Masters of Requests

Introduction

The masters of requests were appointed by the crown and entered office on taking an oath. By 1558 it was the practice for this to be taken in the privy council (APC 1558-70, p. 17). In the course of time there came to be a distinction between the masters in ordinary and the masters extraordinary. Neither received an instrument of appointment but it became customary for the masters in ordinary to be granted by letters patent under the great seal annuities, usually of £100, payable at the receipt of the exchequer.

There appears to have been an understanding that the salaried masters should be limited to two and the evidence suggests that this convention was observed from about 1550 until the end of the death of Elizabeth I. On his accession in 1603 James I confirmed the two masters in ordinary who were serving on the demise of his predecessor but for the next fifteen years it is impossible to discern any consistent pattern or to distinguish in every case whether an appointment was in ordinary or extraordinary. However, in January 1618 the king stated that, while he was content to have four masters in ordinary for the time being, this was not to be regarded as a precedent and that it was his intention that the number should revert to two 'as the custome hath beene in former times.' (APC 1617-19, p. 6; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 131). In the event four masters in ordinary continued to serve until the Interregnum. In 1657 Protector Oliver appointed two masters in ordinary with salaries of £500. At the Restoration in 1660 four were again appointed and this arrangement endured until the discontinuation of the offices in 1685.

During the reign of Elizabeth several masters served without annuities who may be regarded as the precursors of the later masters extraordinary. This appears to have been the case with Lewis (c. 1582), Gerard (1579) and Aubrey (1590) despite the fact that the last-named was described as a master in ordinary on his admission in 1590 (APC 1589-90, p. 322). The term extraordinary appears first to have been applied to Caesar on his admission in 1591 (APC 1590-91, p. 207). The number of extraordinaries fluctuated considerably. Because they were not in receipt of annuities it is not always possible to establish their periods of service precisely.

List of Appointments

1550 Cock, John
App. master 13 Mar. 1550 (APC 1547-50, p. 410).
Last occ. 30 June 1553 (CPR 1553 & Addenda, p.
93).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Dec.
1549) 5 Apr. 1550 (CPR 1549-51, p. 307 'John
Cockes' (sic)).
Not continued by Mary I 1553.

1551 Lucas, John
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June
1551) 14 Dec. 1551 (CPR 1550-53, p. 50).
Occ. as master 9 Mar. 1552 (ibid. p. 353), 2
July 1553 (CPR 1553 & Addenda, p. 226).
Not continued by Mary I 1553.

1553 Throckmorton, John
Occ. as master 21 Aug. 1553-3 Aug. 1558 (APC
1552-4, p. 324; CPR 1557-8, p. 376).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June
1553) 16 Dec. 1553 (CPR 1553-4, p. 65).
Not continued by Elizabeth I 1558.

1553 White, Sir Thomas, Kt.
Occ. as master 21 Aug. 1553-14 June 1558 (APC
1552-4, p. 314; CSPD 1547-80, p. 103).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June
1553) 17 Dec. 1553 (CPR 1553-4, p. 60).
Not continued by Elizabeth I 1558.

1558 Seckford (Sackford), Thomas
Sworn master in ordinary 9 Dec. 1558 (APC
1558-70, p. 17)
Last occ. 28 Jan. 1585 (CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 139).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from
24 June 1560) 1 Feb. 1561 (CPR 1560-63, p. 69);
pd. to 24 June 1586 (E 403/2272).
D., probably in office, 19 Dec. 1587 (E 403/2273; HP 1509-58, iii, 286).

1558 Haddon, Walter
Occ. as master 27 Dec. 1558-24 June 1571
(APC 1558-70, p. 30; CSPD Addenda 1566-79,
p. 337).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £50 18 Sept.
1559 (CPR 1558-60, p. 111); pd. to 25 Dec. 1570
(E 403/2260).
[D. 21 Jan. 1572 (DNB)]

1571 Wilson, Thomas
Occ. as master 4 May 1571-14 Apr. 1573 (CSPD
Addenda 1566-79, p. 348; APC 1571-5, p. 97).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from
25 Dec. 1570) 11 Apr. 1571 (CPR 1569-72, p. 169(1363)); pd. to 25 Dec. 1577 (E 403/2265).
Probably vac. 12 Nov. 1577 on app. as secretary
Of state (APC 1577-8, p. 85).

