JONES, Edward (c.1560-1609), of Gray's Inn, London and Otford, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



7 Apr. 1604 - 18 Oct. 1609

Family and Education

b. c.1560, s. of one Jones of Flints. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1579, aged 19;1 G. Inn 1588;2 embassy (France) 1591, 1593.3 m. lic. 7 June 1595,4 Margaret (d. 1 Jan. 1625),5 da. of John Bull of London, wid. of Richard Branthwaite (d. 1594), sjt.-at-law, of Paternoster Row, London, s.p.6 d. 18 Oct. 1609.7

Offices Held

Servant to Sir Thomas Heneage† c.1585, Ambrose Dudley, 1st earl of Warwick c.1586-90, Sir Christopher Hatton† c.1590, Sir John Puckering† 1592-6, Sir Thomas Egerton† c.1599;8 recvr.-gen. of post fines 1607-d.;9 dep. clerk of Star Chamber 1608-d.10

Escheator, Kent and Mdx. 1591-2;11 under-kpr. Otford Park by 1599-at least 1604;12 freeman, Portsmouth, Hants 1600.13


Of plebeian origin, Jones has to be distinguished from a Denbighshire namesake who matriculated at St. Mary Hall in 1584 and was executed as a Catholic conspirator two years later. Although he served no less than five Elizabethan privy councillors, and enjoyed a considerable reputation as a translator,14 the accession of James I found him still out of office, like his patron Francis Bacon*. Fortunately for him his wife had brought him considerable wealth, and the disgrace of the 11th Lord Cobham (Sir Henry Brooke alias Cobham†), who had publicly humiliated him in a dispute over the Crown estate at Otford,15 removed one obstacle from his path. Nevertheless he still found no seat at the general election of 1604, despite his experience in the last three Parliaments. When his friend Richard Martin chose to sit for Christchurch, however, he was returned for Cirencester on the interest of the 1st Lord Danvers, to whom he had probably been recommended by his colleague Arnold Oldisworth*, once his fellow-servant in the Dudley household. He was appointed to eight committees in the first session, whose subjects included the due observance of orders in the Exchequer (14 June), attorneys and clerks in the courts (22 June) and the continuance of expiring laws (22 June).16 A month after the prorogation he applied to Lord Cranborne (Robert Cecil†) for a clerkship of the Privy Council. On the advice of Lords Danvers and Monteagle he made it clear that he was free from any obligations.17 He was nominated to six committees in the second session, for two of which he was erroneously described as Sir Edward, including a land bill for Sir Christopher Hatton*, the heir of his former employer (4 April).18 Although he frequently lobbied the government in the Danvers interest he was not appointed to the bill for Danvers’ restoration.19 No speeches are recorded, not even when Danvers’ patent ‘touching issues’ was condemned as a grievance. He left no mark on the third session.20

On the death of his soldier brother, Sir Ellis, Jones inherited liability for debts of over £1,200. He wrote to Cranborne, now lord treasurer Salisbury, claiming a reward for three years of ‘searching into the king’s revenue’, and was rewarded with an Exchequer post.21 When Tobie Matthew* was given six weeks ‘to set his affairs in order and depart the realm’, Jones, as ‘a friend of good account, and well affected’, was much elated to be selected as his custodian.22 In 1608 Bacon appointed him as his deputy in Star Chamber, and he subsequently took a house in Essex where he entertained John Donne* and Richard Martin*.23 He died intestate on 18 Oct. 1609, ‘some say of a dropsy, others of a melancholy in regard to the poverty of his estate’,24 and was buried at St. Andrew’s, Holborn.25 Administration was granted to a Kentish yeoman as principal creditor on 28 Feb. 1610.26

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. Al. Ox.
  • 2. GI Admiss.
  • 3. CSP For. 1591-2, p. 193; Add. 28167, f. 5; Lansd. 77, f. 133.
  • 4. Bp. of London Mar. Lics. 1520-1610 ed. G.J. Armytage (Harl. Soc. xxv), 222.
  • 5. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 596.
  • 6. F. Blomefield, Essay Towards a Top. Hist. of County of Norf. v. 110; PROB 11/84, ff. 336-8.
  • 7. HMC Downshire, ii. 162.
  • 8. CSP For. 1591-2, p. 193; T. Birch, Eliz. Mems. ii. 107; Lansd. 77, f. 133.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 366.
  • 10. J. Hawarde, Les Reportes del Cases in Camera Stellata, 369.
  • 11. List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 75.
  • 12. Sidney Letters ed. A. Collins, ii. 184; PROB 11/113, f. 6.
  • 13. Portsmouth Recs. ed. R. East, 347.
  • 14. Birch, ii. 107; HMC De L’Isle and Dudley, ii. 407.
  • 15. HMC Hatfield, xiv. 288.
  • 16. CJ, i. 238b, 244b.
  • 17. HMC Hatfield, xvi. 443-4; xvii. 604.
  • 18. CJ, i. 277a, 293a, 293b.
  • 19. CJ, i. 283b.
  • 20. Ibid. 295b.
  • 21. PROB 6/7, f. 76; HMC Hatfield, xix. 1-2.
  • 22. Add. 11402, f. 134; Chamberlain Letters, i. 255.
  • 23. Letters to Several Persons of Honour Written by John Donne ed. J. Donne, 52-3.
  • 24. HMC Downshire, ii. 162.
  • 25. GL, ms 6673/1.
  • 26. PROB 6/7, f. 184.