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Robert Naunton: Wikis


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Sir Robert Naunton (1563 - 27 March 1635), was an English politician and writer.



The son of Henry Naunton of Alderton, Suffolk, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a fellow of his college in 1585 and public orator of the university in 1594.[1] Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex, commissioned him to spend some time abroad, sending information about European affairs. On his return, Naunton entered parliament in 1606 as member for Helston, and he sat in the next five parliaments; in 1614 he was knighted, in 1616 he became master of requests and later surveyor of the court of wards. In 1618 his friend George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham procured for him the position of secretary of state. Naunton's strong Protestant opinions led him to favour more active intervention by England in the interests of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and more vigorous application of the laws against Roman Catholics. Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, complained to King James I, who censured Naunton. Consequently, in 1623, Naunton resigned and was made master of the court of wards. He died at Letheringham, Suffolk.

Naunton's daughter Penelope married Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke in his first marriage, and he thus became the grandfather of the sixthEarl of Pembroke.


Naunton's valuable account of Queen Elizabeth's reign was still in manuscript when he died. As Fragmenta regalia, written by Sir Robert Naunton, it was printed in 1641 and again in 1642, a revised edition Fragmenta Regalia, or Observations on the late Queen Elizabeth, her Times and Favourites, being issued in 1653. It was again published in 1824, and an edition edited by Edward Arber was brought out in 1870. It has also been printed in several collections and has been translated into French and Italian. There are several manuscript copies extant, and some of Naunton's letters are in the British Museum and in other collections.

See Memoirs of Sir Robert Naunton (1814).


  1. ^ Naunton, Robert in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sir John Coke
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The Earl of Manchester


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