GIFFORD, Edward (c.1485-1556), of Wicken, Northants.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1485, 3rd s. of Thomas Gifford of Twyford, Bucks. by Jane, da. of John Langston of Caversfield, Oxon. m. Christine, sis. of John Seymour I of Great Marlow, Bucks., at least 1da.1

Offices Held

Servant of Cromwell 1537; j.p. Bucks. in 1537.2


A prominent landed family of Buckinghamshire, the Giffords claimed residence there from the Conquest and by the with century had branches dispersed over other midland counties. As he owned a number of lawbooks by his death Edward Gifford may have been a lawyer, but no trace has been found of him at any of the inns of court or of chancery unless he was the man of that name admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1541. The first glimpse of him comes in 1537 when, already in the service of Cromwell, he helped Sir John Baldwin and Ralph Lane to investigate rumours about the destruction of churches. With Cromwell’s aid he obtained the lease of a Surrey manor, but it was not until after Cromwell’s fall that he purchased the manor of Wicken in Northamptonshire. He had settled there by 1546 when he was assessed for the subsidy on lands worth £12 a year. He also held, with Roger Carrol, land in Harpole in the same county. His return to Mary’s first Parliament following as it did those of his nephews George and Ralph Gifford in 1536 and 1545 respectively suggests that his family had a lien on the borough of Buckingham. All that is known of his part in the work of the House is that he did not oppose the initial measures to restore Catholicism. His will was drawn up on 19 Feb. 1556 and proved on the following 25 Apr. After commending his soul to the saints, he left vestments to Peterborough cathedral and money to a number of Buckinghamshire churches. He divided his books between his wife, his brother-in-law John Seymour and his godson Edward Fisher, and his musical instruments between two cousins. He also remembered other kinsfolk and left rings to his ‘sister’ Juliana Ackroyd and to his cousin and executor Richard Fisher. Gifford is said to have left one daughter, who married Vincent Curzon of Waterperry, Oxfordshire, and afterwards Edward Windsor, brother of the 2nd Lord Windsor.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from eldest brother’s. Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 93-94. Req.1/119/2.
  • 2. M. L. Robertson, ‘Cromwell’s servants’ (Univ. California Los Angeles Ph.D. thesis, 1975), 491; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xv.
  • 3. Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 131, 135; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 176-81; PCC 4 Fetiplace, 4 Bucke, 3 Ketchyn; Verney Pprs. (Cam. Soc. lvi), 23; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xv, xx; G.I. Adm. 15; Req.2/119/2; E179/156/219.