MANLEY, Edward (by 1527-80), of Northampton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1527, o.s. of Lawrence Manley of Northampton. m. (1) 30 Sept. 1550, 3s. 1da.; (2) by 1556, Cecily, da. of Robert Pargiter of Greatworth, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. 31 Dec. 1557.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Northampton 1550-1, ?1563-4, mayor 1559-60, 1566-7, 1574-5.2


It was either shortly before or shortly after the death of his father, who was then serving his fourth term as mayor of Northampton, that Edward Manley was returned to Mary’s last Parliament, and the election may thus be seen either as Lawrence Manley’s last municipal achievement or as the borough’s tribute to him. Manley’s fellow-Member was his kinsman by marriage Thomas Colles.3

Manley had been brought up to his father’s trade—his shop at Towcester was burgled in 1555—and his sons by his first marriage also became tradesmen in Northampton, but for those of his second he had higher ambitions. He sent the eldest of them, Robert, to the Middle Temple, and the bequest of plate to Robert in his will of 31 Jan. 1580 was conditional on the son’s pleading ‘my cause ... before the justices ... at the castle of Northampton as a councillor lawfully admitted by order of law within eight years thereafter’. There is some evidence that Manley’s social aspirations and apparent partiality for his younger children offended the older ones: in the year before he made his will he had been engaged in a lawsuit with one of these, Richard, and the intention expressed in the will to set ‘good direction and order between my wife and children’ implies dissension between them. Yet Richard Manley was bequeathed £50, and if the younger children were favoured, the two youngest sons receiving 300 marks each and the two unmarried daughters 200 marks, this was on the ground that the others had already had ‘their portions’, and the naming of Robert, rather than the heir Lawrence, as sole executor was presumably due to his status as a student of law. The will was proved on 8 Feb. 1580. Manley had continued to live in Northampton and he asked to be buried ‘under the stone where the corpse of my father was laid’ in All Saints’ church there.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/112/127. E315/345, f. 2; PCC 18 Noodes, 39 Arundell; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 40.
  • 2. Recs. Northampton, ed. Cox and Markham, ii. 322, 551, 560; the second term as bailiff seems inconsistent with his already having been mayor.
  • 3. Vis. Northants. 40.
  • 4. Bridges, Northants. i. 464-6; CPR, 1555-7, p. 28; M.T. Adm. i. 41; M.T. Recs. i. 424; PCC 39 Arundell; Req.2/73/42.