MARLOTT (MERLOTT), William (1574-1646), of New Shoreham, Suss.

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



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.) - Feb. 1646

Family and Education

bap. 30 May 1574, 4th s. of Thomas Marlott (d.1601) of Itchingfield, Suss. and 1st w. m. by 1612, Mary, 1s. d.v.p. bur. 8 Feb. 1646.1 sig. W[illiam] Marlott.

Offices Held

?Dep. farmer, great customs, Suss. (jt.) by 1616-at least 1631;2 dep. v.-adm. by 1627-at least 1644;3 commr. to seize and sell the goods aboard the Dunkirker St. Michael 1628, seize the goods aboard a sunken Spanish ship 1628,4 swans, Eng. except West Country ?1629,5 sewers, Suss. 1630, 1637,6 charitable uses 1636,7 subsidy, 1641-2,8 propositions 1642;9 collector of customs, Chichester, Suss. by 1643-d.;10 commr. assessment, Suss. 1643-5, sequestration 1643, defence 1643, raising of forces 1644;11 j.p. Suss. 1644-d.;12 commr. New Model Ordinance, Suss. 1645.13


The Marlott family acquired by marriage the manor of Muntham in the Sussex parish of Itchingfield, near Horsham, in the fourteenth century, and by 1478 also owned property in New Shoreham.14 This Member, who needs to be distinguished from his nephew, the owner of Muntham, was a younger son and consequently settled as a merchant in New Shoreham, where he may have managed his nephew’s property.15 It may have been Marlott who, in 1613, was employed to negotiate with pirates in Ireland, and was subsequently accused of combining with them against a French shipowner.16 However, it is more likely that he was the ‘Mr. Marlott’ employed by the customs farmers as one of their Sussex deputies by 1616, as he was certainly a customs officer in the county by the 1640s.

By the time of his election in 1624, Marlott was an established member of the New Shoreham merchant community.17 The vice-admiral of Sussex, the 2nd earl of Nottingham (Sir Charles Howard*), may already have appointed him his deputy; certainly he held the office of deputy vice admiral by 1627. Marlott’s connection with Nottingham may explain his return as the earl had, before succeeding to his peerage, represented the borough in 1614.

Marlott appears only once in the surviving records of the 1624 Parliament. In the committee on the continuance of expiring statutes on 12 Apr., he defended the export of barley when prices were low, observing that 20,000 quarters were exported annually from Sussex and Norfolk. However, he also acknowledged his interest in the issue, stating that ‘he hath paid custom for transportation of above 5,000 quarters of barley’.18 Re-elected in 1625, Marlott left no trace on the surviving records. He was returned again the following year, when he was mentioned only once, on a list of those absent without leave on 2 June.19 In February 1628 he joined his neighbour Edward Alford* to plead with Edward Nicholas*, the Admiralty secretary, for ordnance taken from prize ships to be used to defend the coast.20 Soon after he was re-elected to Parliament, but again he left no trace on the surviving records, possibly because his Admiralty duties kept him in Sussex. In April one of Nicholas’ correspondents complained that Marlott had persuaded the captain of a warship to bring a prize to Chichester or New Shoreham by promising the captain that he could compound with Nottingham for the duty payable to the Admiralty at an easy rate.21

In 1637 Marlott made a Ship Money payment of £10 on behalf of the constable of Shoreham.22 Returned for New Shoreham to both the Short and Long Parliaments,23 he supported Parliament during the Civil War until his death. He was buried at Shoreham on 8 Feb. 1646, and administration of his estate was granted to his widow in July. His only child had died in infancy.24 The ‘William Merlot’ of Chichester who served as deputy vice-admiral for Sussex in 1652 was probably his great nephew, an Inner Temple lawyer who made his will in the city shortly before his death in 1657.25

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. P.S. Godman, ‘Itchingfield’, Suss. Arch. Colls. xli. ped. facing p. 108.
  • 2. APC, 1615-16, p. 377; 1630-1, p. 356.
  • 3. SP16/145/20 (accounting anonymously for the period 1627-9); HCA 14/44, pt. 1, f. 5 (identified by name 1628); Harl. 165, f. 275a; CJ, iii. 367a.
  • 4. HCA 14/44, pt. 1, ff. 3, 51.
  • 5. C181/3, f. 271v.
  • 6. C181/4, ff. 47, 54; 181/5, f. 70.
  • 7. C192/1, unfol.
  • 8. SR, v. 66, 156.
  • 9. CJ, ii. 830a.
  • 10. Bodl. Rawl. A221, p. 232; AO3/300, ff. 5v-6.
  • 11. LJ, vi. 53; CJ, iii. 173a; A. and O. i. 451, 640.
  • 12. Q. Sess. Order Bk. ed. B.C. Redwood (Suss. Rec. Soc. liv), p. xxvii.
  • 13. A. and O. i. 624.
  • 14. VCH Suss. vi. pt. 1, p. 26; pt. 2, p. 10; Godman, 107; A.B. Packham, ‘"The Marlipins," New Shoreham’, Suss. Arch. Colls. lxv. 188;
  • 15. P.S. Godman, ‘Itchingfield’, Suss. Arch. Colls. xl. 128; Godman, xli. ped. facing p. 108; PROB 11/227, ff. 274v-5.
  • 16. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 206; APC, 1613-14, p. 130.
  • 17. C54/2596/25.
  • 18. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 142.
  • 19. Procs. 1626, iii. 346.
  • 20. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 572.
  • 21. SP16/102/32. The writer identifies Marlott as the Member for New Shoreham.
  • 22. CSP Dom. 1637, p. 112.
  • 23. A comparison of signatures indicates that the deputy vice-admiral of the late 1620s was also the man who sat in the Long Parliament. HCA 14/44, pt. 1, f. 5; E407/513, unfol. (1 Dec. 1645).
  • 24. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 267.
  • 25. Godman, xli. 97; PROB 11/ 266, f. 140a.