1576 Dale, Valentine
Sworn master 5 Nov. 1576 (APC 1575-7, p. 229).
Last occ. 31 Oct. 1588 (CSPD 1580-1625, p. 257).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from
29 Sept. 1576) 14 Jan. 1577 (CPR 1575-8, p. 299
(2216)); pd. to 29 Sept. 1589 (E 403/2275).
D., probably in office, 17 Nov. 1589 (ibid.; DNB).

1579 Gerard, Sir William, Kt.
App. 23 Nov. 1579 (CSPD 1547-80, p. 637).
[D. 1 May 1581 (DNB)]

By 1582 Lewis, David
Occ. as master 18 June 1582-12 Jan. 1584 (CSPD 1580-1625, pp. 63, 103).
D., probably in office, 27 Apr. 1584 (DNB).

By 1585 Herbert, John
Occ. as master 3 May 1585-3 Nov. 1592 (CSPD
Addenda 1580-1625, pp. 342, 372).
Occ. as one of two masters 1592 (Camden
Miscellany, xx (1953), pt. 1, 24).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1586) 5 Nov. 1586 (C 66/1271); pd. to 25 Mar, 1600 (E 403/1696, 28 Mar. 1600).
Vac. 10 May 1600 on app. as Secretary of State
(APC 1599-1600, p. 736).
Probably succ. by Wilbraham as master in ordinary.


By 1586 Rokeby, Ralph
Occ. as master 10 July 1586-3 Nov. 1592 (APC
1586-7, p. 185; CSPD 1580-1625, p. 324).
Occ. as one of two masters 1592 (Camden
Miscellany, xx (1953), pt. 1, 24).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 16 Nov.
1591 (E 403/2277); pd. 29 Sept. 1591-25
Mar. 1596 (ibid.; E 403/2278).
D., probably in office, 14 June 1596 (DNB).
Probably succ. by Caesar as master in ordinary.

1590 Aubrey, William
Sworn master in ordinary 20 Jan. 1590 (APC 1589-90, p. 322).
Occ. 6 Apr. 1590-18 Oct. 1594 (APC 1590, p. 18;
CSPD Addenda 1580-1625, p. 370).
[D. 23 July 1595 (DNB)]

1591 Caesar, Julius (ktd. 20 May 1603)
Sworn master extraordinary 10 Jan. 1591 (APC 1590-91, p. 207).
Occ. as master 8 Nov. 1592-3 Oct. 1602 (CSPD
Addenda 1580-1625, p. 342; CSPD 1601-03, p. 247).
Probably succ. Rokeby as master in ordinary.
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from
25 Mar. 1596) 3 Nov. 1596 (C 66/1452).
One of two masters at funeral of Elizabeth I 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 47).
Resworn master 29 Apr. 1603 (APC 1601-04,
p. 496).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from
25 Mar. 1603) 31 May 1603 (C 66/1627); pd. to 24 June 1606 (E 403/1703, 10 July 1606).
Probably vac. office on appointment as Chancellor of Exchequer 1 Apr. 1606.

1600 Wilbraham, Roger (ktd. 20 May 1603)
Probably succ. Herbert as master in ordinary.
Sworn master 1 May 1600 (APC 1599-1600,
p. 282).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 10 June 1600 (C 66/1537).
One of two masters at funeral of Elizabeth I 28 Apr. 1603 (LC 2/4/4 f. 47).
Resworn master 4 May 1603 (APC 1601-04, p. 497).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from 25
Mar. 1603) 31 May 1603 (C 66/1627); pd. to 25 Mar. 1616 (E 403/1721, 10 May 1616); executors pd. 24 June -29 Sept. 1616 (E 403/1722, 28 Nov. 1616).
D. in office 31 July 1616 (Camden Miscellany, x (1902), p. vi); Chamberlain Letters, ii, 20; HMC Downshire, vi, 25).
1602 Dunn (Donne), Sir Daniel, Kt.
Master extraordinary: sworn 1 Aug. 1602 (APC 1601-04, p. 490); resworn on accession of James I 29 May 1603 (ibid. p. 499).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1604) 20 Sept. 1604 (C 66/1659); pd. to 29 Sept. 1615 (E 403/1720, 16 Dec. 1615).
D. in office by 11 Oct 1617 (HP 1558-1603, ii, 66; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 99).

