DOYLEY, John (c.1545-1623), of Chislehampton, Oxon.

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.1545, 2nd s. of John Doyley (d.1569)1 of Greenlands, Bucks. and Frances, da. of Andrew Edmonds of Cressing Temple, Essex; bro. of Henry† and Sir Robert Doyley†.2 educ. G. Inn, entered 1606.3 m. Ursula (d.1636), da. of Edward Cope of Hanwell, Oxon., 3s. 6da.4 suc. bro. 1577.5 d. 18 Dec. 1623.6

Offices Held

J.p. Oxon. 1577-d.;7 sheriff 1586-7,8 dep. lt. 1596-d.;9 commr. sewers, Oxon. and Berks. 1604-12,10 Thames navigation 1607,11 subsidy, Oxon. 1608, 1621-2;12 treas. Oxon. 1608-19;13 commr. aid, Oxf. Univ. and Oxon. 1609;14 collector, Privy Seal loan Oxon. 1613,15 commr. swans Oxon. 1615.16


Doyley was descended from the Norman baron who built Oxford castle in 1071; but recent generations had not lived in the county.17 Doyley’s elder brother, who died of typhus after the ‘black assizes’, left him an estate encumbered with jointures to his mother, who died in 1601, and his sister-in-law, the half-sister of Francis Bacon*.18 The first of the family to reside at Chislehampton, he was returned for the county in 1604 when his brother-in-law, Sir Anthony Cope*, was sheriff. Doyley was a close friend of Cope’s, and evidently shared the puritan sympathies of his family and friends, including the Elizabethan firebrand Peter Wentworth†.19 Doyley himself was described by William Durham, biographer of the preacher Robert Harris, as ‘a great friend to the Gospel’.20

In the first session Doyley was appointed to three committees. One was for a private bill to confirm a decree in Chancery (2 June), while the others concerned the assignment of revenue for the royal Household (18 June) and confirmation of letters patent (5 July).21 Cope was elected to serve as his partner representing Oxfordshire early in the second session, and in March 1606 both men enrolled at Gray’s Inn. During the second session Doyley was named to seven committees, five of them to consider private land bills; the remaining two concerned bills for Corpus Christi College, Oxford (6 Mar.) and the reform of abuses in the Marshalsea court (13 March).22 In the third session he was appointed to three committees, including one on 12 May 1607 to confirm an agreement over the estate of William Ibgrave made between Lord Bruce and Doyley’s nephew Michael.23 On 18 May both Doyley and Cope were among those ordered to draft an address for the better enforcement of the laws against recusants and for the freer preaching of the gospel.24 In the fourth session Doyley was named to three legislative committees: to consider bills for the erection of gaols (16 Feb. 1610), confirm Sir John Heveningham’s* purchase of lands (20 Feb.), and confirm the title of the contractors for the sale of Crown lands (5 July).25 He was among those to whom the messengers’ petitions were referred on 17 July.26 He does not appear in the records of the fifth session.

In 1616 Doyley was accused of having enriched himself as a treasurer of Oxfordshire, one of two officers appointed by the magistrates to collect dues and keep accounts, by withholding pensions from maimed soldiers on account of their lewdness of life.27 He died intestate in December 1623, and was buried at Stadhampton, the main parish of which Chislehampton was a chapelry.28 His grandson sat in the Long Parliament for Oxford as a recruiter, and his great-grandson, created a baronet in 1666, represented Woodstock in the Convention of 1689.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. C142/153/6.
  • 2. Recs. Bucks. viii. 362-3
  • 3. GI Admiss.
  • 4. W.D. Bayley, House of D’Oyly, 26; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 226.
  • 5. C142/180/1.
  • 6. C142/400/71.
  • 7. SP12/121, f. 25; C193/13/1.
  • 8. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 109.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 297; SP14/33, f. 4.
  • 10. C181/1, f. 85v; 181/2, f. 169.
  • 11. C181/2, f. 34.
  • 12. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20, 21.
  • 13. REQ 2/269/92.
  • 14. T. Rymer, Foedera, vii. pt. 2, p. 165; SP14/43/107.
  • 15. E403/2733, f. 14.
  • 16. C181/2, f. 233.
  • 17. Bayley, 23, 24, 26; VCH Oxon. vii. 10.
  • 18. VCH Bucks. iii. 49, 102.
  • 19. HMC Hatfield, vii. 304.
  • 20. VCH Oxon. vii. 91; W. Durham, Life and Death of Robert Harris (1660), p. 9.
  • 21. CJ, i. 231a, 241b, 252b.
  • 22. Ibid. 278b, 284a.
  • 23. Ibid. 372b.
  • 24. Ibid. 375a.
  • 25. Ibid. 394b, 397b, 446a.
  • 26. Ibid. 451a.
  • 27. REQ 2/269/92; APC, 1616-17, p. 95; M.S. Gretton, Oxon. JPs in Seventeenth Cent. (Oxf. Rec. Soc. xvi), lxx-lxxi.
  • 28. C142/400/71; VCH Oxon. vii. 10, 87.