At this point in our family history, there were many changes to the social structure of England. Our family have to this point been members of the Royal family, members of the Royal Court, Knights and landowners.
With the Herricks, our lineage becomes removed from the Royal lines, and from this point onwards our great grandfathers were important members of the town community.
They were merchants, adventurers, mayors, aldermen in various towns, including London, Leicester, Newcastle, and in Dublin
When King Henry VIII came to power he set about destruction of the Roman Catholic Church, and he was responsible for the tearing down of many buildings, castles, priories throughout the country.
While he is a cousin of ours, as he was the son of King Henry VII who defeated King Richard at Bosworth, perhaps his most famous claim to fame is his many marriages.
In Leicester he ordered the removal of the building known as the Greyfriets Priory. Later another King granted the lands to the Herrick family.
King Henry VIII was King during the time that the Herricks lived in Leicester.
Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. His struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and his own establishment as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Yet he remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.
Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. He is also well known for a long personal rivalry with both Francis I of France and the Habsburg monarch Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (King Charles I of Spain), his contemporaries with whom he frequently warred.
Domestically, he is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering in the theory of the divine right of kings to England. Besides asserting supremacy over the Church of England in its break from Rome in initiating the English Reformation, he also greatly expanded royal power. Charges of treason and heresy were commonly used to quash dissent, those accused were often executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder instead.
He achieved much of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, many of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Figures such as Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, and Thomas Cranmer figured prominently in Henry's administration. An extravagant spender, he depended on spoils from the Dissolution of the Monasteries as well as various acts of the Reformation Parliament to divert money formerly bound for Rome to greatly increase the royal income. Despite the massive influx of money from these acts, Henry was always on the verge of financial ruin, due to his personal extravagance, as well as his numerous costly, and ultimately fruitless, continental wars.
His contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive, educated and accomplished king, and he has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". Besides ruling with considerable power, he also engaged himself as an author and composer. His desire to provide England with a male heir – which stemmed partly from personal vanity and partly because he believed a daughter would be unable to consolidate the Tudor dynasty and the fragile peace that existed following the Wars of the Roses – led to the two things for which Henry is most remembered: his six marriages and his break with Rome (which would not allow a annulment), leading to the English Reformation. Henry became severely obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is frequently characterised in his later life as a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king. He was succeeded by his son Edward VI.
Robert Herrick and Mary Manby were married in 1567 in Leicester. A new era had commenced.
A New Queen was on the throne.
|Reign||17 November 1558 –|
24 March 1603
|Coronation||15 January 1559|
|Predecessors||Mary I and Philip|
The Parliament regulated the clothes that can only be worn by each rank and it was considered a defiance of the order if a laborer wore clothes of the rich. Sumptuary laws were imposed by rulers to curb the expenditure of the people. These laws applied to food, beverages, furniture, jewelry and clothing. They were used to control behavior and ensure that a specific class structure was maintained. Elizabethan Sumptuary Laws dictated what color and type of clothing individuals were allowed to own and wear. This allowed an easy and immediate way to identify rank and privilege.
The real growth in society was in the merchant class. Within the nobility class there was a distinction between old families and new. Most of the old families were Catholic, and the new families were Protestant. During Shakespeare’s time there were only about 55 noble families in England.
At the head of each noble family is a duke, a baron or an earl. This class is the lords and ladies of the land. A person becomes a member of nobility by birth, or by a grant from the queen or king. Noble titles were hereditary, passing from father to oldest son. It took a crime such as treason for a nobleman to lose his title. Many nobles died during the War of the Roses, a series of civil wars fought during the 15th century.
The Tudor monarchy, Elizabeth, her father Henry VIII, and her grandfather Henry VII rarely appointed new nobles to replace those who died. They viewed the nobility class as a threat to their power and preferred to keep the number of them small. Being a member of the nobility class often brought debt rather than profit. The expectations of the class and the non paying honorific offices could bring terrible financial burdens.
They maintained huge households, and conspicuous consumption and lavish entertainment was expected. Visiting nobles to England were the responsibility of the English nobility to house and entertain at their own expense. Appointment to a post as a foreign ambassador required the ambassador to maintain a household of as many 100 attendants. Most of Queen Elizabeth’s council, chief officers in the counties came from the noble families. They were expected to serve in an office, such as being an ambassador to a foreign country, at their own expense of course.
