LEIGHTON, Edward (by 1525-93), of Wattlesborough, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. by 1525, 1st s. of John Leighton of Wattlesborough by Joyce, da. of Edward Sutton, 2nd Lord Dudley; bro. of Sir Thomas†. educ. G. Inn, adm. 1541. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of one Edwards, wid. of one Meverell; (2) by 1553, Anne, da. of Paul Darrell of Lillingstone Dayrell, Bucks., 4s. inc. Thomas† 3da. suc. fa. 28 Feb. 1532. Kntd. 1591.1
Sheriff, Mont. 1549-50, 1591-2, Salop 1567-8, 1587-8; j.p. Salop 1561-d.; steward, barony of Cause 1562; escheator, Salop 1563-4; commr. musters, Shrewsbury 1563, Salop 1577-91; member, council in the marches of Wales by 1570; custos rot. Salop 1587; dep. lt. 1588.2
Edward Leighton came of a family prominent in the west of Shropshire; his great-grandfather and grandfather, and perhaps his father, had been knights of the shire. Until the 3rd Duke of Buckingham’s forfeiture the family had held its lands from the house of Stafford, of whose barony of Cause Leighton was to become steward in 1562. He was a kinsman of the houses of Dudley and Devereux.3
Leighton became a ward of his stepfather Richard Lee, who sent him to Gray’s Inn. He probably attached himself to his cousin John Dudley, whose appointment, as Earl of Warwick, to the presidency of the council in the marches was immediately followed by Leighton’s first shrievalty of Montgomeryshire. It is not known whether Leighton actively supported Dudley when as Duke of Northumberland he sought to upset the succession in 1553—Leighton’s name does not appear on the pardon roll at Mary’s accession—but as a Member of the Queen’s first Parliament Leighton was one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’ against the initial measures for the restoration of Catholicism; in doing so he parted company with his stepfather, who on this occasion sat for Wenlock. His conduct in the House doubtless accounts for Leighton’s exclusion from public affairs for the remainder of the reign. In marked contrast was his activity under Elizabeth, which continued until shortly before his death on 10 Sept. 1593.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Harding
- 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/53/2. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 324; LP Hen. VIII, v; C142/239/109.
- 2. Mont. Colls. ii. 418, 419; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), ii. 231, 246; iii. 100; H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 377, 393; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, i. 333.