AYLWORTH, Edward (c.1553-c.1625), of the Middle Temple, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

b. c.1553, yr. s. of John Aylworth, and bro. of Ashton. educ. Furnival’s Inn; M. Temple 1571, called by unm.

Offices Held


A younger son of a retired duchy of Cornwall official, Aylworth inherited £60 in money and a £20 annuity from his father. He was fined for not reading at the Middle Temple in Autumn 1594. A master of the utter bar in 1602, he received no further legal advancement and in 1624 was described as ‘one of the most ancient masters’. Evidence of one incident in Aylworth’s life survives: in the summer of 1573, accompanied by two other law students, John Spencer and Peter Berchet, he toured the west country, visiting friends. When, in the October, Berchet attempted to murder Christopher Hatton, Aylworth and Spencer wrote an account of their trip, describing Berchet’s strange behaviour throughout. At the Middle Temple, Aylworth became acquainted with some of the numerous Cornishmen at the inn: for example, in 1584 his name appears in a bond with Richard Edgecombe II, son of Peter Edgecombe, but how he came to be returned for the recently enfranchised Mountjoy/Winchester borough of Callington is not clear. He died in or about 1625, bequeathing a gilt cup valued at £10 to the Middle Temple, that he might ‘not forget the place of [his] first education’, to which he accounted ‘next unto God [his] poor estate most bound, and over all the outside of the cup I will have hands in hand graven and powdered all over, a sign of a farther farewell to my old loving friends’. He described himself as ‘the most ancientist now of any in that House left alive to my knowledge’. He had a namesake and first cousin at Aylworth, Gloucestershire.

Rylands Eng. ms 311; PCC 4 Carew; Lansd. 16, f. 191 seq.; 17, f. 192; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. lv. 307.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.