WOLLEY, Roger, of Derby.
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Family and Education
Wolley traded as a draper in Derby. Following his marriage he became involved in litigation in the court of common pleas over the wardship and estates of his stepson, William Ireland, first with the widow of Sir Robert Francis* and then, in 1426, with John Merbury*. Although a local jury found against him in the first instance, awarding £35 damages to Isabel Francis, and Merbury also apparently secured a favourable verdict, our MP was none the less recorded as in possession of the disputed manor of Hartshorn in 1428 and 1431.3
At the sessions of the peace held at Derby in 1426, Wolley stood surety for members of the Colman family and served as a juror in the suit between Ralph Hussey* and Thomas Dethick. He later, in 1430, acted in the same capacity when Robert Eyre of Padley, ‘gentleman’, was tried for murder before the justices of gaol delivery. He attended the borough elections to the Parliaments of 1429 and 1433.4 In the meantime, in the autumn of 1432, Wolley, along with John Spicer III* and Elias Stokkes*, had been imprisoned in Nottingham gaol, and their trial before the King’s chamberlain Ralph, Lord Cromwell, was ordered on 12 Nov. The nature of their offences, though evidently serious, are not known. They were at liberty two years later, for in April 1434, Wolley was a member of the Derby borough jury which provided evidence to a special commission of oyer and terminer presided over by the duke of Bedford. One of the indictments then presented by another jury accused Sir Richard Vernon* (the Speaker in Wolley’s second Parliament) of having illegally granted liveries of cloth to him and others four years earlier. Wolley is last heard of a month later, when he was among the Derbyshire gentry sworn not to maintain those who broke the peace.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Variants: Ulley, Welley, Woleye.