LONG, Gifford (1576/7-1634), of Rowde Ashton, in Steeple Ashton, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 1576/7, 1st s. of Edward Long of Monckton, Broughton Gifford, Wilts. and Anne, da. of Henry Brouncker† of Erlestoke and Westbury, Wilts.1 educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. 1593, aged 17.2 m. (1) by 1598,3 Anne (d. 26 Mar. 1601),4 da. of John Yewe of Bradford, Wilts., 2da.; (2) by 1607, Amy (d.1650), da. of John Warre of Hestercombe, Som., wid. of Robert Wingate of Harlington, Beds.,5 3s. 2da.6 suc. fa. 1622.7 d. 15 Dec. 1634.8
Long’s father, Edward, was the second son of a wealthy clothier from Whaddon, the senior branch of an extensive family. He had an interest in trade and made substantial investments in ships operating from Plymouth and Weymouth.13 In 1558 he inherited a range of Wiltshire properties in Broughton Gifford, Westbury and Hilperton from his uncle, Thomas.14 In 1600 he purchased a house in Rowde Ashton, a hamlet within Steeple Ashton parish, and may have given the property to Long soon afterwards, for it is not mentioned in his will.15 Long was also in possession of the Wiltshire manor of Westbury Stourton by 1613, when he sold it to Sir James Ley*.16
Other than these details, little has been ascertained of Long’s early life, although he presumably lived in Broughton Gifford before going up to Oxford in 1593. By 1598 he had married the daughter of a wealthy clothier from Bradford-on-Avon, but she died, possibly in childbirth, three years later.17 He inherited his father’s property in 1622, which he consolidated in the area between Westbury and Bradford by astute sales and transfers.18 He was quickly appointed to the county bench and pricked as sheriff, but did not regularly attend county sessions, and his career as a justice was unremarkable.19
Long’s maternal grandfather and great-uncle, Henry and William Brouncker, had both represented Westbury in the Elizabeth’s reign; this and his own property in the area explains his return for Westbury in 1625. Though unmentioned in the records of his only Parliament, his views may have been influenced by his cousin, Walter Long II*, a critic of the duke of Buckingham.20 In February 1628 Long was one of eight Wiltshire justices who objected to the Crown’s demand for Ship Money, urging instead that the money be raised through Parliament.21 Their reply was not sent, and the order was soon countermanded by a Proclamation.
Long made his will on 30 Mar. 1630, leaving £5 to the poor of Steeple Ashton, where he asked to be buried. He left his younger son Robert £100 upon completion of his apprenticeship to a London merchant, while his daughter Eleanor received £1,500 as a marriage portion; she later married the grandson of Sir James Ley*. His cousin Walter Long II was left a commemorative gold ring. His wife, who was named as his executrix, was given all the household chattels together with the profits of property leased in Bradford and a life interest in Rowde Ashton. The will was proved on 18 Apr. 1635.22 An inquisition of his estate taken in the following September revealed a number of advowsons and property interests in a further 12 parishes not mentioned in the will.23 None of his sons succeeded him in Parliament.