Ralph Shirley of Wiston, Sussex

Is your surname Shirley?

Research the Shirley family

Ralph Shirley of Wiston, Sussex's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Ralph Shirley, Esq.

Birthplace: Wiston, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Death: between February 11, 1510 and May 08, 1520 (66-77)
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph Shirley and Elizabeth Shirley
Husband of Jane Shirley
Father of Beatrice Braye; Sir Richard Sherley of Wiston; Elizabeth Shirley; Jane Dawtrey; Thomas Sherley of West Grinstead and 1 other
Half brother of John Shirley, Esq.

Occupation: Esquire of the Body to King Henry VII
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ralph Shirley of Wiston, Sussex

Ralph Shirley Esq of Wiston Sussex. b_________He was the son of Ralph Shirley, esq, of Staunton Harold, Leicestershire, Lord of Ettington and his 2nd wife Elizabeth Blount; He died 1510

He inherited the manors of: Wystoneston (Wiston) near Steyning, Aysshurst (Ashurst), Chyltyngton (Chillington), Sloughtre (Slaughters in Bellinghurst), Hion (Heene in Tarring), Irynghams (Erringham Broase in Old Shoreham)...all in Sussex. Weedonhill (alias- Woodrow, Woodside or Wood-hill) in Amersham, in Buckingham

Will of Ralph Sherley of Wiston Esq. 1510 - 11 Feb 1509. To be buried in church of Westneston, to Cathedral of Chichester, to church of Westneston, chapel of Heene, church of Chiltyngton, church of Chesham Wobone Bucks, church of Lytelmyssyngdon, church of Lynemynster, church of Stenyning, Ffyndon, Wasshyngton, Ashynton, Bownton (Buncton), Ashurst, Botolphs, Cokeham, Lawnsyng and Olde Shorym. To daughter Jahane Dawtre, Elizbeth Lee, Beatrix Elryngton, and Isabell Dawtre, to Rauff Belyngham the younger and Rauff Palmer my godchildren, to nephew Andrew Tanner, to Edward Berde, to wife Johane farm of Bodyngton, to son Thomas Sherley, to son Richard. Wife executor, to good friend and cousin John Sherley cofferer to the King overseer, "where Thos Cooke, Rauff Belyngham, John Lee, Edward Palmer, John Cowper,and Wingary Sayne lately recovered against me certain lands and tenements in Hunderage, Charlerage, Botley, Chesham Leycester, and Chesham Wobourn in county of Buckinghamshire the use of me during my life…PCC Proven 1510.



married Jane Bellingham, daughter of Thomas Bellingham of Lymster Sussex

  1. Jane Shirley
  2. Elizabeth Shirley
  3. Beatrice Shirley
  4. Sir Richard Shirley of Wiston, Sussex+
  5. Sir Thomas Shirley
  6. Isabel Shirley
  7. Anne Shirley

His heir:

8(i). Sir Richard Shirley of Wiston, Sussex b________He died 1540 Will proved February 5, 1540 London. Inherited Wiston He was sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1515 and again in 1525. He was a Catholic.

The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, - The Shirley family, which had owned Wiston since the early 15th century, only made it their residence after the death of Richard Shirley’s grandfather in 1466. His father built up a reputation in the county, served Henry VII as an esquire of the body and was pricked sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1503. Shirley’s own career mirrored that of his father. He served the crown on local commissions and as a justice of the peace, and was pricked twice as sheriff, but he rarely looked beyond Sussex for adventure or gain. During the French campaign of 1514 Shirley, as sheriff, mustered 55 men and led them to Canterbury to join the retinue of the 5th Lord Bergavenny. In 1526 the King made a progress through the southern counties and appears to have knighted Shirley while he was in Sussex. In 1536 Shirley was ordered to supply troops and march against the northern rebels, but his services were not required in the field and he remained to keep order in Sussex; three years later he was asked to survey the county’s coastal defences against the threatened French invasion. He was an occasional visitor at court and it was presumably as a knight of the body that he attended the reception of Anne of Cleves in 1540.3

Like his father Shirley derived part of his income from farming: he is known to have exported tallow and leather from Shoreham but whether he also sent wool by sea the scanty customs accounts do not indicate. In 1524 he was assessed at £120 in lands at Wiston and in January 1527 he bought property in Ashington, Chiltington, Grinstead and Washington for £35. He assisted Sir Roger Lewknor with the administration of his estates and in 1526 he was sued in the Exchequer to account for money he had collected as receiver of Lewknor’s lands in Sussex.4

As a justice of long standing and a recent sheriff Shirley was well qualified for a knighthood of the shire in the Parliament of 1529 even if he had not sat in an earlier House of Commons, as he may well have done. Yet he probably owed his election to the sheriff, Richard Bellingham, who was his cousin, while the fact that his fellow-Member Sir John Gage was his wife’s brother-in-law cannot but have helped. It is likely that he and Gage shared the same outlook on the great issue of the divorce when it confronted them in the House. Early in 1533 Shirley’s name was one of those included by Cromwell on a list of Members who are thought to have been opposed, either on grounds of conscience or of economic expediency, to the bill in restraint of appeals to Rome then being debated in the Commons: if this is indeed the basis of the list, Gage’s name would doubtless also have been on it if he had not by then retired from court, and probably also from Parliament, as a gesture of disapproval of the divorce proceedings. Close on two years later both men’s names do appear on another of Cromwell’s lists. This one, dating probably from December 1534, appears to relate to the treasons bill then in passage, the Members named perhaps constituting, or being considered for, a committee on that bill: if so, Gage and Shirley may be thought of as belonging to the group of ‘opposition’ Members included in the total. That Shirley did not forfeit the King’s favour is implied by his retention of his appointment as a knight of the body: probably for him, as for Gage and others, the death of Catherine of Aragon in January of that year helped to relieve the tension and the fall of Anne Boleyn a few months later eased the situation still further. There is thus no reason to doubt that he reappeared in the Parliament of June 1536 in accordance with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members.5