GentryThe Gentry class included knights, squires, gentlemen, and gentlewomen who did not work with their hands for a living. Their numbers grew during Queen Elizabeth’s reign and became the most important social class in England. Wealth was the key to becoming a part of the gentry class. This class was made of people not born of noble birth who by acquiring large amounts of property became wealthy landowners.
The rise of the gentry was the dominant feature of Elizabethan society. They essentially changed things, which launched out new paths whether at home or overseas, provided leadership and spirit of the age, who gave it character and did its work during this era. The gentry were the solid citizens of Elizabethan England. Francis Drake, the famous explorer and Sir Walter Raleigh, who led the way to the English colonization of America were of the gentry class.
Two of the queen’s chief ministers, Burgley and Walsingham were products of the gentry. Francis Bacon, the great essayer and philosopher also came from this class. The gentry were the backbone of Elizabethan England. They went to Parliament and served as justices of the Peace. They combined the wealth of the nobility with the energy of the sturdy peasants from whom they had sprung.
MerchantThe Tudor era saw the rise of modern commerce with cloth and weaving leading the way. The prosperous merchant class emerged from the ashes of the Wars of the Roses. The prosperity of the wool trade led to a surge in building and the importance cannot be overstated. Shipping products from England to various ports in Europe and to the New World also became a profitable business for the merchants. Prices for everyday food and household items that came from other countries increased as the merchants gained a monopoly on the sales of all goods under the pretence it would benefit the country where it really benefited the pocket of the merchants.
YeomanryThis was the “middling” class who saved enough to live comfortably but who at any moment, through illness or bad luck be plunged into poverty. This class included the farmers, tradesmen and craft workers. They took their religion very seriously and could read and write. This class of people was prosperous and sometimes their wealth could exceed those of the gentry, but the difference was how they spent their wealth. The yeoman’s were content to live more simply, using their wealth to improve their land and expand it.
The last class of Elizabethan England was the day laborers, poor husbandmen, and some retailers who did not own their own land. Artisans, shoemakers, carpenters, brick masons and all those who worked with their hands belonged to this class of society. In this class we can also put our great swarms of idle serving-men and beggars. Under Queen Elizabeth I, the government undertook the job of assisting the laborers class and the result was the famous Elizabethan Poor Laws which resulted in one of the world’s first government sponsored welfare programs. This era was generally peaceful as the battles between the Protestants and the Catholics and those between the Parliament and the Monarchy had subsided.
For more information visit http://thelostcolony.org/education/elizabethan-era/ or a wikipedia search!
In 1603 again during the lives of the Herrick family King James I was crowned the King.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth encouraged trade with overseas countries, and in the Herrick papers are several references to letters received from the Queen in regard to merchants from Leicester, going to Turkey.
Robert's brother William Herrick:
Herrick was the son of John Heyrick of Leicester and was baptised on 9 December 1562. His father was an ironmonger at Leicester. He was sent to London in about 1574 to be apprenticed to his elder brother Nicholas Herrick, a goldsmith in Cheapside. After six years he set up in business on his own in Wood Street on premises leased from the Goldsmith’s Company. He also became a moneylender and in a few years he had made himself a fortune and was able to purchase Beau Manor Park from the Earl of Essex, and obtained a right to arms. He came to the notice of Queen Elizabeth, who sent him on a mission to the Ottoman Porte and on his return he was rewarded with a lucrative appointment in the Exchequer. He was made a freeman of Leicester in 1601 when he presented the corporation with a dozen silver spoons in lieu of a fee.
In 1601, Herrick was elected Member of Parliament for Leicester. He became principal jeweller to the King, Queen and Prince of Wales in 1603 and held the post until 1625. He became a freeman of the City of London in May 1605 and was knighted in the same year. He served as MP for Leicester for part of the 1604–1611 parliament. He was prime warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company from 1605 to 1606. In 1607 he took as apprentice his nephew Robert the future poet. In 1621 he was elected MP for Leicester again.
