ASHLEY, Robert (d.1432/3), of Budbury by Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts.

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



Family and Education

4th but o. surv. s. of John Ashley by Edith, da. of John Talbot of Salisbury, Wilts.1 m. by Feb. 1418, Gillian (c.1393-1 Oct. 1476), da. and h. of Sir John Hamely* of Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset by his 2nd w., wid. of John Plecy (d.1416), of Shapwick Plecy, Dorset and Burton, Northants., 2s.

Offices Held

Commr. of inquiry, Hants, Wilts. bef. May 1411 (concealments); to assess a tax, Wilts. Apr. 1431.

Verderer, Pewsham and Melksham forests, Wilts. 2 Oct. 1414-d. , Blackmore May 1424- d.

Escheator, Hants and Wilts. 17 Dec. 1426-18 Nov. 1427.

Tax collector, Wilts. Dec. 1429.


In 1406 Edmund Ford* of Swainswick leased to Ashley and others various lands in the hundred of Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Ashley’s home, however, was across the border near Bradford in Wiltshire, he having inherited through his mother several properties in Trowbridge and elsewhere in that region, as well as in Salisbury. From 1414 he was joint lessee of the duchy of Lancaster lordship of Trowbridge and a fishery at Staverton on the River Avon. Ashley witnessed several local deeds, and attended the Wiltshire elections to the Parliaments of 1407, 1413 (May), 1414, 1417, 1421, 1422 and 1426.2

Meanwhile, in 1418, the year before his own return to Parliament, Ashley had been fined 12 marks for marrying without licence Gillian Plecy, the widow of a tenant-in-chief. Besides dower lands in Dorset, Surrey and Northamptonshire, Gillian held, in her own right, the manor of Wimbourne St. Giles in Dorset, and stood to inherit, after her mother’s death, the manors of Cranbourne and Eastrop in Hampshire.3 Even so, Ashley never became a figure of much importance either in Wiltshire or in the counties where he held land jure uxoris. Nor, apparently, save for his witnessing of deeds for the widows of Sir William Cheyne* and Sir John Reynes, did he become involved in the business transactions of other local landowners. In 1432 Thomas Harding, a London draper, brought a suit against him in Chancery, concerning rents in Salisbury.4

Ashley died shortly before 20 Apr. 1433. His widow married, thirdly, Thomas Thame, and lived on until 1476, when the heir to her estates was Ashley’s son, Edmund.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. JUST 1/1540 m. 22.
  • 2. CCR, 1405-9, pp. 93, 100; 1409-13, p. 334; Tropenell Cart. ed. Davies, i. 312; ii. 262; VCH Wilts. vii. 130, 136; C219/10/4, 11/2, 3, 5, 12/2, 5, 6, 13/1, 4.
  • 3. CPR, 1416-22, p. 134; VCH Surr. iii. 291; VCH Hants, iii. 459; iv. 148; CCR, 1413-16, p. 420; J. Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 581-2; C138/19/31.
  • 4. Tropenell Cart. i. 125, 283, 386-7; CCR, 1419-22, p. 212; 1422-9, p. 409; C1/11/44.
  • 5. CCR, 1429-35, p. 206; C140/61/31.