FOLJAMBE, Godfrey (1527-85), of Walton, Derbys.; Riby, Lincs. and Aldwark, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 4 Mar. 1527, 1st s. of Sir James Foljambe of Walton by Alice, da. and coh. of Thomas Fitzwilliam of Aldwark. m. by 1550, Troth, da. of Sir William Tyrwhitt of Scotter, Lincs., 1s. Godfrey suc. fa. 26 Sept. 1558. Kntd. 24 Jan. 1580.1

Offices Held

J.p. Derbys. 1561-d., q. by 1569; sheriff, Notts. and Derbys. 1566-7, Derbys. 1578-9; commr. to inquire into Jesuits and seminarists, Derbys. 1585.2


Godfrey Foljambe was born to the wealth and standing in Derbyshire which had been enjoyed by his forbears for several generations. The family lands had centred on the manor of Walton in the hundred of Scarsdale, where Foljambes shared ascendancy with Lekes of Sutton in the Dale, but the marriage of Godfrey Foljambe’s father and uncle to the coheirs of Thomas Fitzwilliam, elder brother of Sir William Fitzwilliam I, Earl of Southampton, led to the acquisition of Aldwark, which was to become his main seat. It was in October 1560 that he was granted livery of all these lands.3

The first of his line known to have sat in Parliament since 1371, Foljambe presumably owed his election to his father, then still alive; like his even younger colleague John Zouche II he had yet to be named to the commission of the peace, and neither was to sit again. Foljambe’s father and grandfather had both been soldiers who directed that their armour should hang over their tombs for ever, but his own public career was to reflect no such aptitude, being confined to local administration. The recusancy of his mother did not seriously compromise him and he was judged fit to remain a justice by those who advised Bishop Bentham in 1564. In February 1569 (Sir) Francis Knollys thought him ‘a very worthy man and dutiful subject’ and chose his house at Walton as suitable lodgings for Mary Queen of Scots during an unexpected two-day halt on the way to Tutbury. Some years later, however, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury took a different view: in 1577 he found Foljambe a ‘hinderer’ of the Queen’s service and asked Burghley not to appoint him sheriff because of his ‘sundry suits in the shire’ and other kinds of ‘unfitness’. The earl’s caveat notwithstanding, Foljambe was pricked in the following year. In 1581, after he had been knighted, he was one of three gentlemen commissioned to settle the controversy between Shrewsbury and his Glossopdale tenantry.4

Foljambe died on 23 Dec. 1585. In his will, drawn up two years previously, he made detailed provision for the disposal of his estates. He gave his wife a life interest in the manor of Aldwark and six others in Yorkshire, lands near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, livestock and numerous household articles. His son and heir Godfrey, whom he appointed his sole executor, was to found a grammar school at Chesterfield and within one year after his death to appoint a schoolmaster with an annuity of £10. His supervisors, Sir Christopher Wray, John Manners, Sir John Zouche and Marmaduke Tyrwhitt, were each to have £10; Wray, who was related to the Tyrwhitts through his own marriage, had married one of his daughters to Foljambe’s son. An altar tomb in a Chesterfield church bore the effigies of Foljambe and his wife.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: C. J. Black


  • 1. Date of birth given in Coll. Top. et Gen. ii. 71; C142/210/119; The Gen. n.s. vii. 133; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 361-3; (lii), 1020.
  • 2. CPR , 1560-3, p. 435; 1569-72, p. 223; HMC Rutland, i. 301.
  • 3. J. C. Cox, Derbys. Churches, i. 146; LP Hen. VIII, i; CSP Scot. i. 161; CPR, 1553, p. 11; 1558-60, pp. 362, 410; E150/249/38; Wards 7/102/164; Coll. Top. et Gen. ii. 68, 71.
  • 4. N. Country Wills, i (Surtees Soc. cxvi), 176; ii (cxxi), 5; APC, xi. 154; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 43; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 627; CSP Scot. ii. 614; HMC Shrewsbury and Talbot, ii. 101, 302; HMC Rutland, i. 128, 129.
  • 5. C142/210/119; PCC 22 Windsor; Cox, i. 149.