Shirley made his will on 21 Oct. 1540. Professing himself ‘to be a true Christian Catholic man and in full and perfect belief of Christ’s Church intending through God’s mercy in the same to die’, he asked to be buried in the chancel of Wiston church before the image of St. Anne, where masses would be said for his soul. He provided for his wife and three unmarried children, and appointed his son William executor: his overseers included his cousins Richard Bellingham, Sir John Gage and (Sir) William Shelley, and his brother Thomas Shirley. Shirley died on the following 16 Nov., and was succeeded by William, then rising 42.6 Ref Volumes: 1509-1558 Author: R. J.W. Swales

  • Ralph Shirley1
  • M, #283705, d. 1510
  • Last Edited=10 May 2008
  • Ralph Shirley was the son of Ralph Shirley and Elizabeth Blount.1 He married, secondly, Elizabeth Blount, daughter of Sir John Blount.1 He married Joan Bellingham, daughter of Thomas Bellingham.1 He died in 1510.1
  • Ralph Shirley was Esquire of the Body to King Henry VII.1
  • Child of Ralph Shirley and Joan Bellingham
    • 1.Thomas Shirley1
  • Child of Ralph Shirley and Elizabeth Blount
    • 1.Sir John Shirley1
  • Citations
  • 1.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1416. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.
  • From: http://thepeerage.com/p28371.htm#i283705 ___________________
  • Ralph Shirley
  • M, b. circa 1445, d. 1510
  • Father Ralph Shirley, Esq., Constable of Melbourne Castle b. c 1410, d. 26 Dec 1466
  • Mother Elizabeth Blount b. c 1416, d. b 1455
  • Ralph Shirley was born circa 1445 at of Wiston, Sussex, England. He married Jane Bellingham, daughter of Sir Robert Bellingham and Elizabeth Tunstall, circa 1470 at of Lyminster, Sussex, England. Ralph Shirley died in 1510.
  • Family Jane Bellingham b. c 1446
  • Children
    • Richard Shirley+ b. c 1478, d. 10 Nov 1540
    • Thomas Shirley+1 b. c 1484, d. 30 Jan 1545
    • Jane Shirley+ b. c 1495, d. 7 Jul 1533
  • Citations
  • 1.[S5] Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 161.
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p2681.htm#... _________________
  • The visitation of the county of Leicester in the year 1619 (1870)
  • https://archive.org/details/visitationofcoun02camd
  • https://archive.org/stream/visitationofcoun02camd#page/25/mode/1up
    • Shirley. - Pg.25-27
  • Sewall son of Fulcher originall auncest'r of this family of Shirley. = ; ch: Henry, Fulcher
    • Fulcher 2 son of Sewall.
    • Henry son of Sewall held 5 knights fees in Darbish. of Rob't Ferrers Lord of Titburye. ; ch: Sewall
      • Sewall son of Henry held 9 knights fees of Wm. Erle Ferrers in the dayes of K. H. 2. = ch: Henry
        • Henry son of Sewall surnamed of Etingdon wher he first founded a Chauntrye in K. Johns tyme. ; ch: Sewall, Henry
          • Henry 2 sonne of Henry.
          • Sewall son of Henry of Etingdo' confirmed the Donation of his father made to the Chauntry of Etingdon' 27 H. 3. ; ch: Jeames (m. Agnes of Walton) Shirley
            • Jeames sonne of Sewall surnamed Shirley, lived Ao. 15. E. 1. = Agnes Da. of Symon of Walton after Bishop of Norwich. ; ch: Sr Raphe (m. Margt. Waldeshef) Shirley.
              • Sr Raphe Shirley Kt. Lo. of the manner of Shirley. = Margt. Da. & coh. of Will'm Waldeshef of Boyleston. ; ch: Sr Tho. (m. Isabel Basset) Shirley
                • Sr Tho. Shirley Kt. son of Sir Raphe. = Isabell sisster to Rafe Lo. Basset of Drayton. ; ch: Sr Hugh (m. Beatrix Brewes) Shirley.
                • Sr Hugh Shirley of Shirley Kt. he was M'r of the Falcons to K. H. 4 & was slayne in his parte at ye battell of Shrewberie Ao 4 H. 4. = Beatrix sister & sole hey. to Sir John Brewes Kt. ; ch: Isabella (m. John Cockaine), Elizab., Nicholas, Sr Raphe (m. Johanna Basset & Alice _ ) Shirley
                  • Sr Raphe Shirley kt. high Shreife of the County of Nott' & Derby Ao 9 H. 5 ob. ultra mare. = Johanna first wife Da. & sole hey. of Tho. Basset of Brailesford. ; ch: Beatrix (m. John Brome), Raphe (m. Margt. Staunton & Elizab. Blount) Shirley; = Alice uxor 2.
                    • Raphe Shirley Esq. whose 3 wife was Lucy Da. of John Ashton & wydow of Sir Ric. Birom. = Margt. first wife sist'r & hey. to Tho. Staunton of Stanton Harald in Lesto'sh.; ch: (Pg.26 John (m. Elinor Willoughby) Shirley.) ; = Elizab. 2 wife Da. of Sir Tho. Blount and sister to Walter Lord Montioy. ; ch: (Pg.26 Raphe (m. Jane Bellingham), Elizab., Alice, Sanche, Anne, Marg't Shirley)
                    • https://archive.org/stream/visitationofcoun02camd#page/26/mode/1up
                      • John Shirley of Shirley & Staunto' in Com. Leycest'. = Elinor, Da. of Sr Hugh Willoughby of Woollerton in Com. Nott. ; ch: Sr Raphe (m. Jane Sheffeild) Shirley
                        • Sr Raphe Shirley of Sherley & Stanton in Leicest' had 4 wives. = Jane Da. of Sr Rob't Sheffeild Kt. 4 wife after maried to Wm Hastings. ; ch: Francis (m. Dorothy Gifford) Shirley
                          • Francis Shirley of Shirley & Stanton Harold Com' Leicest'. = Dorothy Da. of John Gifford of Chillingto' in Staffordsh. wydow of John Congrave. ; ch: John (m. Jane Lovet) Shirley
                            • John Shirley of Shirley Leyc. = Jane Da. & sole hey. of Tho. Lovet of Astwell in Com. Northamp. ; ch: George (m. Fran. Berkley & Dorothie of Wroughton) Shirley
                              • George Shirley of Shirley & Stanton in Com' Ley. Living 1585 ob. 27 April 1622. = Fran. Da. of Hen. Lord Berkley. ; ch: Henricus (m. Dorothia Devereux), Tho. (m. Maria Harper), Georgius, Johannes, Maria Shirley.
