FOXE, Sir Edward (1578-1629), of Caynham and Ludlow, Salop and Gwern-y-go, Ceri, Mont.
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Family and Education
bap. 20 July 1578, 3rd s. of Charles Foxe† of Bromfield, Salop, and 2nd w. Katherine, da. of Sir Edward Leighton† of Wattlesborough, Salop.1 educ. G. Inn 1595; Christ Church, Oxf. 1595.2 m. (1) Frances (d. by 1599), da. of Rowland Barker of Haughmond, Salop, s.p.;3 (2) by 1599, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Charles Somerset† (d.1599) of Chepstow, Mon., wid. of Radcliffe Gerard (d.1586/7) of Gerard’s Bromley, Staffs., at least 4s., 2da. (1 d.v.p.);4 (3) 1611/12, Katherine (bur. 14 Dec. 1613), da. of Sir John Thynne* of Longleat, Wilts., wid. of Sir Walter Long† (d.1610) of Wraxhall, Wilts., s.p.;5 (4) 1616/17, Elizabeth (d. July 1640), da. of John Palgrave of Barningham Norgrave, Norf., wid. of Sir Stephen Riddlesden† (d.1608) of St. Katherine, Coleman Street, London, s.p.;6 suc. fa. in Caynham and Gwern-y-go estates 1590;7 kntd. 22 Apr. 1603.8 d. 6 Mar. 1629.9
J.p. Salop 1601-16, 1621-d., Mont. 1619-d.;10 sheriff, Salop 1607-8, Mont. 1616-17;11 commr. subsidy, Salop 1608, 1621-2, 1624-5, Mont. 1621-2, 1624-5;12 member, Council in the Marches 1609-d.;13 freeman, Ludlow 1614.14
The Foxe family settled at Stoke by Greet near Ludlow, Shropshire shortly after Glendower’s rebellion. Sir Edward’s grandfather William, who served as bailiff of Ludlow five times under the early Tudors and represented the borough in Parliament three times, acquired 8,000 acres of ex-monastic land in the vicinity of the town, establishing three of his sons on separate estates. The MP’s father inherited the manor of Bromfield, just to the west of Ludlow, and served as secretary to the Council in the Marches for most of Elizabeth’s reign. This estate passed to his eldest son at his death in 1590, but under a settlement of 1583 all three sons of his second marriage had other properties settled upon them: Sir Edward’s share comprised 1,100 acres in Shropshire, 1,600 acres in Herefordshire and lands worth £300 a year in south-eastern Montgomeryshire.15
After his father’s death, Sir Edward was raised by his uncle Edward Foxe of Greet, who doubtless arranged his first marriage with the Barkers of Haughmond, a major Shropshire family. This wife died childless, and her father revoked her portion in his will, but Foxe’s second wife, a niece of the 3rd earl of Worcester, brought him a life interest in her estates in Monmouthshire and Bristol.16 Foxe was knighted within weeks of James’s accession, but is not known to have stood for election to Parliament in 1604, when his neighbours at Ludlow followed their habitual course of returning two corporation Members. This tradition ended in 1614, when the Ludlow bailiff, Robert Berry, was unseated for returning himself: in the weeks before the fresh election Sir Edward became a freeman of the borough, while his nephew Richard Foxe of Whichcote was feasted by the corporation, suggesting that Sir Edward was canvassing for the vacancy. As a member of the Council in the Marches since 1609, Foxe may have been backed by lord president [Ralph] Eure†, who had made an unsuccessful nomination five years earlier. However, the corporation, being determined to resist Eure, returned the courtier Robert Lloyd instead.17
Foxe’s electoral hopes at Ludlow vanished in 1618 with the appointment of lord president Northampton, who deployed his official interest there in favour of his son and then his secretary during the 1620s. At the same time Foxe was also distracted by family disputes: his fourth wife, who apparently believed that he would set up home in London, refused to move to the Marches, and the couple lived apart for much of their marriage; while his attempt to assign the manor of Much Cowarne, Herefordshire to his third son, which he had previously settled upon his eldest son’s wife as part of her jointure, provoked a legal battle in 1626-7. It is possible that Foxe sought a parliamentary seat at Bishop’s Castle in 1628 in order to settle this dispute by legislation, but though he was returned no such private bill is known to have been tabled. His return was presumably endorsed by the Council in the Marches, although he also had some local influence, as his Montgomeryshire estates lay only a few miles west of Bishop’s Castle. Foxe left no trace on the records of his only Parliament, and may have missed the 1629 parliamentary session altogether, as his inquisition post mortem (not always a reliable source in these matters) stated that he died in Montgomeryshire on 6 Mar., four days before the dissolution. His heir died in 1643, but his eldest grandson, Somerset Foxe, was returned to the Commons for Ludlow twice after the Restoration.18
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. Bromfield (Salop par. reg. soc. v), 9; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 193.
- 2. GI Admiss.; Al. Ox.
- 3. PROB 11/95, ff. 154-7; Vis. Salop, 193.
- 4. Vis. Salop, 193; C142/266/121; G. Ormerod, Hist. Co. Pal. Cheshire, i. 653; Burford (Salop par. reg. soc.), 19; Ludlow (Salop par. reg. soc. xiii), 125, 128. The MP’s eldest s. Somerset Foxe was aged 16 in 1615, Al. Ox.
- 5. Ludlow, 306; C142/317/125; 142/334/65.
- 6. PROB 11/183, ff. 424v-5; C2/Chas.I/F3/9; C142/327/102.
- 7. C142/235/111.
- 8. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 102.
- 9. C142/448/89.
- 10. C231/4, ff. 15, 118; JPs of Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 137-40.
- 11. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 119, 263.
- 12. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20-3; E179/222/396.
- 13. Eg. 2882, f. 52.
- 14. Salop RO, LB2/1/1, f. 104.
- 15. Vis. Salop, 193; C142/235/111; 142/448/89; C2/Jas.I/F12/28.
- 16. C2/Jas.I/F12/28; PROB 11/95, ff. 154-7; C142/266/121.
- 17. Salop RO, LB2/1/1, f. 104; LB8/1/136/4-6; LUDLOW.
- 18. C2/Jas.I/B3/60; 2/Chas.I/F3/9; 2/Chas.I/F21/61; C142/448/89.