ST. LOE (SEYNTLOWE), Edward (d.1578), of Sutton Court, Som. and Knighton, Wilts.

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




Family and Education

2nd s. of Sir John St. Loe, and bro. of Sir William. m. (1) Bridget, da. of John Malte, wid. of John Scutt; (2) Margaret; 2s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Capt. in Ireland 1567.


In 1549 and 1553 St. Loe was associated with his father in grants of local office and revenue,3 but the family’s protestant sympathies and affiliations involved them in trouble during Queen Mary’s reign, St. Loe himself being imprisoned in the Fleet in May 1556 for complicity in the Dudley plot. After the accession of Elizabeth, his brother Sir William came into favour at court, and in the 1559 Parliament all three St. Loes gained seats, Edward being returned for Bath through the local standing of his family and his own nearby residence. This was the only known election of an outsider by Bath during the Elizabethan period. There is no mention of St. Loe in the defective journals of this Parliament.

The new reign, which had promised better times, in fact brought trouble, mostly of St. Loe’s own making. Early in 1561 he and his mother visited Sir William St. Loe and his wife Bess of Hardwick in London, where Edward St. Loe was suspected of administering poison to them both, after ‘much unnaturalness and unseemly speeches’ concerning Sir William’s marriage, which seemed likely to deprive Edward of his inheritance. In the event it did, for Sir William, after the alleged poisoning attempt ‘did of very good will toward [his wife] convey [his lands] unto her’. St. Loe was suspected also of having poisoned his first wife’s first husband and then the lady herself. In the circumstances it is perhaps not surprising that after unsuccessfully contesting his brother’s will Edward undertook a period of service in Ireland, where in 1567 he was in command of the garrison at Derry.4

St. Loe’s later career was largely shaped by his connexion with successive earls of Pembroke. The 1st Earl had been an associate of his father (who made him an overseer of his will), and Edward remained in the Wilton entourage. His lease of Knighton, a manor in Broad Chalk a few miles from that house, which had come to Herbert from the Darrells, began at some time after 1563, when the Pembroke survey makes no mention of him there, and perhaps after 1572, when he is described as of ‘Stoye’, Somerset; in 1576 he was assessed at £10 for the subsidy on lands at Knighton. In July 1575 post horses were ordered for him to visit the 2nd Earl and Lady Pembroke at Spa, to whom he was to carry letters and news from Walsingham. It was doubtless as the nominee of Pembroke that St. Loe was returned to the Parliament of 1572 for Downton. He was presumably the Mr. ‘Watslowe’ who spoke on the Wykes v. Dennis case 7 June 1572.5

St. Loe died intestate in 1578; he was buried in the parish church of Broad Chalk 6 May, where a brass plate long commemorated him. On 11 Feb. 1580 the administration of his estate was granted, with his widow’s and son’s consent, to Henry Galberd, of Pensford, Publow, Somerset. When his widow Margaret died 13 years later, their two children were already married, John to Elizabeth Hyde, of the rising legal family of Hatch, and Ann to Edward Nicholas, to whom she had already borne the future secretary of state. Margaret St. Loe’s reference to her son-in-law Richard Stephens as ‘my well beloved in Christ’ smacks of religious enthusiasm, perhaps of a puritan kind.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. T. Bindoff


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv), 170-1; PCC 20 Nevell; Som. Wills (ser. 6), 24. The visitations are confused over the marriages, understandably in view of St. Loe’s suspected rôle as a poisoner. His first wife was pregnant, no doubt by St. Loe, at their marriage, but it is not known whether the child lived.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xviii(2), p. 44; Wilts. N. and Q. iv. 118.
  • 4. APC, v. 270; C3/159/9, 170/13, 170/58; HMC Hatfield, i. 343; D. N. Durant, Bess of Hardwick, 38-9.
  • 5. PCC 4 Chaynay; Som. Wills (ser. 6), 24; Feet of Fines, Wilts. Easter 1 Edw. VI; Pembroke Survey (Roxburghe Club), i. 306; Wilts. Subsidy Lists (Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. x), 136; APC, ix. 11; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. f. 56.
  • 6. Som. Wills (ser. 6), 24-5; PCC 20 Nevell.