                                • Henricus Shirley mil. Baronettus fil. et haer. sup'stes 1622. = Dorothia filia 2 Rob'ti Devereux Comitis Essexiae. ; ch: Leticia (filia unica aetatis circa quinq' annor' 1622)
                                • Tho. Shirley 2 fil. miles duxit Maria' filiam Tho. Harper de Rushall in Com. Staff. Ar.
                      • Raphe Shirley of Wistenston in Sussex Esq. for ye body to K. H. 7. = Jane Da. of Tho. Bellengham of Lemister in Sussex. ; ch: Isabell (m. John Dawney of Hampton), Beatrix (m. Edw. Eldrington of Hogsto'.), Sr Richard (m. Anne Shelley & Elizab. Guilford), Tho. (m. Eliz. da. of Marmaduke of Gloucester), Jane (m. John Dauney of Petworth in Sussex), Eliz. (m. John Lee of Fitleworthie in Sussex) Shirley.
                        • Sr Richard Shirley was Lo. of ye mannor of Wistneston in Sussex ob. 34. H. 8. = Anne Da. of John Shelley of Michelgrove in Sussex first wife. ; ch: Will'm (m. Mary Isley), John, Edward, Cicely (m. John Ledes), Anne (m. Ric. Fernwold), Elizab. (m. John Michell), Alice (m. Tho. Chanceler) Shirley.
                        • Tho. Shirley of West Grinsted in Sussex 2 son mar. Eliz. Da. & coh. of Marmaduke of Gloucestersh.
                          • Will'm Shirley of Wisteneston in Com' Sussex. = Mary Da. of Tho. Isley of Sundridge in Kt. Esq. ; ch: (Pg.27 Sr Thomas (m. Anne Kempe) Shirley) ________________________________
  • Peerage of England, genealogical, biographical, and historical (1812) Vol. IV.
  • https://archive.org/details/peerageofengland04colluoft
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/87/mode/1up
  • .... They derive their descent from SASUALLO or SEWALLUS de Etingdon, whose name (says Dugdale, in his Antiquities of Warwickshire), argues him to be of the old English stock ; which Se-
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/88/mode/1up
  • wallis resided at Nether-Etingdon, in com. Warwick, about the reign of king Edward the Confessor : which place had been the seat of his ancestors, as there is reason to believe, for many generations before. After the Conquest, the lordship of Etingdon was given to Henry Earl of Ferrars, in Normandy, who was one of the principal adventurers with the Norman Duke William, and was held under him by this Sewallus ; to whose posterity, .... etc. He died about 1085. It appears by Kenilworth Register, that he built and endowed the church of Etingdon.
  • FULCHER, his only child, succeeded him; and died about 1105, leaving issue, 1. Sewallus. 2. Henry, from whom the Shirleys of Ireton, Co. Derby, who took the name of Ireton. 3. Fulcher, twice married, but died S. P. 4. Nicholas. 5. Robert.
  • SEWALLUS died about 1129 ; leaving by his first wife, Matilda, daughter of Ridel, of Halaughton, Co. Derb. 1. Henry. 2. Ful-
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/89/mode/1up
  • cher,(d) who held four Knights fees ; but died S. P. 3. Hugh, a priest. 4. Ralph. 5. Richard. Having translated his seat from Etingdon to Shirley, in Derbyshire, he was the first of that family that called himself de Shirley.
  • HENRY, eldest son, held five Knights fees in Derbyshire, of Robert de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, and died about 1165. He gave the lordship of Ivanbrook to the Monks of Bildewas ; and was a witness to the foundation Charter of Merevalle Abbey. He left issue by Joanna, daughter and heir of John de Clinton,(e) of Effex,
  • SEWALLIS, his son and heir, who, in 1167, acknowledged himself to hold of William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, those nine Knights fees which Henry, his father, and his uncle, some time held of Earl Robert, grandfather to the said Earl. (f)He married Isabel, daughter and coheir of Robert Meynell, of Langley Meynell, Co. Derb. by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth, wife of John de Walton, son of Simon Bishop of Norwich : and a son and heir,
  • Sir JAMES DE SHIRLEY, who was a Knight, and had freewarren granted to him in all his demesnes at Shirley in 1247, and at Etingdon in 1255. He married Agnes de Walton, daughter of Simon de Walton, Bishop of Norwich, and had issue by her Sir Ralph, his successor.(g) He died about 1278.
  • Which Sir RALPH de Shirley, in 7 Edw. I. held the manor of Eatendon(h) aforesaid, in com. Warwick, of Edmund Earl of Lancaster, the King's brother, by the service of two Knights fees. In 9 Edw. I. he was of full age. In 28 Edw. I he had the custody of the counties of Salop and Stafford, with the castle of Shrewsbury, committed to his charge ; and was Sheriff of the counties of Derby and Nottingham, in the 27th, 28th, and 30th of Edw. I. In 1301, he was summoned to attend the King at Berwick upon Tweed, on Midsummer-day, well-appointed with horse and arms, to march against the Scots. In 3 Edward II. he was constituted
    • (d) Of Ednesour, co. Derb.
    • (c) Ever since the marriage with the heiress of Clinton, the family have taken her arms ; viz. Paly of six, Or, and Arg. a quarter of Bretaigny ; the family of Clinton, being allied to the Dukes of Bretaigny.
    • (f) See Lib. Nig. Scacc. under Derbyshire,
    • (g) Nichols gives also three younger sons ; James, Simon, and Henry, a priest, parson of St. George, co. Norf.
    • (h) He held also the manor of Barnham, co. Suff. near Thetford, by gift of his grandfather, Bishop Simon Walton.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/90/mode/1up
  • one of the Justices in the county of Warwick for the gaol-delivery ; .... etc.
