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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philip Gawdy (1562-1617) was an English landowner and letter writer.

Philip Gawdy was the son of Bassingbourne Gawdy, senior, and Anne Wotton (d. 1586). In 1588 his father married Margaret Syliard, widow of Thomas Darcy of Tolleshunt Darcy.[1]

He was the younger brother of Bassingbourne Gawdy, junior, who married Anne Framlingham, of Crows Hall, Debenham, in 1586.[2]

At first Philip Gawdy studied law in London, and looked for opportunities at the royal court. He wrote to his parents with news including the appointment of Amias Paulet as a commissioner for peace in the Netherlands, and competition for the shrievalties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and news of the conflict in Ireland.[3]

In 1591 he joined the crew of the Revenge commanded by Sir Richard Grenville in a small fleet under Lord Thomas Howard. After encountering the Spanish at the Battle of Flores (1591), Gawdy was captured and imprisoned in Lisbon at São Jorge Castle. He was released after undertaking to pay £200 in an exchange of prisoners.[4]

Philip then mostly lived at West Harling.

In 1605 his nephew, Bassingbourne junior's son, Framlingham Gawdy, had an unsuitable affair with a Miss Havers of Harling, and Philip Gawdy took him to London, showing him the lions at the Tower of London, the royal tombs at Westminster Abbey, and the court, where his "cousins" Mary Gargrave and Elizabeth Southwell (1584-1631), the latter from nearby Woodrising, Norfolk, were maids of honour to Anne of Denmark.[5]

Gawdy married Bridget (d. 1609), daughter of Bartholomew Strangman of Hadleigh, Essex.

Gawdy's letters are held by the British Library.


  1. ^ Jeayes (1906), pp. viii-ix.
  2. ^ Jeayes (1906), p. x.
  3. ^ Natalie Mears, Queenship and Political Discourse in the Elizabethan Realms (Cambridge, 2005), p. 109.
  4. ^ Jeayes (1906), pp. xi-xiv.
  5. ^ Jeays (1906), pp. xvi, 150, 160.
This page was last edited on 23 June 2020, at 18:30
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