Drake, Robert

Birth Name Drake, Robert
Gender male
Age at Death more than 71 years


From "Drake in England" p. 65-67:

"At the Court held on 25 April 1331 "robert son and heir of Nicholas Drake" paid his entry fine for the 'land of mollond [...of which] his father died seised.' the entry is not only so badly faded as to be partly illegible, even with the aid of an ultra-violet lamp, but the parchment is torn so that some of the text is wholly lost. The final state of his father's lands is thereby lost and we do not know exactly what he had inherited. Like his father he also added to his original holding, and his wife Elen appears to have held some land in her own right, for on 12 June 1337 we find one John Geffray surrendering to the lord "one croft of land which he had acquired of Elen Drake."

"On 6 March 1340 we find him defending a suit brought by Agnes Welynough concerning Cockescroft which he had purchased from her in the Court of 21 April 1337 and for which 8d. annual rent was due to her. Two years later, on 5 October 1342, Giles the Fullere granted the reversion of "one acre of land lying in Estwode then occupied by Julian Androw." Some land in the same place had earlier been granted to his father and was the subject of a plea levied by William Symund on 17 December 1360 to which the jurors replied on 10 May 1361 that "Robert Drake holds three acres of land in a certain field called Great Estwode ... and that the said William may recover two acres of land of the said five acres" (which Robert had claimed were his). So that both claimants were guilty of wrongful claims and were fined.

"A sure sign of the steadily rising status of the family, and a more important one even than his father becoming one of the Molmen some time before the Survey of the manor described above, is revealed by the proceedings in the Court on 12, May 1357. "Robert Drake a bondman of the lord comes and exhibits a certain charter by which he acquired various tenements, (namely 1 acre of rue pasture, a certain lane called Parkers lane and 1 acre of land and pasture-interlined), in Little Leghs." His right to it was disputed by John and Thomas Lucas and the land was taken into the lord's hands. "And upon this comes the said Robert and shows his charters and muniments by which he demonstrates that the said John and Thomas have no right in the said lands and tenements. Therefore the said Robert is admitted at a new rent, paying 6d. rent at the Feast of Michaelmas annually." This entry is especially interesting as illustrating the way in which the old distinctions between bond and free tenants were gradually being eroded. We have already seen how in the former century some of the villeins commuted their labor services, or the most onerous of them, for a money payment. This at once undermined one of the criteria used by the lawyers, the lack of control over his daily activities, to distinguish the unfree from the free tenant. The unfree tenant could not plead in the King's Courts, except when indicted for major felony, and his land could not legally be alienated by charter. Here, however, we find Robert Drake, still technically his lord's bondsman, holding some of his lands by charter, not by surrender and seisin given in the Manor Court. Robert Drake appears in the lists of those paying pannage, small sums for the right to turn a specified number of pigs or piglets to forage in the woods, from 1385 to 1392, the year of his death."


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth before 1321 Great Waltham, Essex, England    
Death 1392 Great Waltham, Essex, England    


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Drake, Nicholas12751331
Mother Grenville, Juliana12851328
    Brother     Drake, William 1320
         Drake, Robert before 1321 1392


Family of Drake, Robert and ?, Ellen

Married Wife ?, Ellen ( * before 1325 + after 1376 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage before 1337   Marriage of Drake, Robert and ?, Ellen  
Name Birth Date Death Date
Drake, Williambefore 1356before 1420-05-02
Drake, Johnbefore 1356before 1445-12-23
Drake, Joanbefore 1360