Herrick died at the age of about 90 and was buried at St Martin’s Church, Leicester.
Herrick married Joan May, daughter of Richard May of London and of Mayfield Place, Sussex on 6 May 1596, and had at least one son. His brother Robert was also an MP
The Herrick Papers have been digitised from a collection which is held at the Oxford University.
The papers give an insight into the life of the family in those days. It was rather common to make arranged marriages. Most of the husbands were from respected merchant families, as were the wives.
King James had his favourite citizens and some of our ancestors were among his chosen few!
|Reign||24 July 1567 – 27 March 1625|
|Coronation||29 July 1567|
|Predecessor||Mary, Queen of Scots|
William Manbie, a grocer, dealt in hats, mercery, haberdashery, grocery, linens, hemp, soap, packthread, honey, and other goods. He had in addition considerable stocks of malt, rye, and barley, and leased a close at Abbey Gate for his dairy and stables, leaving goods and chattels valued at £359. (fn. 71) Thus grocers developed into mercers.
Elizabeth b 1565 m. Robert Orpwood (Goldsmith) of London
|Sir William Herrick 1562 - 1653|
|Sir William Herrick 1557 - 1653|
In 1591 Robert Herrick, a Leicester glover who had removed to Mountsorrel, requested to be allowed to continue in liberty of the borough. He was not allowed to keep up his shop in Leicester, but was permitted to trade as a stranger. Herrick was not the only one concerned, for in 1594 the glovers of Mountsorrel petitioned their landlord, the Earl of Huntingdon, to help them reverse this decision. The borough remained adamant, for the objection to foreign glovers was not merely that they sold in the town but that they bought woolfells needed by Leicester. Herrick of Mountsorrel led the glovers of his town and of Ashby de la Zouch and Loughborough, with the support of the Earl of Huntingdon, in a struggle against Leicester corporation.
The borough debarred the glovers of all the country save Loughborough from trading in the Saturday market, for which prohibition the Leicester glovers had placed £5 at the borough's disposal. A compromise was arrived at, by which ten Mountsorrel and six Loughborough glovers were to have a monopoly of the 'outside' trade in return for taking up residence in the town. The Mountsorrel men, however, refused to abide by this and told the corporation their charter was 'only fit to stop mustard-pots'. Then the attorney-general of the duchy entered a bill in Star Chamber and sued a quo warranto against the glovers' market at Mountsorrel. Settlement was eventually reached. The country glovers were to pay 10s. each for a licence to trade, and of this 5s. was to go to the town glovers. In addition the country were to pay to the town glovers 1s. apiece for brotherhood money. At the time of the Civil War the town glovers attempted to reverse the position and the corporation was induced to shut up the shops of the country glovers, who were nevertheless readmitted to the market on payment of appropriate fees.
Trinity Hospital, Leicester
In 1614, King James I granted a new Charter, and gave the institution the name “Hospital of the Holy Trinity”. The Mayor of Leicester was to be the Master during his term of office, assisted by four senior Aldermen and two Borough Chamberlains, while the Chaplain was to be appointed by the Duchy of Lancaster.
The medieval building remained unaltered until it was rebuilt in 1776, largely at the expense of King George III. The residential portion had to be rebuilt again in 1901-2 when accommodation for thirty-six residents was provided.
In 1994, the old hospital premises were sold as it was no longer feasible to maintain them, and a nearby site on Western Boulevard was purchased. The new building, with self-contained flats for twenty-two elderly residents and a warden, was formally opened in 1995 and the new Chapel consecrated by the Bishop of Leicester.
The Master of Trinity Hospital continues to be the Lord Mayor of Leicester during his or her term of office. The Governors, who meet quarterly, consist of six members nominated by the Council, the Chaplain, the Master and four co-opted members.
An ancient stipend of £246 per annum has been paid by the Duchy of Lancaster to the Hospital since its foundation in 1331. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a Visitor to Trinity Hospital and appoints the Chaplain by Letters Patent on behalf of Her Majesty.
The present Chaplain is The Reverend Canon Barry Naylor who was appointed in October 2009.
The will of Elizabeth (Manbey)
His brother's will