AGLIONBY, Edward I (1520-?91), of Temple Balsall, Warws. and London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
? 1559

Family and Education

b.1520, s. of Richard Aglionby of Carlisle. educ. Eton c.1532; King’s, Camb. scholar 1536, fellow 1539-48, BA 1540/1, MA 1544; incorp. Oxf. 1566. m. (1) bef. 29 Mar. 1554, Catherine, da. of Roger Wigston of Wolston, Warws., wid. of Thomas Warren and Giles Forster of Balsall (d.1549), at least 1s. 1da. all pres. d.v.p.; ?(2) Mary.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Warws. by 1561; dep. custos rot. by 1575; recorder, Warwick Aug. 1572-Sept. 1587, Stratford-on-Avon c.1578-86, Coventry 1580-c.88.[footnote]


The first name of the Mr Aglionby who sat for Carlisle in 1559 has not been ascertained, but the assumption must be that he was either John Aglionby or Edward Aglionby I of Temple Balsall. Both men had already represented Carlisle. The 1559 Member, whoever he was, left no mark on the records of the House.

There is no doubt that it was Edward Aglionby of Temple Balsall who was the Member in 1571, and that he was brought in at the instance of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who sent a letter to the corporation, read out at the election on 26 Mar.:

Albeit it may be there is no want of able men among yourselves for the supply of the matter, yet the special opinion I have upon good cause conceived of my friend Mr. Edward Aglionby’s sufficiency doth move me to recommend him unto you for one of your burgesses.

Dudley added that the borough would find Aglionby ‘very forward in the advancement of anything that may tend to the common profit and commodity of your town’. On 9 Apr. 1571 ‘Mr Aglionby, burgess for the town of Warwick’ spoke on the first reading of the bill for coming to church and receiving communion. He argued that, as compulsory attendance had been agreed upon, the exemption allowed to gentlemen with private chapels was unfair: in this matter the law should observe

equality between the prince and the poor man, not giving scope to the one above the other ... But for the other matter concerning the receiving of the sacrament ... it was not convenient to enforce consciences.

Perhaps as a result of making this speech Aglionby was added next day to the commissioners already appointed to discuss ‘matters of religion’ with the Lords. On the second reading of the church attendance bill (20 Apr.) he again ‘showed the difference between the coming to church and receiving of the communion’. It was a public matter to attend church, something of ‘outward show’, which it was ‘tolerable and convenient’ to enforce. But

the conscience of man is internal, invisible and not in the power of the greatest monarch in the world, in no limits to be straitened, in no bonds to be contained.

Aglionby showed

out of St. Paul that we must not do ill that thereby good may grow ... there was no example in the primitive church to prove a commandment for coming to the communion ... and for us to will and command men to come because they are wicked men it is too strange an enforcement and without precedent.

The last reference found to Aglionby in the journals of the 1571 Parliament is to his membership of a committee (4 May) against licences and dispensations granted by the archbishop of Canterbury.[footnote]

Soon afterwards Aglionby was made recorder of Warwick, in succession to his brother-in-law Sir William Wigston. When the Queen visited Warwick on 12 Aug. 1572 Aglionby treated her to an oration on its history. The Queen gave him her hand to kiss, saying

Come hither, little recorder. It was told me that you would be afraid to look upon me, or to speak boldly; but you were not so afraid of me as I was of you; and I now thank you for putting me in mind of my duty, and that should be in me.

It may have been at about this time that Aglionby dedicated a pedigree to her, receiving as reward a £5 annuity. Between 1574 and 1581 Aglionby submitted to the Privy Council reports on local land disputes, seditious speeches and a case of fraud, and he was one of the commissioners who examined Sir William Catesby about his association with Edmund Campion. The last recorded reference to him is his contribution to the 100 horsemen required from the county to repel the Spaniards in 1588. By this time he had resigned from his Warwick and Stratford recorderships, pleading at Warwick his ‘great age, impotency to travel, and failing of sight’.[footnote]

On 14 Oct. 1591 the will was proved of Edward Aglionby, esquire, of Barnacle (near Coventry), Warwickshire. Edward Aglionby of Balsall is known to have had some property there, but the other lands mentioned in the will do not include any known to be his. There is no reference to children, and the christian name of the widow, the sole executrix, was Mary. This would suggest that the will might be that of a namesake, were it not that Coventry chose a new recorder between 1590 and 1592 to replace Edward Aglionby ‘of Balsall’. Thus, with a repeated caveat about the possibility of confusion, it appears that Aglionby, the Member in 1571, with no known legal education, was recorder of three boroughs, and that by the time he made his will on 12 Mar. 1590 his first wife and children had died, he had remarried, disposed of most of his lands, and retired to his manor of Barnacle.[footnote]

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: N. M. Fuidge / Alan Davidson


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.