Sir Peter Empson

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Peter Empson, Knight

Also Known As: "Empsen"
Birthplace: Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Death: Died in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Empson and Margaret Burdon
Husband of Elizabeth Empson
Father of Anne Spencer; Elizabeth Spencer; Sir Richard Empson, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Peter Empson; Thomas Empson and 2 others

Occupation: An influential inhabitant of Towcester."
Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Sir Peter Empson

"An influential inhabitant of Towcester."

From Gordon Fisher's genealogical notes at

Peter EMPSON was born in "of" Towchester, England. 13th ggf of Gordon Fisher

Francis Bacon says in *History of King Henry VII*, 1622 (p 221 of the version edited by F. J. Levy, 1972 (Bobbs-Merrill): "Dudley was of a good family, eloquent, and one that could put hateful business into good language. But Empson, that was the son of a sieve-maker, triumphed always upon the deed done, putting off all other respects whatsoever."

On the other hand, from an unidentified late 19th or early 20th century biographical dictionary (via Jennie): "EMPSON, SIR RICHARD (d. 1510, minister of Henry VII,. king of England, was a son of Peter Empson, an influential inhabitant of Towcestor."

And in an edition of *Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, about 1911, p 339, it says that Richard EMPSON was "the son of a wealthy citizen of Towchester."

Of course, being wealthy and influential isn't inconsistent with being a sieve-maker. On Dudley, the last source says: "He was also father of the Duke of Northumberland. See GREY (LADY JANE) and LEICESTER." So Dudley was presumably of the nobility. Lady Jane (1537-1553) was the talented young woman who was married to a son of the Duke before she was 16, and soon executed (along with the Duke) for treason as the result of a plot by the Duke to gain for his family succession to the throne of England upon the death of Edward VI. Leicester is Robert Dudley, the famous --- or infamous --- Earl of Leicester of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He probably murdered his first wife, or had her murdered, and while a favorite of Elizabeth, and singularly unsuccessful as military leader. He is said to have died in 1588 of poison intended for his then wife. It appears that Bacon was saying that Dudley was of a "good" family because he was of the stock of the Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Leicester, and had good manners and speech, whereas Richard Empson ... was merely of the stock of a wealthy and influential "sieve-maker," and had less comely manners and language. Peter Empson: Sex: M Birth: 1414 in Towcester,,Northamptonshire,England Death: 1473 in Towcester,,Northamptonshire,England Father: Henry Empson b: 1370 in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England Mother: Thomasine Melton b: 1424 in Melton Hall,,Derbyshire,England Marriage 1 Elizabeth Joseph b: 1418 in Towcester,,Northamptonshire,England Married: BEF 1394 in Towcester,,Northamptonshire,England Children: Elizabeth Empson b: 1394 in Ardleigh, Essex, England & Richard Empson b: 1434 in Easton, Northamptonshire, , England.


  • Peter EMPSON
  • Born: ABT 1414, Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
  • Married: Elizabeth JOSEPH
  • Children:
    • 1. Richard EMPSON (Sir Knight)
    • 2. Elizabeth EMPSON
    • 3. Anne EMPSON
  • From: EMPSON1


  • Peter Empson
  • M, #37100, b. circa 1414, d. circa 1473
  • Peter Empson married Elizabeth Joseph, daughter of Thomas Joseph. Peter Empson was born circa 1414. He died circa 1473.1
  • Family Elizabeth Joseph
  • Children
    • Sir Richard Empson, Speaker of the House of Commons+ b. 1434, d. 17 Aug 1510
    • Ann Empson+ b. c 1440
    • Elizabeth Empson+2 b. c 1448
  • Citations
  • 1.[S50] Jamie Allen's Internet site.
  • 2.[S61] Unknown author, Family Group Sheets, Family History Archives, SLC.
  • From:




Richard Empson's father (Peter Empson) is always said to have been a sieve maker of Towcester. While this sounds a rather lowly occupation, he must in fact have been a man of some consequence locally as his name frequently appears as a feoffee in documents or as a witness to deeds relating to Towcester and the neighbourhood; and some sources describe him as "a wealthy citizen of Towcester". "Peter is sometimes described of Pavelispury or Westbury, but in 27 Hen VI (1449) Simon Ruff of Westbury and Eleanor his wife demised to him for 110 years a cottage in 'Tovecester' containing in length along 'Myllelane' 90ft. in breadth along 'Parkelane' 20ft. which probably became his future residence and birthplace of his son. He died at Towcester in 13 Edw IV (1473) and administration of his goods was granted to his executors by the official of the archdeacon of Northampton. His son was primarily led into the paths of law, and by what pecuniary means he was able to prosecute his studies, it would now be vain to inquire; but the purchase of Bacon's lands in Estneston, Hulcote and Shutlanger in 16 Edw IV (1476) may be presumed to have been effected with the first fruits of his professional success." (See Baker)

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Sir Peter Empson's Timeline

Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Age 28
Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Age 32
Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Age 34
Wills Pastures, Warwickshire, UK
Age 36
Easton, Northamptonshire, England
Age 41
Age 59
Towcester, Northamptonshire, England
Age 59
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 59
Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom