COLYER, James (c.1560-97), of Darlaston, Staffs.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1560, 1st s. of Robert Colyer of Darlaston by his 1st w. Agnes, da. of Sir Thomas Venables of Kinderton, Cheshire. m. 1586, Jane, da. of Robert Needham of Shenton, Notts., 1s. suc. fa. 1586.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1586.


The Colyer family, established in the vicinity of Stone, Staffordshire, during the reign of Henry VII, did well out of the dissolution of the monasteries. Inheriting the manors of Darlaston, Stone, Yerlett and Hilderstone with about 6,500 acres of land, Colyer at once began to sell out. In his first year he disposed of 100 houses and 1,000 acres of land for £480. Each year more went until, by his death, he had nothing left save a house in Stone called Newhall and three small properties. Over a period of ten years he realised £2,200. His reasons are unknown.2

He was returned at Newcastle-under-Lyme through the influence of the mayor Ralph Smythe, who had married Colyer’s sister Margaret. The Robert Colyer then on the town council was presumably a relative. Colyer died intestate 14 July 1597, leaving a nine year-old son.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. C142/215/253; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 385.
  • 2. Erdeswick’s Surv. Staffs. 33-5, 38, 50, 509; C142/215/253; Colls. Hist. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiii), 259; (xv), 170, 171, 172, 181, 182, 191, 192; (xvi), 102, 103, 132, 146, 156, 163; Wards 7/24/184.
  • 3. T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 16, 46, 206; Wards 7/24/184.