ASTLEY, Sir Jacob, 1st Bt. (c.1639-1729), of Melton Constable, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1685 - 1687
1690 - 1701
1702 - 1705
1710 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1639, o.s. of Sir Edward Astley by his 1st cos. Elizabeth, da. of Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley. educ. Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1659. m. 6 Feb. 1661, Blanch, da. of Sir Philip Wodehouse, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Kimberley, Norf., 4s. 1da. suc. fa. 1653; his paternal uncle, Sir Isaac Astley, 1st Bt., to family estates of Hillmorton, Warws. and Melton Constable 1659; and to entailed estates of his maternal gd.-fa. Lord Astley 1688. cr. Bt. 25 June 1660.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norf. 1663-4; ld. of Trade Sept. 1714-July 1717.


Astley belonged to one of the chief families of Norfolk, which he represented in most Parliaments for nearly 40 years. A Tory, he was won over to the Whigs by Walpole at George I’s accession, when he accepted a seat at the board of Trade, joining with a Whig to defeat two Tory candidates at the general election.1 In Parliament he voted for the septennial bill but followed Walpole into opposition in 1717, losing his place. Dropped in 1722,2 presumably owing to his age, he died 17 Aug. 1729.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. J. H. Plumb, Walpole, i. 210 n. 2.
  • 2. Account of Norfolk elections 1713-68, in Norwich City Central Lib. N.R.S. 13688, 28D4.