Arthur Atye

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Sir Arthur Atye or Atey (died 1604) was an English academic and politician.[1]


Atye graduated B.A. at Christ Church, Oxford in 1560, and M.A. in 1564.[2] A fellow of Merton College, Oxford, he became Principal of St Alban Hall in 1572.[3] Between 1566 and 1568 he went with John Man on a diplomatic mission in Spain.[4] He was six times a Member of Parliament: for Liverpool in 1572 and 1584; for Fowey in 1589; for Shaftesbury in 1593; for Dunwich in 1597; and for Bere Alston (1604).[1]

He acted as secretary to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester.[5] Later he worked for Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and translated political works from Spanish.[6] He was knighted in 1603.[1]

Atye was also one of the trading group in Leicester's circle involved in commerce with Morocco, with Alexander Avenon and Richard Staper.[7] The merchant Benedict Barnham left money to Atye and his wife.[8]

Atye was residing at Kilburn when he died; he owned property in several other locations around London, including Harrow-on-the-Hill where he was buried. His eldest son and heir Robert was still a minor.[9]


Atye married first Anne Quarles, the widow of William Ricthorne, who died in 1583; there were no children of the marriage. He then Judith, daughter of Walter Hungerford of Cadenham. They had three or four sons, and a daughter.[1] His widow married Sir John Dormer.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d, Atye, Arthur (d. 1604), of London and Kilburn, Mdx.
  2. ^ James M. Dutcher; Anne Lake Prescott (2008). Renaissance Historicisms: Essays in Honor of Arthur F. Kinney. Associated University Presse. p. 339 note 12. ISBN 978-0-87413-001-0. 
  3. ^ Anthony à Wood (1796). The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford:. At the Clarendon Press, Printed for the editor. p. 905. 
  4. ^ Hannah Crummé, The Impact of Lord Burghley and the Earl of Leicester’s Spanish-Speaking Secretaries, Yearbook of the Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies Volume 21 (2011), pp. 1-48. (PDF) at p. 20.
  5. ^ H. R. Woudhuysen (23 May 1996). Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558-1640. Oxford University Press. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-19-159102-0. 
  6. ^ Alexandra Gajda (15 March 2012). The Earl of Essex and Late Elizabethan Political Culture. Oxford University Press. pp. 80–2. ISBN 978-0-19-969968-1. 
  7. ^ Archer, Ian W. "Staper, Richard". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/49969.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ Bendall, Sarah. "Barnham, Benedict". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1488.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  9. ^ John Summerson, The Book of Architecture of John Thorpe in Sir John Soane's Museum, The Volume of the Walpole Society Vol. 40, (1964-1966), pp. iii-ix, 1-41, 43-109, 111-133; at p. 95. Published by: The Walpole Society. Stable URL:
  10. ^ Philip Sidney (2012). The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney. Oxford University Press. pp. xxix note 21. ISBN 978-0-19-955822-3.