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The name of the junior Member of Parliament for East Looe in 1601 was added to a ‘blank’ return. There is no reason to suppose that the Member was a Cornishman; the name was probably inserted in London. The East Looe MPs came from all over the country. The only Robert Yardley about whom anything has been discovered was of Chatham in Kent, but there is nothing to connect him either with the borough or with a possible patron. A surviving pedigree shows that he came from Warwickshire. Richard Yardley of Warwick may have been his father, for he left £20 to a second son of this name. Robert’s wife, Susan, whom he married in January 1595, was a daughter of Christopher Eaglesfield of Stratford-le-Bow, London. Her father left her £80 and she may also have brought Yardley some property from her first husband, Reginald Barker, who was owner of the manor of Chatham. By the time of his death, Yardley owned lands in Chatham, Gillingham, St. Margaret’s and Queenborough. In a deed dated 1615 Susan Yardley is called niece of Dame Ann Sondes, wife of Michael Sondes. Such a connexion may have proved useful. Yardley’s will, dated 8 Jan. 1620, was proved in the consistory court at Rochester on 28 Dec. 1622. He was buried at Chatham. His widow took as her third husband Phineas Pett, the shipbuilder, and Phineas’s son John married Yardley’s Phineas’s son John married Yardley’s daughter Katherine.
Harl. 4108, f. 70; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iv. 232; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. liv), 186; PCC 37 Wrastley, 53 Harrington; DNB (Pett, Phineas).