LEY, Matthew (c.1545-1636), of Westbury and Teffont Evias, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

b. c.1545, 2nd s. of Henry Ley and bro. of James. m. Mar./Nov. 1602, Margaret, da. of one Barret of Essex, wid. of Sir Humphrey Foster, s.p. suc. bro. William 1623.

Offices Held


In 1578 Matthew and his brother James bought from James, 6th Lord Mountjoy the manor of Brembridge, near Westbury, and Matthew later acquired Heywood, to the north of the town, where James was afterwards to rebuild the house. The brothers’ return for Westbury in 1597 was doubtless the occasion of Matthew’s presentation to the borough of a new seal of silver with an ivory handle: it was destroyed by fire in 1935. The election of 1597 marked the opening of a ‘Ley era’ in the parliamentary history of the borough: Matthew was to represent it in three more Parliaments, and his more eminent brother was to do so in two. Under Elizabeth, however, neither made sufficient mark in the House of Commons to be mentioned in its proceedings. Ley died 24 May 1636.

Wilts. Vis. Peds. (harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 113-14; C3/298/14; Wilts. IPMs (Brit. Rec. Soc. Index Lib. xxiii), 219-20, 232; Hoare, Wilts. Westbury, 6, 36; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxv. 89; xlix. 540-1.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. T. Bindoff