COLLY, Anthony (c.1503-74), of Glaston, Rutland.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1503, 1st s. of John Colly of Glaston by Isabel, da. of William Palmer of East Carlton, Northants. m. (1) Catherine, da. of Sir William Skeffington of Skeffington Leics., 3da.; (2) Julian, da. of Cuthbert Richardson of Yorks., 2s. 4da., 16 other ch. suc. fa. 1519.

Offices Held

Comptroller of the household to Thomas, 1st Earl of Rutland by 1541; j.p. Rutland 1543, q. 1559, sheriff 1547-8, 1551-2, 1559-60, 1568-9.


As a boy, Colly accompanied his guardian and future father-in-law Sir William Skeffington to Ireland, where he was lord deputy. After Skeffington’s death, Colly entered the service of the 1st Earl of Rutland. He afterwards claimed to have served three times in Ireland, twice in Scotland and twice in France. He was neither rich nor influential, but the county of Rutland had few resident gentlemen, and in consequence he became active in its affairs, and shared for many years its parliamentary representation with the Digby and Harrington families. On 3 Apr. 1563 the bill ‘that cattle, purveyed for the Queen’s household, shall be branded with pitch’ was committed to him; and on 31 Oct. 1566 he was appointed to the conference with the Lords to discuss the question of the succession. He was one of 30 MPs summoned to hear the Queen’s message on the succession on 5 Nov. 1566.

Colly was classified by his bishop in 1564 as a ‘great hinderer in religion’. He made his will on 28 Oct. 1573, when he was ‘by the will and permission of God at this time sick in body’. He wrote of God’s ‘elect and chosen the members of his holy Catholic church, of which church I do faithfully and without doubt believe and perfectly know that I am one’. He had pleaded poverty when asked to contribute to the loan of 1570, mentioning his past services, his small income and his ‘very chargeable’ 25 children. Admitting that his goods and money would not suffice to carry out his bequests, he ordered the profits of his two manors to be used for seven years for this purpose. These and most of his other lands with the residue of his goods he left to his son and heir Anthony, in tail male. He made small bequests to his daughters, servants and tenants. As executors he named his two sons, his sons-in-law John Withers and John Flower and his ‘very friends’ Kenelm Digby and John Hunt. He died 27 Nov. 1574, the will being proved the following 12 Feb.

C142/35/89, 171/67; Vis. Rutland (Harl. Soc. iii), 25-6; LP Hen. VIII, x. 110, 464-5, 501, 502; xix(1), p. 153; HMC Rutland, iv. 319, 356, 362; VCH Rutland, i. 182-3; D’Ewes, 127; CJ, i. 71; Camb. Univ. Lib. Gg. iii. 34, p. 209; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 37; PCC 8 Pyckering.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe