Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameMaurice BERKELEY
Birth1576
Death1617
FatherSir Henry BERKELEY (1547-1586)
MotherMargaret LYGON (1553-1617)
Notes for Maurice BERKELEY
Maurice Berkeley (c. 1576 – 1617) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1614.

Family

Maurice Berkeley was the eldest son of Sir Henry Berkeley (d.1601) of Bruton Abbey, Somerset, and Margaret Lygon (d.1616),[1] widow of Sir Thomas Russell (d.1574) of Strensham, Worcestershire, and daughter of William Lygon (d. 29 September 1567), esquire, of Madresfield, Worcestershire, by Eleanor Dennis. By his mother's marriage to Sir Henry Berkeley, Maurice Berkeley had two brothers of the whole blood, Henry Berkeley and Edward Berkeley, and by her first marriage to Sir Thomas Russell, Maurice Berkeley had a half-brother, Thomas Russell (1570-1634) of Strensham, who married firstly Katherine Bampfield (d. before 1599) and secondly, Anne St. Leger, widow of Thomas Digges, and who in 1616 was overseer of the will of William Shakespeare.[2]

Career

On 13 February 1590 Berkeley matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, at the age of thirteen, together with his eleven-year-old brother, Henry. His half-brother, Thomas Russell, was also at Queen's College at the time, in his second year. Berkeley was awarded BA on 14 February 1593, and was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1594.[3]

In the 1590s acrimonious conflicts between Sir Henry Berkeley's father and Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, required the intervention of the Queen and the Star Chamber; however Maurice Berkeley appears to have managed to remain uninvolved in his father's long-standing quarrels with the Earl.[4]

Berkeley was with Essex in the expedition to Cadiz in 1596, and in January 1598 was to have accompanied his cousin, Sir Robert Cecil, to France, although it is unclear whether he did travel to the continent at that time. In August of that year he requested a military appointment. In 1601 he succeeded his father.

In 1597, Berkeley was elected Member of Parliament for Truro. He was elected MP for Somerset in 1601 and for Minehead in 1604.[5] In 1614 he was re-elected MP for Somerset.[6]

Marriage

Berkeley married Elizabeth Killigrew, the daughter of Sir William Killigrew (d. 23 November 1622) and Margery Saunders (d. in or after 1623), daughter of Thomas Saunders, gentleman, of Uxbridge, and widow firstly, of Robert Wolman (d.1571), and secondly, of John Leigh (d. 19 or 20 January 1576), esquire.[7] According to Bellany, Elizabeth Killigrew's father, William Killigrew, and his brother, Henry Killigrew, 'made their fortunes at Elizabeth I's court'. William Killigrew was a diplomatic courier, a groom of the Privy Chamber by 1576, and Treasurer of the Chamber in 1595. He held various offices in Cornwall and Devon, was a member of Parliament, was knighted by King James I at Theobalds on 7 May 1603, and in 1605-8 was Chamberlain of the Exchequer.[8]

By Elizabeth Killigrew Sir Maurice Berkeley had five sons, Charles, Henry, Maurice, William and John, and two daughters, Margaret and Jane.

Death

Sir Maurice Berkeley's mother died in the winter of 1616, leaving him her household goods at Bruton and the wedding ring 'which I had of his father, my late husband, Sir Henry Barkley, knight', and leaving his half-brother, Thomas Russell, a basin and ewer of silver 'which was his father's, Sir Thomas Russell, deceased'. Berkeley survived his mother by only a few months. He made his will on 26 April 1617, and died on 11 May, purportedly ‘far indebted’. He left Bruton to his eldest son, Charles. His son William Berkeley was later Governor of Virginia.[9]
Last Modified 3 Aug 2013Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh