jane Dormer, ed. Stevenson, pp. xv-xix; DNB (Dormer, Jane); CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, pp. 284-5; D’Ewes, 474, 496. 4. C142/358/99; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 39, 41; PCC 128 Cope.

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Robert Dormer, 1st Baron Dormer's Timeline

1551
January 26, 1551
January 26, 1551
Wing, Buckinghamshire, England
January 26, 1551
Wing, Buckinghamshire, England
1551
Eythorpe,Buckinghamshire,England
1577
1577
Age 26
Buckinghamshire, England
1580
1580
Age 29
England
1585
1585
Age 34
England
1591
1591
Age 40
Wing,,Buckinghamshire,England
1616
November 8, 1616
Age 65
Wing, Buckinghamshire, England
November 19, 1616
Age 65
Wing, Buckinghamshire, England