FOYLE, John (c.1564-1648), of Shaftesbury, Dorset and Kimpton, Hants.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1564, 3rd s. of Robert Foyle of Fontmell, Dorset by Joan, da. of Barnaby Cox. educ. M. Temple 1607. m. Mary, da. of Richard Knapton of Brockenhurst, Hants, 4s. 2da.

Offices Held

Steward to (Sir) Edward Coke c.1598.


Foyle was an attorney, the first of his family, as his monumental inscription makes clear, to achieve any eminence. He presumably decided as a middle aged man that he would profit from attendance at an inn of court—at any rate his admission to the Middle Temple was not honorary. He was there at the same time as his eldest son John, with whom he may have shared a chamber. He was presumably well known to Lady Elizabeth Hatton, owner of Corfe Castle in 1597, who returned him to his one Parliament. Foyle made no known contribution to its business. In the November of the following year Lady Hatton married Sir Edward Coke and, presumably, introduced Foyle to him, for about this time Foyle entered Coke’s service. The remainder of his career lies outside the Elizabethan period. During the reign of Charles I he served Lord Stourton, was a trustee for the estates of Sir William Clavell and became the steward of the 5th Marquess of Winchester.

He died 19 Sept. 1648, aged 84. In his will, dated 1 July 1647 and proved 3 Nov. 1648, he confesses to having embezzled, with John Budden, a crooked feodary of Dorset, £100 intended by Matthew Arundell for the poor of Shaftesbury ‘for which there is no proof by witness or writing to charge either of us’. He left a bequest to a Mrs. Herbert ‘my laundress in London’ and mentions ‘her son John, my godson’.

Acknowledgment is made to Mr. J. P. Ferris for information supplied from the following sources: Vis. Hants. 208; M.I. at Kimpton; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 740; Add. 29976, f. 1; E134/11 Chas. I Mich. 23; Mansel mss at Smedmore; PCC 167 Essex.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler