MANSELL, Edward (1530/31-85), of Margam, Glam.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1530/31, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Rhys Mansell of Margam by 3rd w. and bro. of Anthony. educ. L. Inn, adm. Feb. 1551. m. Jane, da. of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester, 10s. inc. Sir Robert and Sir Thomas 3da. suc. fa. 10 Apr. 1559. Kntd. 1572.1

Offices Held

J.p.q. Glam. 1558/59-d.; chancellor and chamberlain, S. Wales, steward of various lordships 1559-d.; commr. piracy, Glam. 1565, armour 1569, musters 1570, 1578, victuals 1574, tanneries 1574, subsidy 1581; sheriff 1575-6.2


Edward Mansell was born some three or four years after his father’s marriage to a servant of Princess Mary. He was specially admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in February 1551, three years after his father had entered that inn, and was perhaps still a student there when he was elected for Glamorgan to the second Marian Parliament: six months earlier his younger brother Anthony had taken the seat, and he could scarcely have hoped to do so himself if his father had not been sheriff. Nothing is known of his role in the House but he doubtless had some interest in the passage of the Act (1 Mary St.3, c.11) touching the sea sands in Glamorganshire. This initial step in Mansell’s advancement as his father’s successor was followed by his inclusion in the new grant of the chamberlainship of South Wales made in October 1554 to father and son in survivorship. On the eve of his father’s death in April 1559 he was included in the first Elizabethan commission of the peace, as a member of the quorum, and about the same time he sued out a pardon as of Oxwich and Margam, the old and new seats of the family. He had by then married a daughter of the Earl of Worcester, whose father Sir Rhys Mansell had served in peace and war a generation earlier.3

Mansell was hard put to it to maintain his position against the rival interest of Herbert. In 1557 his father had clashed with (Sir) George Herbert over the spoils of a wrecked cargo swept ashore on a stretch of the Gower peninsula, during which Herbert sneered at Mansell’s youth and inexperience. Conflicting jurisdictions lay behind the episode and were to sour relations between the two families. The piracy and smuggling pursued alike by the Mansells and Herberts further exacerbated the matter. When Mansell died in his mid 50s on 15 Aug. 1585, elegies were written by Dafydd Benwyn and Llewelyn Sion.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/123/80, G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, 495.
  • 2. CPR, 1554-5, p. 61; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 60, 69, 109, 126, 142; APC, vii. 285; E179/221/264; Morgannwg, ix. 24.
  • 3. CPR, 1554-5, p. 61; 1558-60, p. 150.
  • 4. St.Ch.2/20/160, 24/365; 4/1/26; 5/P51/39, M12/23; G. Williams, ‘The affray at Oxwich castle, 1557’, Gower, ii. 6-11; HMC Welsh, ii(1), 51, 323, 377; G. J. Williams, Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg, 74; Cal. Penrice and Margam Mss, iv(1), 7-8; APC, ix. 127, 232 331; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 158, 160-1, 164; C142/209/35.