Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Roydon, Marmaduke

ROYDON, Sir MARMADUKE (1583–1646), merchant-adventurer, son of Ralph Roydon or Rawdon of Rawden Brandesby in Yorkshire, by Jane, daughter of John Brice of Stillington, was baptised at Brandesby on 20 March 1583. At sixteen years of age he went to London, where he was apprenticed to Daniel Hall, a Bordeaux merchant, who sent him as his factor to France; this gave him a knowledge of French (cf. entries in State Papers, Dom. 1632, 18 April, 15 June, and 18 May). He returned to London about 1610 and was elected a common councilman. Soon afterwards he was presented with the freedom of the Clothworkers' Company, and made captain of the city militia. In 1614 he joined a mercantile venture to the New England coast, sending out two ships under Thomas Hunt and John Smith, which sailed from the Downs on 3 March 1614. Roydon was keenly interested in the discovery of the North-West Passage; he was one of the first settlers or ‘planters’ in Barbados, where he is said to have buried above 10,000l. He also adventured to other parts of the West Indies and to Spain, Turkey, and the Canaries in the old world. In 1628–9 he became M.P. for Aldborough; in the civil war he fought on the king's side, raised a regiment at his own cost, and took part in the defence of Basing House (1643). On 28 Dec. of the same year he was knighted. In 1645 he was made governor of Faringdon, Berkshire, where he died on 28 April 1646. In 1611, while a ‘clothworker of All Hallows Barking,’ he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Thorowgood of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire; his son Thomas fought as a colonel in the royal army, and after Marston Moor found an asylum in the Canaries. His nephew, Marmaduke Rawdon [q. v.], lived in his house for some years from 1626.

[Brown's Genesis of U.S.A. pp. 680, 988; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1627, 1632, 1635, 1638–9, 1643; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees; Life of Marmaduke Rawdon (Camd. Soc.), pp. xvii, xxiii.]

C. R. B.