Robert Rudston, MP

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Robert Rudston, MP

Birthplace: London,,Middlesex,England
Death: Died in England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Rudston, Lord Mayor of London; Sir John Rudston; Ursula Dymoke and Ursula Rudston
Husband of Ann Rudston
Father of Emma Anna Hildyard; Ursula Barnham and Belknap Rudston
Brother of Jane Wotton and Elizabeth Wotton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Rudston, MP

Family and Education b. 1514/15, 1st s. of Sir John Rudston of London by 2nd w. Ursula, da. of Sir Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Lincs. m. by 1549, Anne, da. of Sir Edward Wotton of Boughton Place, Boughton Malherbe, Kent, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1531.1

Offices Held

Servant of the Wyatt family by 1539; j.p. Kent 1547, 1558/59-d.; commr. relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, Rochester bridge 1561, 1571.2

Biography Robert Rudston’s family was of Yorkshire origin, but his father, a draper, settled in London where he became an alderman. Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough, Yorkshire, purchased Rudston’s wardship and marriage shortly before he reached his majority, but although Constable was executed for treason in 1537 Rudston’s prospects do not seem to have been harmed. His mother had taken as her second husband Sir Edward Wotton, a courtier and administrator esteemed by Henry VIII, and presumably it was Wotton who introduced his stepson (who by 1549 was also his son-in-law) to his neighbour and colleague, Sir Thomas Wyatt I. Rudston joined Wyatt on his embassy to the Emperor and during 1539-40 he travelled with the imperial court from the Netherlands to Spain, being employed by his master as a courier to Paris and London. On Wyatt’s recall he returned to England, but the termination of the embassy and Wyatt’s death two years later did not bring to a close Rudston’s link with the family, for his services continued to be used by Wyatt’s son Thomas. Rudston was later to be recalled as one of the younger Wyatt’s ‘companions in the profession ... of arms’, so that he probably served with Wyatt at Boulogne.3

On the accession of Edward VI, Sir Edward Wotton became a Privy Councillor and doubtless it was he who recommended Rudston for election to the first Parliament of the reign. The patronage of Steyning had passed on the imprisonment of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk to another Privy Councillor, Admiral Seymour, whom Wotton presumably approached for the nomination: Rudston’s election may also have been encouraged by his uncle Sir Edward Dymoke and by Sir Thomas Wyatt II, both of whom sat in this Parliament. Although the Journal throws no light on Rudston’s activity in the House, he is known to have supported the proposal submitted by Wyatt to the Privy Council for the establishment of a militia. By the following Parliament Sir Edward Wotton was dead and Rudston is not known to have been re-elected; he was not to sit again in the Commons during the 37 years which remained to him.4

Rudston shared Wyatt’s distaste for Queen Mary’s Spanish marriage and in January 1554 he joined Wyatt’s rebellion. Excluded from the general pardon offered to the rebels, he helped to muster their forces at Brentford, Middlesex, for an attack upon London and on 7 Feb. he took a leading part in that luckless enterprise. Within two days of the repulse he had been committed to the Tower, and on 13 Feb. he was tried, found guilty and sentenced. It was through the intercession of his kinsman, Nicholas Wotton, the Queen’s ambassador in France, that he was reprieved, to be released shortly afterwards and pardoned on 1 Apr. About the middle of May he entered into an obligation with William Cromer† to pay £500 for their movables and the Council wrote to (Sir) Robert Southwell to effect this restitution: two months later his confiscated estates were returned to him on a 21-year lease at a fixed rent. In 1555 Cromer and Rudston entered into a joint obligation of 4,000 marks for the return of their lands in full ownership, thus bringing their total indebtedness to over £3,000. This sum they paid off in half-yearly instalments of £166 13s.4d. until June 1558, when they entered into separate obligations for the amounts outstanding. Rudston continued to pay reduced instalments until in 1560 the residue was remitted.5

When Elizabeth came to the throne Rudston was restored to the Kent bench; in 1564 he was rated ‘meet’ and he remained a justice until his death. On 12 Apr. 1588 he made his will, remembering the poor and providing for his wife and surviving children. He appointed his wife and one of his sons as executors and his nephew Edward Wotton†, his ‘son-in-law’ William Cromer and his ‘loving friend’ William Lambarde† as overseers. On 4 Feb. 1590 Rudston completed the division of his property between his sons and he must have died not long afterwards as an inquisition was held on the following 18 June.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558 Author: R. J.W. Swales Notes 1. Aged 73 on making will, PCC 12 Drury, Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 27; PCC 7 Thower. 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiv; CPR, 1547-8, p. 85; 1553, pp. 355, 414; 1560-3, p. 438; 1569-72, pp. 225, 278; Arch. Cant. xvii. 216. 3. LP Hen. VIII, ix, xiv, xv, xxi; DNB (Constable, Sir Robert and Wotton, Sir Edward); D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies, 50; Pprs. Geo. Wyatt (Cam. Soc. ser. 4, v), 57. 4. Pprs. Geo. Wyatt, 57. 5. Loades, 71, 108, 113, 117, 199, 120, 127, 254; Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii), 53; CPR, 1553-4, pp. 261, 331; 1554-5, p. 272. 6. APC, ix. 274; Cam. Misc. ix(3) 58; PCC 12 Drury; C142/227/206.


