IRBY, Leonard (d.1571), of Boston and Sutterton, Lincs.

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



Mar. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

2nd s. of Anthony Irby (d.1548) of Gosberton by Alice, da. of John Bountayne or Bunting of Evedon. educ. ?Camb. m. (1) by 1544, Anne, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 20 July 1562, Anne, da. of Charles Knyvet of Princethorpe, Warws. wid. of Nicholas Robinson of Boston, 1da.

Offices Held

Clerk of the peace and Crown, Lincs. (Holland, Kesteven) 1543; surveyor of Lord Clinton’s estates, prob. by 1552; commr. church goods Lincs. (Holland) c. 1553; escheator, Lincs. 1552-3, 1561; alderman (?dep. recorder) Boston 1560; dep. steward, duchy of Lancaster manor of Long Sutton, Lincs. in 1561; j.p. Lincs. (Holland) from 1559, q. 1564, (Kesteven) from c. 1562, q. 1564, (Lindsey) q. from c. 1569; muster master against northern rebels 1569.1


The major part of Irby’s parliamentary career lies outside the Elizabethan period. He is not mentioned in the known surviving records of the House for 1559 or 1563, and in 1566 there is only a licence of absence ‘for his affairs’ granted on 17 Dec. In his last House of Commons he sat on the committee of the bill against tellers and receivers (23 Apr. and 26 May), and the navigation bill (8 May). On 19 Apr. 1571 Boston granted him £5 ‘in full payment and recompense of all his charges, fees and expenses’ since 2 Apr., when the parliamentary session began. In religion he conformed to the changing patterns of his time, holding office under Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth. He voted against a government bill in 1555, and was described as ‘indifferent’ in his bishop’s report to the Privy Council in 1564. Whatever his religious views were when he was returned to Parliament in 1571, he ought to have taken the oath of supremacy. He was alive in September that year but the will he had drawn up in 1562 was proved as Nov. 1571. It mentions land at Boston, Moulton and Swineshead, Lincolnshire. Irby was buried at Boston. His widow married as her third husband, Robert Carr of Sleaford, the supervisor of Irby’s will, where he is described as a ‘faithful friend’: the two may have served together during the northern rebellion.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 542-3; PPC 11 Populwell; P. A. Irby, Irbys of Lincs. and Irebys of Cumb. i. 8, 17-18; LP Hen. VIII, xviii(1), p. 283; CPR, 1550-3, p. 271; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 386, 414; Neale, Commons, 207; Boston corp. min. bk. 1, f. 39; Lansd. 13, ff. 48-9.
  • 2. CJ, i. 80, 85, 88, 93; Boston corp. min. bk.; Guildford Mus., Loseley 1331/2; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 27; CPR, 1558-60, p. 170; Rylands Eng. ms 305; PCC 42 Holney; Lincs. Peds. 228-9, 543.