AGLIONBY, Edward I (by 1495-1553), of Carlisle, Cumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1495, s. of Thomas Aglionby of Carlisle by Joan. m. ?2s. prob. John, poss. Hugh.1

Offices Held

Escheator, Cumb. and Westmld. 1527-8; gent. usher of chamber in 1534; constable, Penrith castle, Cumb. 1534; assistant to dep. warden, west marches 1537; j.p. Cumb. 1538-d.; customer, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. by 1538-51; jt. (with Sir Thomas Wharton) comptroller of works, Carlisle 1540; gov. and capt. Carlisle castle 1542-d., sheriff, Cumb. 1544-5; mayor, Carlisle in 1545; commr. relief from aliens in Cumb. 1550, proclamation 1551, goods of churches and fraternities, Carlisle 1553.2



The Aglionby family, which shared its name with a village three miles from Carlisle, had been connected with that city before the 16th century, but Edward Aglionby is the first of its members whose career there and elsewhere can be traced with some continuity, at least in its later stages. He is first mentioned in June 1516 when he joined with Thomas, 2nd Lord Dacre of Gilsland, and a number of others, ‘squires of the said city’ of Carlisle, in commissioning the reconstruction of the bridge over the river Eden. The next 20 years saw him soldiering in Scotland (1524) and Ireland (1535), and providing northern men for Calais (1532). This was the period of Dacre ascendancy in Cumberland, and Aglionby must have learned to live with the magnates of Naworth; like his forbears he doubtless held some of his land from them, although as ‘cousin’ to Sir William Musgrave he may have been drawn into the rival Clifford camp.3

When Aglionby was returned to the Parliament of 1529 the knights of the shire were the 3rd Lord Dacre’s uncle Sir Christopher Dacre and his follower John Lee I, while his fellow-Member John Coldale may also have moved in the Dacre orbit. Although Aglionby, unlike Coldale, was not to sit on the jury which in 1534 sent the two Dacres for trial on treason charges, he was not averse from profiting by their threatened conviction: on 28 June, shortly after their indictment, he let Cromwell know of his interest in acquiring some of their lands. This hope was dashed by their acquittal, but in the following November Aglionby was made constable of Penrith castle and his patent of appointment styled him a gentleman usher of the chamber, a mark of royal confidence which may have dated from the same time. This confidence he amply repaid by his strenuous loyalty during the rebellions of 1536: with ‘Master Aglionby’ the mayor— perhaps his brother— he helped to hold Carlisle against Richard Dacre, and Thomas Lamplugh wrote of ‘my cousin Aglionby whom the commons here dread most of all this country’. From then until the close of the reign he burgeoned as both a royal and civic official. He was made captain of the new citadel of Carlisle and also served a term as mayor; was given a collectorship of customs at Newcastle-upon-Tyne which he was allowed to execute by deputy; and after several nominations was pricked sheriff of Cumberland in 1544. He also took his share of the fighting of these years, notably at Solway Moss in November 1542, where his part in the capture of Lord Maxwell was later rewarded by the King. In all these activities he was a staunch supporter of Sir Thomas Wharton, later 1st Lord Wharton, the new power in the west marches: Wharton used him as a go-between with the King and in April 1545 asked the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, then lieutenant in the North, to allow ‘my friend’ Aglionby to interrupt his term as sheriff for a visit to London on legal business.4

Aglionby probably sat in the brief Parliament of 1536, when the King asked for the re-election of the former Members, and may have done so again in 1539, when the names of those for Carlisle are lost, and even in 1542, when the only name preserved is that of Thomas Stapleton, Wharton’s brother-in-law. (If he sat in the second of these Parliaments, his attendance at its third session in 1540 cannot have been complete, for he was still at Carlisle early in May, three weeks after it began.) In 1545 his shrievalty precluded his election, and it was Hugh Aglionby, possibly one of his sons, who then took the first seat; but he reappeared in the first Parliament of Edward VI with another ex-mayor, Thomas Dalston. Wharton was by then a peer, and his son Sir Thomas was senior knight of the shire. Before the Parliament met Aglionby again took the field with Wharton on a raid into Scotland but presumably also came south to attend the first session. Wharton’s replacement by Lord Dacre in May 1549 may have shaken Aglionby’s position, but in July 1550 his patron was restored to power as deputy to the Duke of Northumberland, the new warden general, whose overthrow of the Protector Somerset had enlisted Wharton’s vigorous support. Not surprisingly, therefore, the vacancy at Carlisle created by Dalston’s death in 1550 was filled by a second Aglionby. The newcomer, another Edward, was not a son but probably a nephew; as he appears to have had a more personal attachment to Northumberland than his kinsman he is the more likely of the two to have sat in the following Parliament, which met at Northumberland’s behest, especially as his fellow-Member was the duke’s kinsman John Dudley.5

By that time, too, the elder Aglionby was an ageing man and perhaps already a sick one. His last known appointment, to the commission on church goods in Cumberland, came in March 1553 and he was dead by the following 4 July, the day on which the captaincy of Carlisle citadel, thus vacated, was conferred on John Lamplugh.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: L. M. Kirk / Alan Davidson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Nicolson and Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. ii. 327; Hutchinson, Cumb. i. 195.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, vii, xii-xiv, xvi-xviii, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 82; 1550-3, p. 142; 1553, pp. 252-3, 346, 364, 417; HMC 9th Rep. pt. i. 202.
  • 3. HMC Le Fleming, 6; LP Hen. VIII, iv, v, viii, xvii.
  • 4. DKR, iii (2), 234; LP Hen. VIII, vii, xii-xiv, xvi, xvii; M. H. and R. Dodds, Pilgrimage of Grace, ii. 9, 42; HMC 9th Rep. i. 202; APC, i. 31, 137; HMC Shrewsbury and Talbot, ii. 6.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xv.
  • 6. CPR, 1553, pp. 252-3, 417.