(The following was found on the internet by Dayonne Barnum. She has a link to the page at her site Barnum Genealogy Index and Genealogy Resourses)

The recorded history of Boughton Monchelsea begins before the Norman Conquest. It was then called Boltone, later Bacton meaning clearing in a beech wood. Before the Conquest it belonged to the Saxon Earl Godwin. William the Conqueror granted the manor together with many others in Kent to his half-brother Odo Bishop of Bayeux. The Bishop then fell into disgrace and all his property was confiscated. At the end of the 12c Boughton came into the possession of the Montchensies (a Norman family) from whom the second part of the name of the village derives. The Montchensies were an important family, with large possession in Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent. The Montchensies died out when William de Montchensie was killed in a mining operation at the siege of Dryslwyn Castle near Carmarthen in 1287. Williams Daughter Dionysia married Hugh de Vere, son of the Earl of Oxford. From the Montchensies the ownership of the manor passed by inheritance through various Kent families, including the Harpurs and Peckhams, until in 1551 it was bought by Thomas Wyatt the son of the poet of the same name who lived in nearby Allington Castle. Wyat sold it in 1551 to Robert Rudston. The price paid for it together with the manor of Palster in Wittersham was ú1.730. Rudstons descendants occupied the Manor until 1888. Robert Rudston, son of Sir John Rudston (d.1531), scion of a Yorkshire landowning family had come South, made a fortune as a draper, bought more land and was Lord Mayor of London. As a boy Robert was brought up not far away, his mother now widowed married Sir Edward Wotton of Boughton Malherbe (Wotton was Treasurer of Calais and an executor of King Henry VIII). Robert Rudston then married Anne Wotton (his Step-Father's daughter by his first marriage). Anne Wottons and Rudstons arms appear on the righthand side of the southernmost window in the Entrance Hall). In January 1554 - Rudston had only lived at Boughton for 3 years, he joined the revolt against Catholic Queen Mary. This revolt led by his friend Thomas Wyatt was crushed, Wyatt was beheaded, Rudston was locked in the Tower, his land confiscated. He was released in 1555 and allowed to lease Boughton from the Crown and then in the later part of 1555 was allowed to re-purchase the lands for ú1,000. In 1575 Rudston had recovered enough to have the House lengthened eastwards and added the present east wing and two more wings to enclose the Courtyard. An inventory of 1613 shows it contained 14 bedrooms, a hall, a gallery, two dining rooms, three other living rooms and a large number of other rooms connected with the storage and preparation of food. Robert Rudston was a man of culture, but a difficult character. Sir Francis Barnham described him as a 'brave gentlemen and of a very loving disposition, but so furiously cholericks as required a great deal of discretion to avoide the incounter of that humour'. Rudston died in 1590, he left Boughton to his younger son Belknap Rudston. On Belknaps death in 1613 the male line of the Rudstons came to an end, and Boughton passed to Sir Francis Barnham (son of Belknaps older sister who had married Sir Martin Barnham). Robert Barnham was created a Baronet in 1663, was MP of Maidstone from 1660 -1679. He and his father before him had represented Maidstone for 43 years. Robert was a Royalist at heart and took part in the Kentish Rising of 1648 - this rising was sparked off by Parliament clamping down on religious and traditional observances at Christmas. Robert Barnham died in 1685 and passing over his daughters of his first marriage left Boughton to his only child by his second marriage - a daughter Philadelphia, who was married to Thomas Rider from Essex. The Riders came to Boughton in 1685 and the first alterations were made since Rudston's time. The Tudor staircase did not fit in with the more gracious way of life and the wide shallow staircase to the first floor was put in. Little is known of the first Thomas Rider, (d 1698) or of his son Sir Barnham Rider (d 1728) Both were however hard drinkers - Philadelphia who died in 1730 left L400 (pounds) to her grandson another Thomas (aged now 12) to 'educate him as a gentleman so that he might be sensible. How fatal intemperance had been to his Father and Grandfather'.

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Robert Rudston, MP's Timeline

Age 37
Age 39
Boughton Monchelsea, Kent, England
Age 75
Age 75