ASHFIELD, Edmund (d.1578), of the Lodge, Ewelme Park, Oxon. and Shenley, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

s. of John Ashfield of Heythrop, Oxon. by his 2nd w. Margaret, da. of Humphrey Colwick of Worcs. m. c.1532, Eleanor, da. of Humphrey Barton of Northants., wid. of William Stafford of Tattenhoe, Bucks., 1s. d.v.p. 3da. (2 d.v.p.). Kntd. Aug. 1570.1

Offices Held

Servant of Norris family by 1534; keeper of manor and park of Ewelme 1536; bailiff of Snelshall and other Bucks. manors 1546; j.p. Bucks., Oxon. from 1547; surveyor of crown lands, Bucks. 1559; sheriff, Berks., Oxon. 1559-60, Beds. and Bucks. 1569-70; commr. musters, Oxon.2


Ashfield owned extensive property in Oxfordshire including the site and lands of the former monastery of Dorchester. His candidature for the county was probably supported by the Norris family, who were themselves closely connected with Lord Williams of Thame, the lord lieutenant. Ashfield, whose fellow-knight of the shire was a relation by marriage, was classed as ‘indifferent’ in religion in the 1564 bishops’ reports, and he did not sit in Parliament again. He received his knighthood from the Earl of Leicester at the house of Sir William Dormer, another survivor from Queen Mary’s reign. A Privy Council letter of October 1570 mentions that Ashfield was intending to remove his household from Buckinghamshire to Ewelme. In 1575 he joined Sir Henry Lee in an attempt to suppress illegal hunting at Woodstock, and less than a year before his death he was placed on the quorum of the enclosure commission for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.3

Ashfield died at Ewelme 24 Jan. 1578 and was buried at Shenley in accordance with the wish expressed in his will. He left £30 or £40 to build a tomb for himself and his wife, who had predeceased him. His only son Francis and two of his three daughters had also died, so his landed property in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire went to the surviving daughter, Amicia or Avis, wife of Edmund Lee, and to two grandsons, Edmund Fettiplace and Robert Fortescue. The will, dated July 1577 and proved in the following February, is that of a wealthy man. The detailed description of household furnishings, clothes and plate includes a collection of gilt bowls and suits in taffeta, satin and other rich materials. Two grandchildren each received £100, and Thomas Bromley, co-supervisor with John Fortescue, £20.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/180/1; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 168; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. iv. 393.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 315; x. 358; xiii(1), p. 573; xxi(1), p. 774; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 81, 88; 1558-6, p. 111.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 315; xix(1), p. 496; Cam. Misc. ix(3), pp. 31-2; PCC 6 Langley; Shaw, Knights, ii. 74; APC, vii. 394; ix. 23, 323-4; Lansd. 23, f. 174.
  • 4. J. M. and T. M. Davenport, Oxon. Lds. Lts. Sheriffs and MPs, 120 n; Wards 7/19/267; PCC 6 Langley.