SHURLEY, John I (d.1616), of 'The Friars', Lewes, Suss.

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

2nd s. of Edward Shurley of Isfield by Joan, da. of John Fenner of Crawley. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1562; Clifford’s Inn; m. Temple 1565, called by 1575. m. (1) aft. Dec. 1570, Elizabeth (d. by May 1580), da. and coh. of Richard Kyme of Lewes, 1da.; (2) 14 Sept. 1585, Frances, da. of Henry Capell I of Hadham, Herts., 1s. 2da.

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. from c.1584; bencher, M. Temple 1587, Lent reader 1587, treasurer May 1601; serjeant-at-law 1603.


Shurley was the founder of a cadet branch of the Shurleys of Isfield, some five miles north of Lewes, and uncle to John Shurley II of the senior line. His house in Lewes, called ‘The Friars’, was evidently used as their town house by the Isfield Shurleys, since both Shurley’s elder brother Thomas and his nephew John died there.2

Shurley had to importune Michael Hickes to ask Cecil for his promotion as serjeant-at-law, on the ground that he was the ‘first and ancientest’ named of the Middle Temple by the judges. John Rowe, the antiquary, who received his legal training from Shurley, notes that Shurley was of counsel to the constables of Lewes about 1584. In 1605 he was counsel for Hastings, and in 1608 and 1611 for Rye. But Shurley was more a country gentleman than a lawyer. It was probably he who was called upon on 17 Apr. 1600 to provi