1603 Perkins (Parkins), Sir Christopher, Kt.
Sworn master extraordinary 29 May 1603 (APC 1601-04, p. 499).
Gt. for life of annuity of £50 (from 24 June 1609) 18 Sept. 1609 (C 66/1814 no. 12); surr. 17 Sept. 1616 (ibid.).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1616) 19 Sept. 1616 (C 66/2104 no. 9); pd. to 25 Mar. 1622 (E 403/1730, 4 June 1622); widow pd. 25 Mar.-24 June 1622 (E 403/1731, 18 Oct. 1622).
One of four masters in ordinary Jan. 1618 (APC 1617-18, p. 6; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 131).
D. in office Aug. 1622 (HP 1558-1603, iii, 176); Chamberlain Letters, ii, 451; DNB).
Probably succ. by Coke as master in ordinary.

1608 Smith, Sir Thomas, Kt.
Reference to his 'advancement' 6 Jan. 1608 (HMC Downshire, ii, 19).
Sworn master by 25 May 1608 (ibid. 61).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 as clerk of council (from 25 Mar. 1608) 8 Oct. 1608 (C 66/1753 no. 11); surrendered; new gt. in survivorship with son Robert 10 May 1609; pd. to 29 Sept. 1609 (E 403/1708, 27 Oct. 1609).
D. in office 27 Nov. 1609 (DNB; CSPD 1603-10, p. 570).


1609 Winwood, Sir Roger, Kt.
Gt. for life of annuity of £50 24 Sept. 1609 (C 66/1814 no. 19); pd. from 29 Sept. 1609 to 25 Mar. 1614 (E 403/1709, 30 Apr. 1610; E 403/1721, 3 May 1616).
Vac. by 22 May 1614 on app. as Secretary of
State (APC 1613-14, p. 444).
Succ. by Williamson as master in ordinary (ibid.).

1613 Dacombe, John (ktd. 3 June 1616)
Sworn master extraordinary 27 Dec. 1613
(APC 1613-14, p. 313).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 23 Dec. 1613 (C 66/1980 no. 14); pd. 29 Sept. 1613 to 25 Mar. 1616 (E 403/1716, 7 Jan. 1614; E 403/1721, 29 Apr. 1616).
Vac. by 24 June 1616 (APC 1615-16, p. 630).
Succ. by Naunton as master in ordinary (ibid.).

1614 Williamson, Sir Richard, Kt.
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Winwood 22 May 1614 (APC 1613-14, p. 444).
Gt. for life of annuity of £50 (from 25 Mar. 1614) 4 June 1614 (C 66/2037 no. 8); pd. 25 Mar. 1614-29 Sept. 1615 (E 403/1720, 6 Dec. 1615).
D. in office by 6 Feb. 1616 (APC 1615-16, p. 388).
Succ. by Montagu (ibid.).

1616 Montagu, Sidney (ktd. 20 July 1616)
Sworn master extraordinary in place of Williamson 6 Feb. 1616 (APC 1615-16, p. 388); resworn 9 Feb. 1616 (ibid. p. 400).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 2 July 1616 (C 66/2115 no. 9).
One of four masters in ordinary Jan. 1618 (APC 1617-19, p. 6; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 131).
Resworn master in ordinary 18 Mar.-8 Apr. 1625 (APC 1625-6, p. 21).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1625) 1 July 1625 (C 66/2348 no. 9).
Pd. to 29 Sept. 1639 (E 403/1753, 29 Nov. 1639).
Probably succ. by Robert Mason.
[D. 25 Sept. 1644]

1616 Naunton, Sir Robert, Kt.
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Dacombe 24 June 1616 (APC 1615-16, p. 630).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1616) 13 Aug. 1616 (C 66/2090 no. 28); pd. 24 June 1616-29 Sept. 1617 (E 403/1722, 12 Nov. 1616; E 403/1723, 21 Nov. 1617).
Vac. 9 Jan. 1618 on app. as secretary of state (APC 1617-19, p. 6).
Succ. by Freeman as master in ordinary. (ibid.).

1616 Cranfield, Sir Lionel, Kt.
Sworn master extraordinary 20 Nov. 1616
(APC 1616-17, p. 70).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Dec. 1616) 23 Mar. 1617 (C 66/2092 no. 9); pd. 25 Dec. 1615-24 June 1617 (E 403/1723, 31 July 1617).
One of four masters in ordinary Jan. 1618 (APC 1617-19, p. 6; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 131).
Probably succ. by Suckling as master in ordinary Feb. 1619 (Chamberlain Letters, ii, 204).