  • He married (i)Margaret, daughter, and one of the coheirs of Walter de Waldeshief, of Fairfield, co. Derby, cupbearer to Edward II. and dying in 1327, 20 Edward II. left issue
  • THOMAS,(k) his son and heir, said to be "the great founder of the family of the Shirleys, famous in his time for his valour, and for the many services, &c. rendered to the Kings of England against the French." A Commissioner for assessing and collecting a fifteenth and tenth, granted in 11 Edw. III. and in the 12th, appointed to collect the scutage due to the king for the Scotch expedition. In 14 Edw. III. he served as one of the Knights in parliament for the county of Warwick. This Sir Thomas Shirley died(l) in 36 Edw. II. 1362.
  • He married Isabel, daughter of Ralph, son and heir of Ralph Lord Basset, of Drayton, and sister and sole heir to her brother Ralph, the last Lord Basset of that line, who died 13 Richard II. without issue ; having by deed, dated Jan. 26th, 13 Richard II. named Sir Hugh Shirley, son of this Sir Thomas, by his sister Isabel, to be his nephew and right heir: thereby leaving him heir to his whole inheritance, on condition that he assumed his surname of Basset, and his arms, leaving his own ; but should he refuse to comply with that condition, then the whole estate to go to the earl of Stafford, on the same terms, who was descended from Margaret Basset, great aunt to the said Lord Basset ; and should that Earl refuse to comply with the above condition, then the estates to go to the other relations mentioned in the will ; but expressly on condition that they assumed the name and arms of
    • (i) Dugdale's Antiq. of Warwicksh. p. 466.
    • (k) Nichols mentions an elder brother, Ralph de Shirley, by a former wife, who died S. P.
    • (l) He was noted also for the liberal donations of lands and rents by himself and his wife, to the College of St. Mary, at the Newark, in Leicester, &c.
    • (m) He and his Lady were interred in the Chapel of the Duke of Lancaster's College, called Newark. See Nichols, I, 399. III. 708.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/91/mode/1up
  • Basset.(n) But neither Sir Hugh Shirley, nor the Earl of Stafford, complied with the conditions of the will, but contended for the estate ; which dispute was not finally settled till the reign of Henry VI. when the estates of the Barons Basset of Drayton, were divided between them. Colston Basset, in com. Nott. &c.
    • (n) This marriage with the heiress of Lord Basset, of Drayton, deserves some remarks. The Lady's legitimacy has latterly been doubted, in defiance of what seems decisive proof, for reasons which appear extremely weak, or rather no reasons at all. .... etc.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/92/mode/1up
  • being allotted to Shirley ; and Drayton Basset, com. Staff. &c. to Stafford. His widow remarried Sir Gerard Braybroke, Knt.
  • But to return : HUGH Shirley, son and heir of Sir Thomas, by Isabel Basset, succeeded his father ; and was, as before mentioned, by the will of the late Lord Basset his uncle, acknowledged by him to be his nephew and right heir ; in 7 Rich II. he confirmed the manors of Shirley and Hoone, in com. Derby, and that of Etingdon, in com. Warwick, to his mother Isabel, then the wife of Sir Gerard Braybroke, Knt. these manors having been assigned to be for her dower by Sir Thomas Shirley, his father. This Sir Hugh was made Chief Warden of Higham Ferrers Park, by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster ; and in 22 Rich. II. constituted Constable of Donnington-Castle, by Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, afterward King Henry IV. On March 27th, 1400, being then a Knight, he was made Grand Falconer to King Henry IV. for the Kingdom of Ireland. He was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury,(o) on the part of King Henry IV. being one of those who was habited as the King, and taken for him by the opposite party. By Beatrix his wife, sister and heir to John de Braose, or de Breus, of West-Neston (now called Wiston), in Sussex, heir male of the ancient family of that name, Barons of Brember, in Sussex, and of Brecknock, Abergavenny, and Gower, in Wales, he had issue three daughters ; Isabel, wife of Sir John Cokayne, of Ashbourne ; Elizabeth ; and Nichola ; also
  • RALPH, his son and heir, then twelve years of age ; who, in 5 Henry V. was retained to serve that King in person in his army in Guyen, with six men at arms, and eighteen archers ; and the next year, with eight men at arms, and sixteen archers, and was about that time knighted ; for in 8 Henry V. being then Sheriff of the counties of Nottingham and Derby, he was then styled a Knight. He was one of the chief Commanders under King Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt, as appears by an ancient Roll in the office of Arms ; and was often a great actor in the subsequent Wars of the said King Henry V. in France ; as is evidently proved by diverse instruments of accord made between the said King and Sir Ralph Shirley ; in one of which, dated 1416, after agreement had for the number and pay of his soldiers, &c. the King granted to him all the prisoners that he or his soldiers should take, only reserving to himself, the French King, his
    • (o) The Spirits of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blount, are in my arms." Prince of Wales's Speech in Shakespeare's Henry IV.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/93/mode/1up
