Townshend, Roger (1543?-1590) (DNB00)

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TOWNSHEND, Sir ROGER (1543?–1590), courtier, of East Rainham, Norfolk, born about 1543, was son and heir of Richard Townshend, of Brampton, Norfolk, by Catherine, daughter and coheiress of Sir Humphrey Browne, justice of the common pleas [see under Townshend, Sir Roger, (d. 1493)]. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, but did not graduate. Both he and his wife held court offices under Elizabeth, and they and the queen exchanged presents on New Year's day of various years between 1576 and 1581. In the latter year Philip, earl of Arundel, made a deed of gift to Townshend and William Dyx of all his goods, jewels, and other property, in consideration of the payment of certain sums of money (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80 p. 469, 1581–90, p. 117). Besides his Norfolk property Townshend purchased from Thomas Sutton (1532–1611) [q. v.] an estate at Stoke Newington, Middlesex, and also acquired property in Essex. He served with the fleet against the Spanish armada, and on 26 July 1588 was knighted at sea by Lord Howard of Effingham. His portrait was to be seen on the margin of the tapestry in the House of Lords (destroyed by fire in 1834) depicting the defeat of the Armada [see Pine, John]. He died two years later, in June 1590, at Stoke Newington, and was buried on the 30th in the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate. He married, about 1564, Jane, youngest daughter of Sir Michael Stanhope [q. v.] of Shelford, Nottinghamshire, who in 1597 was remarried to Henry, lord Berkeley.

His eldest son, Sir John Townshend (1564–1603), sat in parliament from 1593 to 1601, served in the Low Countries under Sir Francis Vere in 1592, and four years later accompanied Essex in his expedition against Cadiz, and was knighted for his services. He was mortally wounded in 1603 in a duel on Hounslow Heath with Sir Matthew Browne, who was killed on the spot. Townshend died of his wounds on 2 Aug. His son, Sir Roger (1588–1637), who was created a baronet on 16 April 1617, was father of Horatio, first viscount Townshend [q. v.]

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 93, 355, where are full lists of authorities; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Carthew's Hundred of Launditch, vols. ii. iii. passim; Playfair's Brit. Families of Antiquity, i. 181–2; Fuller's Worthies of England, ii. 152–3; Kennet's Register and Chronicle, p. 409 n.; Richards's Hist. of King's Lynn, i. 168.]

G. Le G. N.