(2nd B. North of Kirtling)
Born: 27 Feb 1530, St. Thomas Thorppestyll, London, Middlesex, England
Died: 3 Dec 1600, Charterhouse, London, Middlesex, England
Buried: 12 Feb 1601, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, England
Father: Edward NORTH (1° B. North of Kirtling)
Mother: Alice SQUIRE
Married: Winifred RICH (B. North of Kirtling) 1555, London, Middlesex, England
1. John NORTH
2. Thomas NORTH (b. 1555)
3. Henry NORTH (Sir Knight)
4. Mary NORTH (b. 1558)
Educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and then introduced to court life, excelled in tilting, and a story told that while still a youth, Princess Elizabeth, at a tournament, tied around his arm a red silk scarf, which he cherished and wore throughout his life.
Elected Knight of the Shire of Cambridge in 1555, sat in Parliament the same year. He was among the Knights of the Bath, created at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and the same year, was one of the challengers at the Grand Tournament in Greenwich Park.
Edward, 1st Lord North, settled Kirtling on his son Roger in 1563 and died in 1564. Upon his father death, he took his seat in the House of Lords. In 1568 he was elected alderman and free burgess of Cambridge, and along with the Earl of Sussex, was sent to Vienna to invest the Emperor Maximilian with the order of the Garter. On his return, he was commissioned to present Elizabeth, a portrait of the Archduke Charles.
He was Appointed Lord-Lieutenant and custos rotulorum of Cambridgeshire in 1569. In 1572, was one of the six and twenty peers whom were summoned to Westminster as judges on the trial of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who was ultimately condemned to death.
After being elected High Stewardship of Cambridgeshire, he departed on a special mission to the Court of Charles IX of France, and again the following year, when Valentine Dale was resident Ambassador. On the death of Charles IX, he was titled, "Ambassador Extraordinary", with letters of congratulations to Henri III, and charged with the more delicate task of demanding a large measure of toleration for the Huguenots and renewing the Treaty of Bloise. He was a master of the Italian Tongue which stood him in great favor with Catherine de'Medici and the King.
On 7 Aug 1574, at Sheen House in Surrey, Lady Douglas Howard gave bith to Robert, son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. According to a later deposition by Douglas, they were secretly married late that year, well before the birth. When the boy was two, Leicester took him to Newington to be brought up by Lord North as befitted an earl's son, but he refused to support Douglas's claim that she was his wife.
By the end of 1575, there were a number of complaints against both Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely, and his wife Jane Awder (c.1524-1613). Lord North accused them of corruption and one of their tenants called Jane “Jezebel”. These matters appear to have been settled by Cox relinquishing property, in particular to Lord North.
Roger purchased his house in 1577, the estate of Mildenhall in Suffix. The manor of Mildenhall was confiscated by the Crown at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and later sold to Sir Roger North of Kirtling, whose son Henry settled in Mildenhall soon after 1586 and built the manor house. The estate passed through four generations of the North family.
In 1578 Queen Elizabeth stayed three days at Kirtling Towers while on a tour of East Anglia. Vast amounts of food and drink were brought in. Poultry and game alone cost £158 - there were 23 varieties. £88 worth of meat and venison came from a local park for 128 pasties. A cart load of oysters arrived, together with 74 hogs heads of bear, 2 tons of ale and 6 hogs heads of claret plus white wine. The Queen travelled with 200 young men in white velvet, 300 men in black velvet and 1500 serving men. The Queen was played into supper by the Kirtling minstrels and others loaned by the Earl of Leicester. After supper the Queen and Lord Roger played cards, he tactfully losing. Next day there was a joust in the park. Lord North gave the Queen a jewel worth £120 and when she left he attended her to Lord Leicester’s at Wansted.
Roger North served the Earl of Leicester in the Low Countries, and at the battle of Zupthen (1586), North was wounded by musketshot, and with splended courage, mounted his steed and returned to battle with one boot on and one boot off to lead his men. This act awarded him with the title of "Knight Banneret". This is the same battle that claimed Sir Phillip Sidney, and Lord North was one of the dignitaries selected to participate in the state funeral of Sir Phillip in 1587. Upon his return to England North was named Treasure of the Household and sworn a member of the Privy Council.
Lord North was one of a very few gentry in attendance at the "shotgun" wedding of Lettice Knollys, to the Earl of Leicester. Roger North had married Winifred Rich, daughter of Lord Rich and widow of Sir Henry Dudley, making him a brother-in-law to the Earl of Leicester.
His eldest son, John, predeceased his father, so when Roger North died on 3 Dec 1600, he was succeeded by his grandson was Dudley North, 3rd Baron North.
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