  • adversary; the Dauphin, his son ; and all other Kings, his adversary's assistants, giving to him only the third part of the ransom of the captive Kings, by him or his soldiers taken. To this Sir Ralph, the feoffees of Ralph Lord Basset, released all their right to the estates he claimed as heir to that Barony. In 1432, he resided at Radcliffe upon Soar ; and died at his government and charge in France, about 1443. His body was brought to England, and buried in the Collegiate Church of the Newark, at Leicester. His second wife was Alice, daughter of Sir John Cokayne, Knt. who died 1466, without issue.
  • By his first wife, Joan, daughter and heir of Thomas Basset, of Brailsford, co. Derb. he had a daughter, Beatrix, wife of John Brome, of Badesley Clinton, co. Warw. and
  • RALPH, who was Constable of Melbourn Castle, and of the castle in the Peak of Derbyshire : and died in 1466, "seised of many goodly manors, fair possessions, and large territories in the several counties of Leicester, Derby, Warwick, and Nottingham." He was buried in the church of Brailesford, where his tomb still remains.
  • His first wife was Margaret, daughter and sole heir of John de Staunton, of Staunton Harald, in Leicestershire (whereby he obtained that estate, still the chief seat of the family), by Joan, daughter and coheir of Sir Ralph Meynell, of Langley Meynell (with which family a former match of Shirley has been already, mentioned). By this marriage he had issue John, his son and heir, hereafter mentioned.
  • His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Blount, Knt. and sister to Walter Blount, Lord Montjoy ; by whom he had Ralph Shirley, Esquire of the Body to King Henry VII. ancestor to the Shirleys of Wiston, of Sussex ; of whom an account will be given in an accompanying note, this branch having been of considerable eminence.(p)
  • His third wife was Lucia, daughter of Sir John Aston, of
    • (p) Ralph Shirley, by his second wife, Elizabeth Blount, sister to Walter Lord Mountjoy, had issue Sir Ralph Shirley, of Wiston, who, by Jane, daughter of Thomas Bellingham, of Lymster, in Sussex, Esq. had four daughters ; Jane, wife of John Dawtrey, of Petworth, in Sussex ; Elizabeth, wife of John Lee, of Fitleworth, co. Sussex ; Beatrix, wife of Edward Eldrington, of Hoggeston, and afterwards of Sir Edward Bray, of Vachery, Surrey, died 1582 ; and Isabel, wife of John Dawtrey, of Hampton ; also, 1. Sir Richard, 2. Thomas Shirley, of West Grinsted, who died 1606; leaving by Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Marmaduke Gorges, of Gloucestershire, Cecilie, daughter and coheir, aet. 19, 1606, wife of Sir George Snelling, of Postlade, Sussex.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/94/mode/1up
  • Atherton, Knt, widow, first, of Sir John Byron, of Clayton and Colwich ; and, secondly, of Sir Barton Entwissel, Knt. Viscount of Brykbeke, in Normandy. She died in Feb. 1481 ; and lies buried at Braylesford.
  • John, son and heir, married Eleanor, daughter of Sir Hugh Willoughby of Wollaton, co. Notts, and dying 1485, left issue,
  • RALPH, twenty-six years old, who, for his valour in the battle of Stoke, in com. Nott. June 16th, 1487, was made a Banneret ; to which battle (q)he brought forces to the King's aid, when the Earl of Lincoln was slain. In 7 Henry VII. he was retained to serve the King in his wars beyond sea for one year ; and died on Jan. 6th, 1516-7, at his manor house of Staunton-Harold ; and was interred in Geronden Abbey. By his last will and testament,(r) which bears date four days before his death, writing himself Sir Rauf Shirley, of Staunton-Harold, in com. Leic. Knt. he orders his body to be buried at the discretion of his executors. He bequeaths to Jane his wife, his manors of Shirley and Brailesford, with the lands, rents, and services, as also other lands, in full of her jointure and dower, for term of her life ; and his manor of Barnham, to the monastery of Geronden, for the term of fifty years.
    • Sir Ralph, the eldest son by his second wife, daughter of Sir Richard Guildeforde, had four daughters ; but by his first wife, Anne, daughter of John Shelley, of Michelgrove, he had Elizabeth, wife of John Michell, of Staunton ; Anne, wife of Richard Fernwold ; Cecely, married to John Leedes ; Alice, married to Thomas Chandler, of Lyndfield. John ; Edward ; and
    • William Shirly, of Wiston, son and heir, who died May 29th, 1551 ; leaving by Mary, daughter of Thomas Isley, Esq. of Sundridge, Kent, Anthony Shirley, a younger son, of Preston, in Sussex ; whose great grandson, Sir Anthony, was created a Baronet, 1665 (and left a granddaughter, Anne, married to Robert Western, of London, merchant), and
    • Sir Thomas Shirley, of Wiston, son and heir, Treasurer for the Wars in the Low Countries, from which he was removed 1597. (See Birch's Elizabeth, I. 455, and Sydney Papers, II.28, 31, 33.) By Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe, he left issue several daughters, and three sons ;
      • 1. Sir Thomas.
      • 2. Sir Anthony, born 1563 ; a great traveller, died in Spain about 1636. See Fuller's Worthies, Sussex, 107. Hakluyt, Purchas, &c.
      • 3. Sir Robert, equally famous with his brother. See a whole-length print of him in Harding's Cabinet, &c. &c. He married Teresia, a relation of the great Sophy.
    • Sir Thomas married Frances, sister of Sir Thomas Vavasor, Knt. and left issue
    • Sir Thomas Shirley, M. D. who suffered much for his loyalty, and had the estate at Wiston torn from him by Sir John Fagg, Bart. See Topogr, IV. 335, 336.
    • .... etc.
  • https://archive.org/stream/peerageofengland04colluoft#page/95/mode/1up
