POPHAM, Edward (by 1530-86), of Huntworth, Som.

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. by 1530, 1st s. of Alexander Popham of Huntworth by Joan, da. of Sir Edward Stradling of St. Donat’s, Glam.; bro. of John. m. settlement 1 July 1551, Jane, da. of Richard Norton of Abbots Leigh, Bristol, 7s. inc. Alexander 9da. suc. fa. 11 June 1556.

Offices Held

Collector, subsidy, Som. 1553; escheator, Dorset, Som. 1560-1; recorder, Bridgwater from 20 Apr. 1572; j.p.q. Som. from c.1573, commr. piracy 1577, musters by 1583.1


Popham’s family had been settled in Somerset since the reign of Edward I, and his father acquired lands at the dissolution of the monasteries. His own position as recorder implies some sort of legal education and this may have been at the Middle Temple, though no record has been found of his admission. Three of his sons and his brother John were there.

Popham was presumably returned to Parliament for Hythe as a nominee of the warden of the Cinque Ports. The jurats wrote in 1571: ‘We have great cause by a foreign burgess to be careful what burgesses we take for our ports, for at the last parliament we had not a worse enemy than one of our own burgesses [i.e. Popham], being no portman’. Next he sat for Bridgwater, near the family estate of Huntworth. His brother John was then, in 1571, recorder of both Bristol and Bridgwater and sat for Bristol, leaving Bridgwater for Edward, who, by the time of the 1572 return, was himself recorder of Bridgwater. As both brothers were in the Parliaments of 1571 and 1572, it is difficult to apportion their activities, and only those specifically attributed to Edward Popham by the clerk are here allocated to him. This leaves no activities for Edward in 1571; no speeches at all; and appointment to committees on the following: cloth (with his brother), 16 Feb. 1576; ale, 17 Feb. 1576; innholders and tipplers, 17 Feb. 1576; wine, 21 Feb. 1576; the clerk of the market, 27 Jan. 1581; cloth, 4 Feb. 1581; and, his only activity in the 1584 Parliament (of which his brother was not a Member) the committee for the bill for the better observing of the Sabbath Day, 27 Nov. 1584.2

Popham died in January 1586. He left bequests to his brother, then attorney-general, to other relatives, and to the poor of North Petherton. The executor and residuary legatee was his son Alexander.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. C142/108/104; E179/169/140; OR, i. 410; Lansd. 56, f. 168 seq.; 146, f. 17 seq.
  • 2. Collinson, Som. iii. 71; Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 87-8, 125; C142/108/104; PCC 10 Ketchyn; CPR, 1555-7, p. 242; G. Wilks, Barons of the Cinque Ports and the Parl. Rep. Hythe, 51, 52, 58; D’Ewes, 248, 333; CJ, i. 106, 107, 120, 122.
  • 3. C142/211/156; PCC 20 Windsor.