MAN, Edward (c.1549-1622), of Poole, Dorset

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




Family and Education

b. c.1549,1 5th s. of John Man (d.1577/8), merchant, of Poole, being 2nd s. with his 2nd w. Amy, da. of one Harvey of Tarrant Launceston, Dorset, wid. of John Ryves of Damory Court, Blandford, Dorset.2 m. (1) 8 Feb. 1576, Temperance, da. of John Hassard, sen., merchant, of Lyme Regis, Dorset, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) Eleanor, sis. of Lewis Pope* of Taunton, Som., s.p. d. 22 Dec. 1622.3

Offices Held

Freeman, Poole 1585,4 mayor 1589-90, collector of bor. revenues 1590-1, senior bailiff 1593-4, 1598-9, 1600-1, 1604-5, 1607-8, 1613-14,5 common cllr. 1601-d.,6 commr. gaol delivery 1602,7 piracy, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset 1602, Dorset 1603, 1605,8 Admlty. causes, Purbeck 1605;9 collector of customs, Poole by 1605-at least 1609,10 commr. subsidy 1608, 1621-2,11 aid 1609,12 oyer and terminer 1611, sewers, Dorset 1617.13

Member, Spanish Co. 1605,14 French Co. 1611.15


Man’s father prospered through trade with Spain. Tudor subsidy assessments identified him as Poole’s richest inhabitant, and he served four terms as mayor between 1539 and 1559. Despite being a youngest son, Man himself inherited seven houses in the town, along with £200 in cash and a selection of the best family plate.16 Reputedly a well-meaning busybody, he played an active role in Poole’s affairs, twice representing the borough in Elizabethan Parliaments. However, he proved reluctant to take on municipal office, and in 1590 obtained an undertaking that he should not be elected to a second mayoralty without his own consent. Upon the accession of James I, he took charge of Poole’s loyal celebrations, including the firing of the town cannon, which scored a direct hit on the house of the most prominent local papist.17

By now Man was clearly very wealthy, for in about 1604 he was assessed at £30 for a Privy Seal loan. His local standing was presumably further enhanced by the appointment of his brother Bartholomew as treasurer of the Middle Temple in 1603. Returned to the first Jacobean Parliament, he made little impact on its proceedings, merely receiving four committee appointments. His appointment to scrutinize bills relating to cask manufacture and Tunnage and Poundage (24 Apr. and 5 June 1604) reflected his role as a customs collector, in which capacity he was employed by Sir Thomas Waller* in the levy of prisage and butlerage on wine imports.18 On the opening day of the 1605-6 session Man was nominated to a committee of inquiry into the Spanish Company. Barely a week later he was admitted to the same Company, presumably with a view to lobbying on its behalf in the Commons, although no record of such activity survives. On 23 Jan. 1606 he was also named to the committee for a piece of Dorset legislation, the bill to compensate the vicar of Radipole following the establishment of a new parish church at Melcombe Regis; he attended one meeting (5 February). Man obtained leave of absence on 5 Apr., at about the time when Poole’s corporation secured a patent renewing its lease of the local rectory. He left no further trace on the Commons’ records, though the town paid him £14 10s. ‘for attendance at Parliament’.19

In 1609, aged around 60, Man gave evidence in a prisage case before the Exchequer, his deposition being taken at Poole. However, he also maintained some ties with London, becoming a member of the French Company two years later. His brother Bartholomew had retired to Rochester, and it was probably through Man that Sir Thomas Walsingham II*, whose family dominated the Kentish city, obtained a seat at Poole in 1614.20 Man died in December 1622. In his will, he left 10s. for a funeral sermon by Nicholas Jeffreys, ‘preacher of God’s word in Poole’, small bequests to the church, the local poor and his servants, and the residue to his widow. His brother-in-law Lewis Pope was named as one of the overseers, and the will was witnessed by his kinsman John Ryves*. According to his epitaph in the parish church, ‘this merchant Man purchased a jewel rare / when to gain Christ (God-man) he took great care’. John Man, who was elected for Weymouth in 1673, was presumably a kinsman, but the precise relationship has not been established.21

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. E134/7Jas.I/Mich 27.
  • 2. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 134; PROB 11/60, f. 244; Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 52, 80.
  • 3. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 47; Som. Par. Reg. vii. 10; PROB 11/141, f. 49v.
  • 4. Dorset RO, DC/PL/B/1/1, f. 30v.
  • 5. Ibid. Poole bor. audit bk. 5, pp. 4-9.
  • 6. Ibid. DC/PL/B/1/1, f. 42.
  • 7. C181/1, f. 23.
  • 8. Ibid. ff. 24, 62v, 114v.
  • 9. Ibid. f. 117.
  • 10. HMC Hatfield, xvii. 113; E134/7Jas.I/Mich 27.
  • 11. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20-1.
  • 12. E179/283/12.
  • 13. C181/2, ff. 139v, 294.
  • 14. Spanish Co. ed. P. Croft (London Rec. Soc. ix), 70.
  • 15. T.K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 337.
  • 16. Spanish Co. 70; Hutchins, i. 34; E179/105/223; PROB 11/60, f. 244.
  • 17. C3/245/112; ex inf. Robert Tittler; Dorset RO, DC/PL/B/1/1, f. 28; STAC 8/104/10.
  • 18. Som. and Dorset N and Q, xiii. 106; MTR, 169, 440; CJ, i. 183b, 232b; E134/7Jas.I/Mich 27.
  • 19. CJ, i. 256b, 259a, 294a; Spanish Co. 70; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 183; Dorset RO, Poole bor. audit bk. 5.
  • 20. E134/7Jas.I/Mich 27; MTR, 611; Arch. Cant. xx. 10.
  • 21. PROB 141, f. 49v; Hutchins, i. 47.