Cracroft's Peerage
The Complete Guide to the British Peerage & Baronetage

If you have found this page useful, why not make a donation to The Peerage Research Trust so that we can continue to maintain and develop Cracroft's Peerage?

| Search this site | Introduction | Contents | The Monarchy | The Peerage | The Baronetage | Untitled Families | Orders of Chivalry | Miscellaneous | Forums | Contact Us | Links |



Marlborough, Earl of (E, 1626 - 1679)


Creation: let.pat. 5 Feb 1625/6


Extinct: 1679


Family name: Ley




Argent a Chevron between three Boars' Heads couped bendways Sable langued Gules


A Lion sejant Or


Dexter:  a Lion Argent semée of Trefoils slipped Vert;  Sinister: a Lion Gules bezantée



James [Ley], 1st Baron Ley later 1st Earl of Marlborough, PC

6th son of Henry Ley, of Teffont Ewyas, co. Wiltshire, by his wife Dionysia de St Mayne


c. 1552

mar. (1)

bef. 1593 Mary Pettie, 1st dau. of John Pettie, of Stoke Talmage, co. Oxford, by his wife Elizabeth Snape, dau. and hrss. of Thomas Snape, of Fawley, nr. Witney, co. Oxford

children by first wife

1. Hon Henry Ley, later 2nd Baron Ley later 2nd Earl of Marlborough

2. James Ley (d. 1618)

3. Hon William Ley, later 4th Earl of Marlborough

1. Lady Elizabeth Ley, mar. Maurice Carant

2. Lady Anne Ley, mar. Sir Walter Long, of Draycott, co. Wiltshire

3. Lady Mary Ley, mar. Richard Erisey, of Erisey, co. Cornwall

4. Lady Dionysia Ley, mar. John Harington, of Kelneyton, co. Somerset

5. Lady Margaret Ley, mar. ..... Hobson

6. Lady Esther Ley, mar. Arthur Fuller, of Bradfield, co. Hertford

7. Lady Martha Ley (d. unm.)

8. Lady Phoebe Ley, mar. ..... Biggs, of Hurst, co. Berkshire

mar. (2)

13 Feb 1617/8 Mary Bowyer (widow of Sir William Bowyer, of Dunham, co. Buckingham, a Teller of the Exchequer; bur. 5 Oct 1618), 1st dau. and cohrss. of Thomas Pierson, of Westminster, