Robert Cawdrey did not go to college, but became a school teacher in Oakham, Rutland, in 1563. In 1565, Cawdrey was ordained as a deacon, and 22 October 1571 he was made rector of South Luffenham. In 1576 he was chastised for not reading the approved texts in his sermons, and in 1578 he performed a marriage even though he was not authorized to do so, and was briefly suspended.
His suspension lasted only a few months but, in 1586, he was again in trouble for violating the rules and was called before his bishop, Richard Howland.
The full name of his famous dictionary is A table alphabeticall conteyning and teaching the true writing, and understanding of hard vsuall English wordes, borrowed from the Hebrew, Greeke, Latine, or French, &c. With the interpretation thereof by plaine English words, gathered for the benefit & helpe of ladies, gentlewomen, or any other unskilfull persons.
Whereby they may the more easilie and better vnderstand many hard English wordes, vvhich they shall heare or read in scriptures, sermons, or elswhere, and also be made able to vse the same aptly themselues. Robert Cawdrey had many sons.