1618 Freeman, Sir Ralph, Kt.
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Naunton 11
Jan. 1618 (APC 1617-19, p. 6).
One of four masters in ordinary Jan. 1618
(ibid.; Chamberlain Letters, ii, 131).
Gt. of annuity of £100 17 Apr. 1618 (C 66/2176
No. 16).
Resworn master in ordinary on accession of
Charles I 28 Mar.-8 Apr. 1625 (APC 1625-6, p. 21).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar.
1625) 2 Nov. 1625 (C 66/2352 no. 24); pd. to 25 Mar. 1641 (E 403/1754, 17 Aug. 1641).
[Resworn 2 June 1660]

1619 Suckling, Sir John, Kt.
Probably succ. Cranfield (Chamberlain Letters, ii, 204).
Sworn master in ordinary 9 Feb. 1619 (APC 1617-19, p. 362).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Dec. 1618) 12 Feb. 1619 (C 66/2178 no. 25); pd.
25 Mar. 1619-25 Mar. 1622 (E 403/1725, 27 Nov. 1619; E 403/1730, 5 June 1622).
Succ. by Powell as master in ordinary (CSPD 1619-23, p. 365).

1622 Powell, Sir Edward, 1st Bart.
Succ. Suckling (CSPD 1619-23, p. 365).
Sworn master in ordinary 1 Apr. 1622 (APC 1621-3, p. 181).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1622) 11 Apr. 1622 (C 66/2279 no. 14).
Resworn master in ordinary on accession of Charles I 28 Mar.-8 Apr. 1625 (APC 1625-6, p. 21).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1625) 14 Oct. 1625 (C 66/2356 no. 19); pd. 25 Mar. 1622-25 Mar. 1641 (E 403/1731, 28 Nov. 1622; E 403/1754, 17 Aug. 1641).
[D. 1653]

1622 Coke, John (ktd. 9 Sept. 1624)
Probably succ. Perkins.
Sworn master in ordinary 20 Nov. 1622 (APC 1621-3, p. 356 - John Cole (sic)).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1622) 11 Dec. 1622 (C 66/2269 no. 10); pd. 24 June 1622-15 Mar. 1625 (E 403/1731, 17 Jan. 1623; E 403/1736, 3 June 1625).
Resworn master in ordinary on accession of Charles I 28 Mar.-8 Apr. 1625 (APC 1625-6, p. 21).
Probably vac. Sept. 1625 on app. as Secretary of State.
Probably succ. by Aylesbury as master in ordinary.

1625 Beecher, Sir William, Kt.
Sworn master extraordinary 28 Mar.-6 Apr. 1625
(APC 1625-6, p. 21).
[D. 1651]

1625 Aylesbury, Thomas (cr. Bart 19 Apr. 1627)
Prob. succ. Coke as master in ordinary.
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 29 Sept. 1625) 22 Oct. 1625 (C 66/2356 no. 17); pd. to 25 Mar. 1641 (E 403/1754, 17 Aug. 1641).
[D. 1657 (DNB)]

1626 Ryves, Thomas (ktd. 19 Mar. 1644)
Sworn master extraordinary 30 June 1626 (APC
1626, p. 43).
[D. 2 Jan. 1642 (DNB)]

1628 Sawyer, Sir Edmund, Kt.
Sworn master extraordinary 31 May 1628 (APC
1627-8, p. 473).
[D. 14 June 1676 (Prob 11/352 sig. 117)]

1630 Mason, John
Sworn master extraordinary 16 June 1630 (APC
1630-31, p. 20).

1640 Mason, Robert
Probably succ. Montagu as master in ordinary.
Sworn master in ordinary 23 June 1640 (PCR, x, 572).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1640) 14 July 1640 (C 66/2879 no. 42).
[Resworn 2 June 1660]

1643 Duck, Arthur
Appointed by the King at Oxford.
Sworn master in ordinary 31 Aug. 1643 (PCR, xii, 215).
Gt. of annuity of £100 28 Sept. 1643 (Docquets of Letters Patent passed under the Great Seal of Charles I 1642-1646, ed. W.H. Black (1837), p. 365).
[D. 16 Dec. 1648 (DNB)]

1644 Peirce, Edmund
Appointed by the King at Oxford.
Sworn master extraordinary 1 Dec. 1644 (PCR, xii, 231).
[Resworn 22 June 1660]

1657 Bacon, Nathaniel
Appointed by Protector Oliver.
Gt. of annuity of £100 (from 29 Sept. 1656) 4 Mar. 1657 (4th Report of Deputy Keeper of Public Records, p. 197); pd. 25 Dec. 1657-25 Mar. 1658 (E 403/1757, 17 Nov. 1658).
[D. 1660 (DNB)]

1657 Bacon, Francis
Appointed by Protector Oliver.
Gt. of annuity of £100 (from 29 Sept. 1656) 4 Mar. 1657 (4th Report of Deputy Keeper of Public Records, p. 197); pd. 25 Dec. 1657-25 Mar. 1658 (E 403/1757, 17 Nov. 1658).

