FOLEY, Edward (1676-1747).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1701 - June 1711
15 Apr. 1732 - 1741

Family and Education

bap. 23 Sept. 1676, 2nd s. of Thomas Foley, M.P., of Witley Court, Worcs. by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Ashe, M.P.; bro. of Thomas Foley, M.P., 1st Baron Foley, and Richard Foley. educ. L. Inn 1717. unm. suc. bro. Richard 1732.

Offices Held

Commr. for leather duties and land taxes, 1711-14.


The Foleys were descended from a Worcestershire ironmaster, who founded an immense fortune by introducing a Swedish method of splitting iron to make nails.1 One of his grandsons, Thomas, of Witley Court, was M.P. for Worcestershire in six Parliaments and then for Droitwich, where the family controlled one seat, from 1698 to his death in 1701; another, Paul, of Stoke Edith Court, Herefordshire, was M.P. for Hereford in seven Parliaments and Speaker of the House of Commons 1695-8; and a third, Philip, of Prestwood, Staffordshire, was M.P. for Bewdley in three Parliaments and then for Stafford 1689-90 and for Droitwich 1701. In conjunction with their connexions, the Harleys, they exercised considerable electoral influence in Herefordshire, as well as being the heads of the Worcestershire Tories. Thomas Foley’s eldest son sat for Stafford from 1694 to 1712, when he was raised to the peerage by his brother-in-law Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, as one of the 12 peers created to secure a Tory majority in the House of Lords. His second son, Edward, sat as a Tory for Droitwich from 1701 to 1711, when he surrendered his seat to his younger brother Richard. On Richard’s death in 1732 he resumed the seat, voting with the Opposition until 1741, when he stood down in favour of his cousin, Thomas Foley, who in the meantime had come of age. He died 4 Apr. 1747.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: A. N. Newman


  • 1. B. L. C. Johnson, 'The Foley Partnerships', Econ. Hist. Review (ser. 2), iv. 322-40.