CROFTS, Anthony (c.1593-1657), of West Stow, Suff. and Gray's Inn, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1593, 2nd s. of Sir John Crofts† (d.1628) of Chalgrave, Beds. and Little Saxham, Suff., and Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Shirley I* of Wiston, Suss.; bro. of Sir Henry*.1 educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1611; G. Inn 1612.2 m. 16 July 1633,3 Mary (d. 11 May 1678), da. of Richard Franklin of Willesden, Mdx., wid. of Sir John Smythe II* of Leeds Castle, Kent, 3s., 1da. d.v.p. d. 1 Oct. 1657.4

Offices Held

Master in Chancery extraordinary 1620;5 ancient, G. Inn 1631.6

Commr. oyer and terminer, Mdx. 1641.7


The Crofts had held West Stow, five miles from Bury St. Edmunds, since early medieval times.8 Crofts himself was elected for Bury in 1624, but left no trace on the records of the last Jacobean Parliament. In the following year he took over his father’s Bedfordshire property at Chalgrave, burdened with a mortgage of £3,000, and sold it to the Mercers’ Company.9 He retained his chambers at Gray’s Inn even after his marriage, and may have spent much of his time in London, for he never held local office.10 In his will, dated 15 May 1654, he left portions of £1,200 each for his two younger sons, desiring them to take up ‘some honest calling in the world’. One was to be apprenticed to a London merchant, the other to study the Common Law, provided that ‘the profession is like to be upheld in practice and esteem’.11 Crofts died on 1 Oct. 1657 in his 64th year and was buried at West Stow, where an epitaph commends his ‘tender care towards his wife and children and great abilities and forwardness to assist his friends’.12 His second son William was returned for Bury as a Tory in 1685.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. C142/467/65.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.
  • 3. D. Lysons, Environs of London, iii. 623.
  • 4. S.H.A. Hervey, West Stow Par. Reg. 77-8; W. Copinger, Suff. Manors, i. 406.
  • 5. C216/1/78.
  • 6. PBG Inn, i. 308.
  • 7. C181/5, f. 213v.
  • 8. J. Gage, Thingoe Hundred, 133; Copinger, i. 403-4; vii. 101.
  • 9. VCH Beds. iii. 346; CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 15.
  • 10. C2/Jas.I/D8/58.
  • 11. PROB 11/267, ff. 327-9v.
  • 12. Hervey, 78, 152-4.