1660 Fanshawe, Sir Richard. 1st Bart.
Sworn master in ordinary at Breda 8 or 18 Apr. 1660 (PC 2/54, pt. 1, p. 45).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 12 Jan. 1661 (C 66/2936 no. 15).
Vac. by 20 Jan. 1664 on app. as Ambassador to Spain (PC 2/56 p. 683).
Succ. by Birkenhead.

1660 Freeman, Sir Ralph, Kt.
Resworn master in ordinary on accession of Charles II 2 June 1660 (PC 2/54, pt. 2, p. 9).
D. in office 5/12 June 1667 (Prob 11/324 sig. 104; CSPD 1667, p. 175).
Succ. by Cotterell.

1660 Mason, Robert
Resworn master in ordinary on accession of Charles II 2 June 1660 (PC 2/54, pt. 2, p. 9).
D. in office by 4 July 1662 (PC 2/56 p. 41).
Succ. by Beverley.

1660 Holles, Gervase
Sworn master in ordinary 6 June 1660 (PC 2/54, pt. 2, p. 16).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 12 Jan. 1661 (C 66/2936 no. 16).
D. in office 10 Feb. 1675 (DNB; PC 2/64 p. 375).
Succ. by Glascock.

1660 Peirce, Sir Edmund, Kt.
Sworn master extraordinary 22 June 1660 (PC
2/54, pt. 2, p. 37).
Buried 10 Aug. 1667 (HP 1660-90, iii, 218).

1660 Povey, Thomas
Sworn master extraordinary 22 June 1660 (PC
2/54, pt. 2, p. 37).
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Beverley 31 Mar. 1675 (PC 2/64 p. 400).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 12 Aug. 1675 (C 66/3170 no. 30).
Vac. 1685.

1662 Beverley, Thomas (ktd. 5 July 1662)
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Robert Mason 4 July 1662 (PC 2/56 p. 41).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1662) 25 Aug. 1662 (C 66/3007 no. 25).
D. in office by 31 Mar. 1675 (PC 2/64 p. 400).
Succ. by Povey.

1664 Birkenhead, Sir John, Kt.
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Sir Richard Fanshawe 20 Jan. 1664 (PC 2/56 p. 683).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 22 Mar. 1664 (C 66/3067 no. 9).
D. in office 4 Dec. 1679 (DNB; PC 2/68 p. 312).
Succ. by William Fanshawe.

1667 Cotterell, Sir Charles, Kt.
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Freeman 26 June 1667 (PC 2/59 p. 473).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 (from 25 Mar. 1667) 25 July 1667 (C 66/3090 no. 5).
Vac. 1685.

1675 Glascock, William (ktd. by 22 Nov. 1676)
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Holles 10 Feb. 1675 (PC 2/64 p. 370).
Gt. for life of annuity of £100 6 Mar. 1675 (C 66/3169 no. 7).
Vac. 1685.

1679 Fanshawe, William
Sworn master in ordinary in place of Birkenhead 10 Dec. 1679 (PC 2/68 p. 312).
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from 29 Sept. 1678) 12 Mar. 1680 (C 66/3217 no. 21); revoked 5 Sept. 1681 (C 66/3225 no. 11).
Succ. by Morley.

1681 Morley, Charles
Succ. William Fanshawe.
Gt. during pleasure of annuity of £100 (from 24 June 1681) 5 Sept. 1681 (C 66/3225 no. 11).
Vac. 1685.

References

APC
Acts of Privy Council
C 66
Chancery Patent Rolls
Chamberlain Letters
The Letters of John Chamberlain, ed. N.E. McClure (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1939)
CPR
Calendar of Patent Rolls
CSPD
Calendar of State Papers Domestic
DNB
Dictionary of National Biography
E 403/1693-1757
Exchequer: tellers views of payments issues 1569-1608
E 403/2259-2291
Exchequer: pells issue books 1597-1660
HP
History of Parliament
LC 2/4/4
Lord Chamberlain: funeral of Elizabeth I
PC 2
Privy Council Registers
PCR
Privy Council Registers (in facsimile)
Prob 11
Prerogative Court of Canterbury: registered copies of wills

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