  • It also appears by his will, that he had five brothers; and that he was possessed of the manors of Staunton-Harold, Rakedale, and Willowes, Burton, Long-Whatton, Ratclyff, Dunton, Esterleyke, Sutton-Bonyngton, and Newton-Regis ; he bequeaths all his household furniture, plate, &c. to his wife and his son Francis, to be divided equally between them; and ordains executors, his cousin, Sir Richard Sackvil (to whom he bequeaths a cross of gold, hanging at his chain) : his brother, Robert Hasylryg (husband to Elizabeth, his sister) ; Sir James Smith, his priest ; and Thomas Herbert.
  • He married four wives,(s) but had no issue by his first and third; and by his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter and coheir to Thomas Walsh, of Wanlip, in Leicestershire, had only a daughter, Anne, heir to her mother, married to Sir Thomas Pultney, of Misterton, in com. Leic. Knt. ancestor to the late Earl of Bath. By his last wife, Jane, daughter to Sir Robert Sheffield, Knt. ancestor to the late Duke of Buckingham, he had Francis, his son and heir, before mentioned.
  • Which FRANCIS was (t)Sheriff of the counties of Warwick and Leicester, in 4 Philip and Mary; and having lived(u) to an advanced age, famous for his charity and hospitality, died on July 27th, 1571 , and was buried in the church of Breedon on the Hill, in Leicestershire, where a monument was erected to the memory of him, and Dorothy his wife, who survived him but a short time; as appears by her last will and testament,(x) bearing date August 9th, 1571, and the probate thereof May 16th following. She was daughter of Sir John Gifford, of Chillington, in Staffordshire, Knt. and married to her first husband, John Congreve, Esq; but had issue by the said Francis Shirley, three sons ; John Shirley, Esq. hereafter mentioned; Edward, who died young; and Ralph : also three daughters ; Cassandra, married to Walter Powtrell, of West-Hallum, in com. Derb. Esq. ; Elizabeth, to Thomas Cotton, of Conington, in Huntingdonshire, Esq. father by her to the famous Sir Robert Cotton, Knt. and Bart, the great collector of the records now reposited in the British Museum; and Anne, to John Brook, of Madeley, in Shropshire, esq.
  • JOHN Shirley, eldest son and heir apparent, died A. D. 1570, in
    • (s) His second wife was Anne, daughter of Sir Henry Vernon, of Haddon, whom he married 1496 ; and his third, Anne, daughter of Thomas Warner, Esq.
    • (t) Fuller's Worthies. (u) Ex inscript. tumul.
    • (x) Ex Regist. Daper. qu. 16. Collect, T. Meller, Gent. ____________________
  • The Sherley brothers, an historical memoir of the lives of Sir Thomas Sherley, Sir Anthony Sherley, and Sir Robert Sherley, knights (1848)
  • http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924029881475#page/n13/mode/2up
  • From the family of Bavent it passed by marriage to a younger branch of the great Norman House of Braose (Lords of the neighbouring Castle of Bramber,) under whose ancestors the manor had been formely held, and in the year 1423, by the death of Sir John de Braose, without surviving issue, it descended to his sister Beatrice, at that time the widow of Sir Hugh Shirley of Nether Eatington, in the County of Warwick, and of Shirley in Derbyshire, who fell at the Battle of Shrewsbury, on the 20th of July 1403.
  • For two generations, the manor of Wiston, remained appendant to the House of Eatington, but on the death of Ralph Shirley, Esq., in 1466, it was settled on his son of the same name, by his second wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Blount, and sister of Walter Lord Mountjoy. This Ralph Sherley, (the name was always thus written by this younger branch of the family,) was the first of his Race who resided at Wiston, and was Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1504, he was buried in 1510, and was succeeded by his eldest son Richard, who died in 1540, leaving a son and heir William, who survived his father but eleven years, dying in 1551; this William was the father of Thomas Sherley, afterwards well known as Sir Thomas Sherley the elder, of Wiston, Knight, who was born in 1542, and by his marriage about 1559, with Anne daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe of Ollantighe in Wye in Kent, Knight, was the father of THOMAS, ANTHONY, AND ROBERT, the subjects of the following memoirs. -- ___________________________
  • ISABEL SHIRLEY (d. July 1533+)
  • Isabel Shirley was one of the daughters of Sir Ralph Shirley of Wiston/Westmeston, Sussex (1433-1510) and Jane Bellingham. She married first, on January 17, 1508, Sir John Dawtrey of Southampton (c.1433-November 24, 1518) and had a son, Francis (1510-July 1533+). A record of July 1533 identifies Francis as the son of Sir John Dawtry and Isabella, "now wife of Sir Richard Lyster." Sir Richard's wife is often misidentified as Jane Shirley, largely because Isabel's sister also married a man named Sir John Dawtrey. This second Sir John was of Petworth and Moor House, Sussex and did not die until September 21, 1542. Isabel's second husband, Sir Richard Lister or Lyster (c.1480-March 16, 1553/4), was a chief justice of the king's bench. The Oxford DNB says their children were Richard and Charles and possibly Elizabeth (1520-1572), but calls Lyster's son Michael (d.1551) the child of a later wife, Elizabeth Stoke (d.1567+). Not only is this not possible, since Michael was already married to his first wife in 1529, but Richard and Charles were Michael's sons, not Richard's. His will, proved April 16, 1554, makes Richard, "son and heir of my late son Michael," his principal heir and identifies Charles, who was not yet twenty-one, as the younger son of Michael and his second wife, Margery. Richard also mentions his daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Richard Blount, in his will. Elizabeth is probably Isabel's daughter. Michael seems to belong to an earlier, unknown wife. Isabel's first husband, John Dawtrey, and his first wife, Joan Scardeville, had what is now known as "The Tudor House" in Southampton built for them in 1495. After Dawtrey's death and during her second marriage, Isabel continued to trade as a merchant of Southampton dealing in millstones. Portrait: Isabel is the most likely possibility to be the subject of the Holbein sketch labeled "Lady Lister" and dated c.1532-1543. Alternatives are Michael Lyster's second wife, Margery Horsman, and Elizabeth Stoke.
  • From: http://kateemersonhistoricals.com/TudorWomenSa-Sn.htm ____________________________
  • 'Shirley1'
  • Sasuallo or Sewallus of Ettington, etc. (d c1085)
    • 1. Fulcher of Ettington, etc. (d c1105)
      • A. Henry ancestor of Shirley of Ireton and families named Ireton
      • B. Sewallis of Shirley (d c1129)
      • Sewallis and the next few generations may well have been known as 'de Ettington' rather than 'de Shirley'.
      • m. Matilda (dau of Ridel of Halaughton)
        • i. Henry de Shirley (d c1165)
        • m. Joanna (dau of John de Clinton of Essex)
          • a. Sewallis de Shirley (a 1167)
          • m. Isabel Meynell (dau of Robert Meynell of Langley Meynell)
          • Visitation adds 2 intervening generations here: Henry then Sewall, apparently younger son of Henry (the other son being another Henry) and father of ...
            • (1) Sir James de Shirley and Ettington (d c1278)
            • m. Agnes de Walton (dau of Simon de Walton, Bishop of Norwich)
              • (A) Sir Ralph de Shirley, Sheriff of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire (d 1327)
              • m. Margaret (dau of Walter de Waldeshief of Fairfield)
                • (i) Sir Thomas Shirley
                • m. Isabel Basset (sister of Ralph Basset, Lord of Drayton)
                  • (a) Sir Hugh Shirley (d Shrewsbury 1403, grand falconer)
                  • m. Beatrix de Braose (sister of John de Braose of West Neston)
                    • ((1)) Sir Ralph Shirley, Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire (a 1422)
                    • m1. Joan Basset (dau of Thomas Basset of Braylesford)
                      • ((A)) Ralph Shirley of Ettington, Shirley and Staunton (constable of Melbourne Castle)
                      • m1. Margaret Staunton (dau of John de Staunton of Staunton Harold)
                        • ((i)) John Shirley of Ettington, etc. (d 1485)
                        • m. Eleanor Willoughby (dau of Sir Hugh Willoughby of Wollaton)
                          • ((a)) Sir Ralph Shirley of Ettington, Shirley and Staunton (d 1517)
                          • m1. Elizabeth Walsh (dau of Thomas Walsh of Wanlep)
                          • m2. Jane Sheffield (dau of Sir Robert Sheffield)
                      • m2. Elizabeth Blount (dau of Sir Thomas (not John) Blount)
                        • ((ii)) Ralph Shirley of Westneston (Wiston) - continued below
                        • m. Jane Belingham (dau of Thomas Belingham of Lemyster)
                        • ((iii))+ other issue - Elizabeth, Alice, Sauch. (sic), Ann, Margaret
                      • m3. Lucia Aston or Assheton (dau of Sir John Assheton of Atherton)
                      • ((B)) Beatrix Shirley
                      • m. John Brome of Bedesley Clynton
                    • m2. Alis Blunt
                    • ((2)) Isabel Shirley
                    • m. Sir Gey Cockend (John Cokayne) of Ashburne
                    • ((3))+ other issue - Elizabeth, Nichola
                • (ii) Isabel Shirley
                • m. Geffrey Lee Burgylond of Weston (sic)
            • (2) Elizabeth de Shirley
            • m. John de Walton (son of Simon, Bishop of Norwich)
        • ii.+ other issue - Fulcher (dsp), Hugh (priest), Ralph, Richard
      • C.+ other issue - Fulcher (dsp), Nicholas, Robert
  • Ralph Shirley of Westneston (Wiston) - continued above
  • Visitation shows this Ralph as married also to Elizabeth, dau of Thomas Blount, with a note (apparently provided The Harleian's Society's editor) saying that she was "added, but in a like hand". On the basis that this looks like a repetition of his mother (whose marriage to his father is mentioned in BP1934) we ignore this.
  • m. Jane Belingham (dau of Thomas Belingham of Lemyster)
    • 1. Sir Richard Shirley of Westneston or Wiston (d 1543-4)
    • m1. Ann Shelley (dau of John Shelley of Michelgrove)
      • A. William Shirley of Westneston or Wiston
      • m. Mary Isley (dau of Thomas Isley or Issley of Kent)
        • i. Sir Thomas Shirley of Westneston or Wiston (a 1585)
        • A web site gives Sir Thomas's dates as 1542-10.1612 and reports that he also married a Frances Vernon (probably of the family of Hodnet) who was mother of Sir Anthony. Visitation reports only one wife ...
        • m. Anne Kempe (dau of Sir Thomas Kempe of Wye by Catherine Chenye)
          • a. Sir Thomas Shirley of Wiston (b 1564, d c1620)
          • m. Frances Vavasor (dau of Sir Thomas Vavasor)
          • Visitation merely names Thomas and his wife. A web site confirms he inherited Wiston, gives his dates, and reports that he was father of ...
            • (1) Henry Shirley (dramatist, younger son)
          • b. Sir Anthony Shirley ## note probable duplication below
          • m. Barbara Walsingham (dau of Sir Thomas Walsingham)
          • c. Robert Shirley
          • d. Mary Shirley
          • m. Sir John Croftes of Suffolk
          • e. Elizabeth Shirley
          • m. Edward Onslow
          • f. Margery Shirley
          • m. Pexsall Brocas
          • g. Jane Shirley
          • m. John Shirley of Isefeild (b 1569, d 1631)
          • h. Anne Shirley (b 23.12.1573)
          • m. (c1590) Sir John Tracy of Toddington, Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1st Viscount of Rathcoole (d before 14.02.1648)
          • i. Cecily Shirley (bur 31.07.1662)
          • m. (25.11.1596) Thomas West, 3rd Lord De La Warr (b 09.07.1557, d 07.06.1618)
        • ii. Anthony Shirley ## note probable duplication above
        • m. Barbara Walsingham (dau of Sir Thomas Walsingham)
          • a. Thomas Shirley of Preston, Sussex (d 02.1636-7)
          • The folllowing is supported by Visitation (Susse, 1662, Shirley of Preston) with input also from BEB1841 (Shirley of Preston).
          • m1. (13.06.1598) Jane Essex (bur 03.11.1599, dau of Thomas Essex of Lamburne, sister of Sir William)
            • (1) Thomas Shirley of Preston (bpt 31.03.1599, bur 20.05.1654)
            • m. Elizabeth Stapley (dau of Drew Stapley of London)
              • (A) Sir Anthony Shirley, 1st Bart of Preston (b 05.07.1624, bur 22.06.1683)
              • m. Anne Onslow (dau of Sir Richard Onslow of West Clandon)
                • (i) Sir Richard Shirley, 2nd Bart of Preston (b c1654, bur 30.03.1692)
                • m. (13.03.1676-7) Judith Bateman (bur 04.06.1729, dau of Joas Bateman of London, sister of Sir James, m2. Sir Henry Hatsell)
                  • (a) Sir Richard Shirley, 3rd Bart of Preston (d unm 1705)
                  • (b) Anne Shirley
                  • m. Thomas Western of Rivenhall
                  • (c)+ other issue - Anthony (dsp?), Judith, Mary
                • (ii) Elizabeth Shirley (bpt 17.11.1651)
                • m. (c03.1676-7) William Boys of Hawkhurst
              • (B)+ other issue - Elisabeth, Mary, Abbigale, Jane, Francis(es?)
          • m2. (1606) Grace Stapley (bpt 06.12.1586) dau of Anthony Stapley of Framfield)
            • (2) Anthony Shirley
          • m3.(02.02.1614-5) Elizabeth Stoner (bur 25.01.1630, dau of John Stoner, widow of Thomas Stephens)
            • (3) Abbigale Shirley
          • b. Judith Shirley
          • m. Sir Henry Mallory
          • c. Elizabeth Shirley
          • m. Sir Samwell Smyth
          • d. Sarah Shirley
          • m. Edward Godman of Etehale
          • e.+ other issue - Anthony (dsp), Richard, Walsingham, Edward, Henry
      • B. Ciseley Shirley
      • m. John Ledys
      • C. Ann Shirley
      • m. Richard Fernwold
      • D. Elizabeth Shirley
      • m. John Mychell of Stammerham
      • E. Alys Shirley
      • m. Thomas Chaunceler of Lyndford
      • F.+ other issue - John, Edward (dsp)
    • m2. Elizabeth Gifford (dau of Sir Richard Gifford)
    • 2. Thomas Shirley of West Grinstead
    • m. Elizabeth Gorges (dau/coheir of Marmaduke Gorges alias Russell of Gloucestershire)
      • A. Francis Shirley of West Grinstead reported by a web site to have been Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex (a 1574)
      • m. _ Blount (dau of Richard Blount)
        • i. Thomas Shirley of West Grinstead (b c1555, a 1577)
        • m. _ Carell
          • a. Scissely Shirley
          • m. Sir George Snelling of West Grinsted or Grinstead
          • b. Barbara Shirley
          • m1. Sir Thomas Thornhurst
          • m2. Anthony St. Leger
      • B.+ other issue - Isabel, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Joan
    • 3. Jane Shirley
    • m1. John Daney (sb Dawtrey) of Petworth
    • m2. Sir Richard Lister (d 14.03.1553)
    • 4. Elizabeth Shirley
    • m. John Lee of Little Worth
    • 5. Beatrix Shirley
    • m. Edward Eldrington of Hogston
    • 6. Isabel Shirley
    • m. John Dawney of Hampton
  • Main source(s):
  • (1) For upper section : BP1934 (Ferrers), Visitation (Sussex, 1530+1633-4, Shirley)
  • (2) For lower section : Visitation (Sussex, 1530+1633-4, Shirley)
  • From: Stirnet.com
  • http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/ss4as/shirley1.php#con2 ___________________________
  • 'Bellingham1'
  • BEB1841 (Bellingham of Hilsington) starts with the Sir Robert Bellingham who married Elizabeth Tunstall, identifying him as 10th in descent from ... etc.
  • Sir Robert Bellingham of Burnishead (d 12.03.1476) - continued above
  • m. Elizabeth Tunstall (dau of Sir Richard Tunstall of Thurland Castle)
    • 1. .... etc.
    • 4. Thomas Bellingham of Lymister
    • The following comes from Visitation (Sussex).
    • m. Jane Wiltshire (dau of Sir John Wiltshire of Heydon)
      • A. .... etc.
      • D. Jane Bellingham reported in the Tripod site
      • m. Ralph Shirley
    • 5. .... etc.
  • Main source(s): Visitation (Sussex, 1530+1633-4, Bellingham or Belingham), www.members.tripod.com/bellinghamroot/bellingh/index.htm, Maddison's Lincolnshire Pedigrees 1906 (Bellingham of Manton and Bromby)
  • From: Stirnet.com
  • http://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/bb4ae/bellingham1.php ___________________________________


view all

Ralph Shirley of Wiston, Sussex's Timeline

Wiston, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Wiston, West Sussex, England
Wiston, West Sussex, England
Wiston, Sussex
February 11, 1510
Age 67