Henry BARLEY of Albury

Born: 1487, Albury, Hertfordshire, England

Died: 12 Nov 1529

Father: William BARLEY of Albury

Mother: Elizabeth DARCY

Married: Elizabeth NORTHWOOD

Married: Anne JERNINGHAM AFT 1517


1. William BARLEY

2. Elizabeth BARLEY

3. Dau. BARLEY

4. Dau. BARLEY

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Born 1487, first son of William Barley of Albury by Elizabeth, dau. of Sir Robert Darcy of Danbury, Essex. Educ. ?M. Temple, adm. 3 Feb 1511. Married first Elizabeth (d. BEF 1517), dau. and coh. of John Northwood of Northwood in Milton, Kent, at least 1s.; and secondly Anne, dau. of Edward Jerningham of Somerleyton, Suff., wid. of Lord Edward Grey and of Henry Berkeley. Suc. fa. 17 Mar 1522. Commr. gaol delivery, Herts. 1516, subsidy 1523, 1524; j.p. 1521-d., Essex 1528-d.; sheriff, Essex and Herts. 1523-4.

Henry Barley's father, attainted of treason in 1495 for his support of Perkin Warbeck, had been pardoned three years later and in 1501 had recovered the family lands; chief among these were the manors of Albury, Hertfordshire and Layer Breton, Essex.

The earliest certain references to Henry Barley record his appointments to county offices and his pardon in 1517 for the earlier unlicensed acquisition of a Wiltshire manor jointly with his first wife. His father died in Mar 1522, and the lands to which Barley then succeeded were valued eight years later at over £90 a year; in addition he had a life interest in his first wife's lands in Hampshire, Kent and Wiltshire. He was rated one of Hertfordshire's wealthiest men, for his payment of £5 in anticipation of the subsidy of 1524 was equalled by few and exceeded by only one, Sir Phillip Butler, of his fellow-gentlemen in the shire.

Apart from the record of his lands and offices, and his will, the only information about Barley comes from a Star Chamber case; of unknown date, it was certainly begun before 1522, for Barley and his father were joint defendants. The plaintiff, the rector of Albury, Henry Davy, charged the Barleys inter alia with assault, malicious prosecution, theft of a missal and a church bell, obstruction of a public footpath and appropriation of glebe land. The case seems to have been the culmination of a series of disputes conducted in different courts.

If the Barleys’ part in this litigation reflected their general anti-clericalism, Henry Barley's return to the Parliament of 1529 is likely to have pleased the King and may even have owed something to him, as other elections in the home counties seem to have done: Barley's marriage to Anne Jerningham, whose first husband had been a younger brother of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquis of Dorset, may also have aided his return. Any expectations of his usefulness in the Commons were cut short by his death on 12 Nov 1529, only eight days after the beginning of the first session. He had made his will on 20 Oct 1529, so that he may not have taken his seat at all. He asked for 220 masses to be sung at specified times for the souls of dead relatives, including his ‘late wivesElizabeth and Anne. After various charitable gifts, and bequests to servants, friends and distant relatives, Barley left a doublet to each of his three sisters, with a further gift of 40s. to one of them, Dorothy, the last Abbess of Barking, Essex. He left 300 marks to each of two daughters and to the third, Elizabeth, £50 and the proceeds of the sale of the marriage of Barley's ward, Edward Leventhorp, if she did not herself marry him as she later did. To his elder son, William, then aged 19, Barley left all the family land when he should reach 22, and a sum of 30 marks ‘towards finding in the inns of court’ in the intervening three years. The residue of Barley's goods was to be divided between his children by his executors. As the overseers Barley appointed his wife and John Peryent, whose daughter Barley's elder son had recently married. Anne Barley later married Sir Robert Drury and Sir Edmund Walsingham.

Barley's place had evidently not been filled by 1532, for he was marked ‘mortuus’ on the list of Members revised in the spring of that year and the vacancy also appears on a list of available seats compiled by Cromwell some time later, with the name of Sir Giles Capell as a recommended nominee.

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