BURLEY, John II, of Clanacombe in Thurlestone, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Dec. 1421

Family and Education

m. by 1429, Christine.1

Offices Held


Burley is first recorded in 1411 acting in Chancery on behalf of a Devonshire landowner in a trespass suit, and he made similar appearances as an attorney in the central courts in the following year. Although he lived some distance from Dartmouth, he became a feoffee of property in the town several years before being elected to Parliament; and his practice as a lawyer depended on briefs from people living locally. Early in 1421 one of Burley’s cases resulted in legal action being taken against him by his own clients: when acting as attorney for the defendants, John Lasse and his wife Agnes, Burley acknowledged the plaintiff’s action upon a writ of formedon en le remanere in the court of common pleas. Lasse then presented a bill to the King’s Council complaining of Burley’s mishandling of the suit, and arbitrators were appointed to hear the evidence against him. In 1424 he acted for one John Smith in an assize of novel disseisin touching ownership of a messuage in Dartmouth.2 By that time Burley had become a landowner in a small way, holding half a knight’s fee in Newton in Churchstow and Horsewell; and it was as ‘of Clanacombe, gentleman’, that in 1430 he provided securities in Chancery that John Hawley II* would keep the peace. The same year he formally relinquished his rights to two messuages and a garden in Dartmouth.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. JUST 1/1540 m. 67.
  • 2. CCR, 1409-13, pp. 217, 321, 1419-22, pp. 135, 138; H.R. Watkin, Dartmouth, 98, 106.
  • 3. Feudal Aids, i. 446; CCR, 1429-35, p. 104; Watkin, 110.