FOXE, Charles (d.1590), of Bromfield, Salop.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

2nd s. of William Foxe of Ludlow by Jane, da. of Richard Downe of Ludlow; bro. of Edmund. educ. I. Temple. m. by 1542, Elizabeth (d.1575), da. of Miles Crosby of Bury St. Edmunds, Suff., 2s. 3da.; (2) Katherine, da. of Sir Edward Leighton of Wattlesborough, 3s.; 1s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Clerk of the signet to council in the marches of Wales from 1540, jointly, with bro. Edmund, then with John Dudley I 1565-80, then with Fulke Greville to 1590; sec. council in the marches of Wales from 1558, member from 1560, clerk from c.1565.

Constable, I. Temple 1545, marshal 1561, steward 1564.

J.p. Cheshire, Glos., Herefs., Mon., Salop, Worcs. and all Wales c.1559-d.; sheriff, Salop 1582-3.

Freeman, Shrewsbury 1569; recorder, Ludlow 1576.2


After sitting in Parliament for Ludlow in previous reigns through the influence of his father, the founder of the family fortunes, Foxe found a seat at Much Wenlock in 1563, presumably through his relative by marriage, Roland Lacon. He was classified as ‘neuter’ in religion by the bishop of Hereford in 1564 and by the bishop of Coventry as ‘meet to continue’ in office in Shropshire. He subscribed £100 at the time of the Armada. The usual cases were brought against him as a landowner, alleging corrupt practices, and he was once told by the Privy Council not to meddle in a suit before the council in the marches in which he had an interest. If the records leave the impression that Foxe was greedy, this may reflect no more than his anger at being forced into a deal with Greville over the profits of the clerkship of the signet. On the other hand, 12 years after his death, Sir Thomas Leighton wrote to Sir Robert Cecil on behalf of his nephew, Foxe’s son, regretting that the Queen had had ‘sinister information’ about the ‘dishonesty’ of Foxe and hoping that it would do his nephew no harm.3

On 12 Oct. 1590 Foxe made a lengthy will, asking to be buried near his wives in Bromfield church. He had long before made a settlement on his eldest son and his main concern was to provide for his two surviving sons by his second marriage, both under age, to whom he left estates in Shropshire and Montgomeryshire. An illegitimate son received a small legacy, and Foxe arranged for the foundation of an almshouse at Ludlow, endowed with property at Worcester. He died in December 1590 and was succeeded by his eldest son Charles, then aged 45, who unsuccessfully contested the will. A younger son, Henry, became a recusant.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 191-3; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), xii. 137-41, 187-8.
  • 2. P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 159-61, 333, 348-9; Shrewsbury Burgess Roll, 108; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), xi. 316; CPR, 1557-8, p. 305; 1563-6, p. 319.
  • 3. Cam. Misc. ix(3), pp. 16, 45; T. C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 52; HMC Hatfield, xii. 171; P. H. Williams, 160, 164.
  • 4. PCC 59 Sainberbe, 49 Harrington; C142/235/111.