WOLLEY, Francis (1583-1609), of Pyrford, Surr.

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

b. 1583, 1st s. of John Wolley of Pyrford by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of (Sir) William More I of Loseley, wid. of Richard Polsted of Albany. educ.Merton, Oxf. 1596, BA 1598; L. Inn 1600. m. 11 Sept. 1594, Mary, da. of Sir William Hawtry of Pyrford; 1da. illegit. suc. fa. 1596. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

Clerk of the pipe from 1607.


Wolley, aged 18, was returned to the 1601 Parliament for Haslemere on the nomination of his uncle (Sir) George More, the lord of the manor. In 1595 his father, the Latin secretary, was trying to provide for his son’s future by having him joined with him in his patent as clerk of the pipe, but Francis secured the reversion only in 1605 and the clerkship itself in 1607. He also obtained the reversion of the keepership of Folly park, Windsor forest. On Twelfth Night 1608 he was among those gambling with James I when ‘no gamester was admitted that brought not £300’, winning over £800. He was named in the second charter of the Virginia Company, and he bought land near his estates in Surrey during these years.

Wolley made his will 11 Aug. 1609, adding a codicil on Nov., six days before his death at Pyrford. It was proved by his executors 12 Dec. He wished to be buried in St. Paul’s cathedral, at the feet of his father, and set aside £4,000 for the erection of a ‘fair tomb’ for his parents and himself. For as long as it remained undefaced, and the bodies undisturbed, the cathedral was to receive £10 a year. He left a total of £1,300 to his servants. His illegitimate daughter, who had been christened by his wife and a Mrs. Bridget Weston ‘in Pyrford church and called by the name of Mary Wolley’, received the manor of Burgham and other lands in Worplesdon. Sir Arthur Mainwaring inherited most of his estates.

Manning and Bray, Surr. i. 155; HMC 7th Rep. 652; C142/249/74, 334/60; Add. 35906, f. 2v; HMC Hatfield, v. 152-3; Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i. 204, 253; CSP Dom.1603-10, pp. 236, 369; W. Stith, Hist. Discovery and Settlement of Virginia, App. 10; VCH Surr. iii. 98, 100; PCC 118 Dorset.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière