Burley, William (DNB00)

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BURLEY, WILLIAM (fl. 1436), speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of John Burley of Bromcroft Castle, high sheriff of Salop in 1409. Sir Simon Burley [q. v.], who was beheaded on 5 May 1388, but whose attainder was reversed in the following year, was his great-great-uncle. In 1417 William Burley was first elected a knight of the shire for Salop. In the returns of the next twenty-four parliaments his name is to he found as one of the members of this county no less than eighteen times. The last parliament in which he was returned was that which was summoned to meet at Westminster on 9 July 1455. He was chosen speaker of the House of Commons on 19 March 1436, in the place of Sir John Tyrrel, kt., who was compelled by illness to retire from the chair. In the following parliament William Tresham was elected speaker; however, on 26 Feb. 1444 Burley was again voted to the chair, and continued to preside over the house until the dissolution of that parliament.

Little is known either of his domestic or political life. In 1426 he executed the office of sheriff of Salop. He died without male issue, leaving two daughters and coheiresses, the eldest of whom married, first, Sir Philip Chetwynd of Ingestrie, and, secondly, Sir Thomas Lyttelton, the author of the 'Tenures.’ From this last marriage the resent Barons Lyttelton and Hatherton are descended. The youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir Thomas Trussel of Billesley, Warwickshire.

[Manning's Lives of the Speakers (1851), pp. 85-91; Rot. Parl. iv. 502, v. 67; Parliamentary Papers, 1818, lxii. (pt. i.) 289-351; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. tx. 464.]

G. F. R. B.