LOXLEY, Robert, of Polstead, Surr.
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Family and Education
Surveyor of a tax, Suss. Dec. 1380.
As the son of a distinguished local administrator and landowner, this MP inherited an influential place in county society, and his election as a shire knight in 1395 undoubtedly owed much to his father’s posthumous reputation. Robert Loxley the elder represented Surrey in at least six Parliaments, as well as discharging the duties of sheriff, escheator, j.p. and royal commissioner at various times during the course of his long career. Together with his wife, Margaret, who was herself the heiress to holdings in Southwark and Rotherhithe, he acquired land in the Surrey villages of Polstead and Compton, and at the time of his death, in 1390, he held other unspecified property in Sussex.2 This estate descended to his eldest son, Robert, who is first mentioned in December 1380, when he was appointed as a surveyor of taxes in Sussex. Four months later he stood surety in Chancery for a Guildford merchant. It was in about 1385 that the abbot of Durford, Sussex, granted the manor of Westbury, near Guildford, to Robert and his parents for the term of their lives, notwithstanding a previous settlement whereby the property was to escheat to the Crown should its revenues cease to be used for the support of a chantry. The abbot’s blatant disregard of this provision led to the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry in June 1391, the outcome of which is not recorded.3 Meanwhile, at some point before the autumn of 1386, Robert Loxley the younger contracted an extremely lucrative marriage to Agnes Braboeuf, whose manor of Artington was then conveyed to the elder Loxley and his wife as feoffees-to-uses. Agnes also released her title to rents worth £10 p.a. in Chertsey (Surrey) at this time, perhaps as part of an arrangement involving the dower settled upon her by her first husband, Robert Danhurst. Robert and Agnes Loxley also appear to have bought or inherited land in Bagshot and Windlesham (Surrey), since their son, William, made an enfeoffment of his patrimony there at some point before January 1410.4
Unlike his father, Loxley showed scant interest in public affairs, and very little evidence has survived to illuminate his career. In October 1387 he and William Weston I* acted as mainpernors in Chancery for John Hathersham I*; and in April 1391 he witnessed a conveyance of property made by Elizabeth, Lady Grey of Stoke Dabernon, to John of Gaunt and others. He again appeared as a witness in June 1395, this time in London, although the deed itself concerned land in Surrey. No more is heard of him after that date, and, as we have already seen, he must have died well before 1410, by which time his son and heir, William, had settled his inheritance on trustees. Agnes Loxley probably outlived her husband for some years, since on her death her own property in Artington descended to Robert Danhurst (d.1418), the grandson of her first marriage.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Loxele, Loxeleye, Loxle.
- 1. CP25(1)230/53/38, 55/15, 231/62/93, 98; VCH Surr. iii. 4; O. Manning and W. Bray, Surr. i. 86; CCR, 1409-13, p. 99; CFR, x. 360.
- 2. PRO List ‘Escheators’, 164; ‘Sheriffs’, 136; CP25(1)230/53/38, 55/15; CFR, x. 360.
- 3. CCR, 1377-81, p. 510; CIMisc. v. 352; Manning and Bray, ii. 3 n. Bray, ii. 3; CCR,
- 4. CP25(1)231/62/93, 98; VCH Surr. iii. 4; Manning and 1409-13, p. 99.
- 5. CCR, 1385-9, p. 436; 1389-92, p. 350; Manning and Bray, i. 86; VCH Surr. iii. 4. Loxley was survived by at least two brothers, one of whom became involved in a dispute over the manor of Compton, to which the heirs of Thomas Wintershall*, the Loxley’s kinsman by marriage, advanced a claim (VCH Surr. iii. 21).