MERLEY, Henry (d.c.1415), of Dover, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

Offices Held

Commr. to search for smugglers, Kent Oct. 1381, Oct. 1382.

Common sergeant, Dover from Sept. 1385; jurat 1407-8, 1410-11.1

Collector of customs and subsidies, Sandwich 5 Nov. 1394-17 Feb. 1397.

Cinque Ports’ bailiff at Yarmouth Sept.-Nov. 1405.2


Henry was probably related to Thomas, William and Clement Merley, who all paid maltolts at Dover in 1365-6. He himself paid maltolts of 3s.4d. in 1376-7 and 5s. in 1381-2. Meanwhile, in 1378, he had sold to the commonalty stone worth 22s. with which to build a new tower on the town walls. His name occurs often in the local court books after 1383, frequently as a defendant in suits for debt, and he witnessed several deeds in the town between 1399 and 1407.3 Merley’s trading activities included the export of cloth from Dover (certainly in the 1390s). He also owned some land in the hundred of Bewsborough, on which, as a Portsman, he claimed exemption from the parliamentary fifteenths.4 Last recorded at an appearance in the local court in 1411, by August 1415 he was ‘lately deceased’.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: A. P.M. Wright


  • 1. Egerton 2088, f. 157, 2091, ff. 18, 65.
  • 2. Romney assmt. bk. 2, f. 63.
  • 3. Add. 26915, ff. 6, 43, 65; Egerton 2088, ff. 2-156, 2091, ff. 2, 345; Dover Chs. ed. Statham, 134, 162.
  • 4. E122/126/25-27, 45; E179/225/14, 22.
  • 5. Dover Chs. 173.