SLYFIELD, Edmund (c.1520-91), of Slyfield Place, Great Bookham, Surr.

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.1520, 1st (or 2nd but 1st surv.) s. of John Slyfield by his w. Jane. m. Elizabeth, da. of Walter Lambert of Carshalton, 5s. 11da. suc. fa. 1530.

Offices Held

J.p. Surr. from c.1552, sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1581-2.


Slyfield was a leading Surrey gentleman, related to the Westons and well known to the Mores of Loseley and to Sir Thomas Cawarden, whose will he witnessed and who left him a bequest of armour. It was probably his connexion with the Howards of Effingham which gained him a parliamentary seat at Gatton in the absence abroad of Thomas Copley, lord of the borough. For his return at Grampound he may have relied on court patronage, perhaps the Earl of Bedford or his wife’s relatives, the Paulets, Sidneys and Arundells. No record has been found of any activity by Slyfield in either Parliament. His name appears on the first Elizabethan commission of the peace, but is omitted, reason unknown, in 1561 and 1564. In addition to his offices as justice of the peace and sheriff, he was employed in various duties, for example, in 1567 as one of three commissioners appointed by the archbishop of Canterbury to arbitrate in a local dispute between Thomas Purdam and his mother, acting through her second husband John Grove. On at least two occasions Slyfield’s own activities were investigated: in 1583, when the good people of Send, where he held property, complained that he had stopped up a highway, and three years later when he quarrelled with John Reve, vicar of Great Bookham.

Slyfield died 13 Feb. 1591, having drawn up his will two months earlier. The widow was sole executrix and the eldest son Henry and son-in-law Edward Skeete, husband of the daughter Audrey, overseers.

Surr. Arch. Colls. v. 43-9; xviii. 212; xxv. 88-90; C142/51/10; PCC 4 Mellershe, 18 Sainberbe; HMC 7th Rep. 620, 637, 642, 662; APC, xix. 38-9.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge