ALEY, Robert.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

Family and Education

Offices Held

Biography

Robert Aley may have been related to, or was perhaps an ancestor of, the Aley family of Gussage St. Andrew, Dorset. John Aley of that village and William Bond, Robert Aley’s fellow-Member, probably married into the same family, the Stanleys of Gussage St. Andrew, and Denis Bond, William’s son, was to name one John Aley an overseer of his will. In 1544 a Robert Ley held lands in Yetminster, Dorset and was assessed at 6s.8d. towards the benevolence in the neighbouring hundred of Buckland Newton, where his name follows that of a William Bond, yeoman of the guard and kinsman of the ‘changeling’ Member.1

There was also a family of this name in New Windsor, Berkshire, one of whom married a sister of William Symonds. An illegitimate son of Sir Giles Strangways I bore the name Thomas Symonds, and as Strangways owned land in Berkshire it is possible that the mother was of the Windsor family: in that case, Robert Aley could have belonged to the Aleys of Berkshire, and Strangways, himself the senior knight for Dorset in this Parliament, have nominated him at Weymouth. There was a groom in the wafery of the Household of this name, but as the post was a humble one and its holder enjoyed no advancement in 30 years, he is not likely to have been the Member.2

Of Aley’s role in the Commons nothing is known. A man of his name was reported by a Dorset priest to have been in London on 29 Nov. 1529, a few weeks after Henry VIII had opened the Parliament. During his time in the House Aley may have attracted ministerial attention: in 1536 Richard Cromwell alias Williams, writing to Cromwell from Lincoln, presumed that his uncle would have few servants with him and sent him Robert Aley. There appears to be no further information which might relate to the Member for Weymouth, one of the most obscure figures in the ranks of the Commons of 1529.