ADDERLEY, William, of Heage, Derbys.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. 1384
Feb. 1388
Nov. 1390

Family and Education

m. by Dec. 1400, Elizabeth.1

Offices Held

Commr. to suppress the insurgents of 1381, Derbys. Dec. 1381, Mar. 1382; of inquiry, Notts. Nov. 1384 (disorder at Trowell); to make arrests, Notts. and Derbys. Feb. 1384; of array, Derbys. Mar. 1392, Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403.

J.p. Derbys. 14 Apr. 1386-Dec. 1387; 24 Dec. 1390-Nov. 1399.


Despite his four terms of parliamentary service and his involvement in local government, Adderley is a rather obscure figure about whose personal affairs little is known. He first comes to notice in June 1369 when he witnessed a conveyance of the Nottinghamshire manor of Hucknell Torkard for Sir Ralph (later Lord) Cromwell, and one year later he performed a similar service across the county border at Ashford in Derbyshire. No more is heard of him until September 1378, the date of an assize held at Derby to determine the ownership of the manor of Markeaton. Adderley seems to have been acting as a trustee for his influential neighbour, Sir John Dabrichecourt*, with whom he then appeared as plaintiff.2

Just two years after his first return to Parliament Adderley was appointed to the county bench, and while in office he arraigned one of his tenants on an assize of novel disseisin for arrears of unpaid rent, totalling 46s., from a water-mill in Derby. This case provides us with one of the few surviving pieces of evidence about Adderley’s own possessions, for most of the information which we have about him concerns his activities as a feoffee-to-uses for others. Between 1388 and 1391, for example, he was involved with Sir Thomas Wensley* and his old friend, Sir John Dabrichecourt, in the settlement of estates in and around Radbourne; and in 1392 he and a clerk named Thomas Adderley (who was probably a kinsman) became trustees of land in Beeley and Chatsworth. Adderley’s motives in suing out a royal pardon, which was accorded to him in June 1398 as a resident of Heage, remain unclear, for he was still serving as a j.p. and was evidently well regarded by the authorities. Although Henry IV saw fit to remove him from the bench in November 1399, he cannot have been held to be politically suspect as two commissions of array were sent to him before his retirement, or perhaps even death, in 1403.3

The identity of this Member’s wife, Elizabeth, remains unknown, but it is possible that she belonged to the distinguished Derbyshire family of Foljambe. Thomas Foljambe was Adderley’s colleague in the Parliament of 1390 (Nov.); and ten years later his sister, Alice, was sued jointly with William and Elizabeth by Sir Thomas Rempston I*, who advanced a claim to certain unspecified property then in their hands. If the two women were related, the connexion might well account, in part at least, for Adderley’s prominence in the Derbyshire community, for he was otherwise a comparatively undistinguished figure.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: C.R.


Variants: Addreley, Aderleye.

  • 1. JUST 1/1514 rot. 65.
  • 2. CCR, 1369-74, p. 95; Derbys. Chs. ed. Jeayes, no. 96; JUST 1/1488 rot. 9.
  • 3. Derbys. Chs. nos. 255, 1924-8; Belvoir Castle deeds 2131-4, 4466, 6223-4, 6335; C67/30 m. 15; CP25(1)39/40/34; JUST 1/1496 rot. 29v, 30v.
  • 4. JUST 1/1514 rot. 65.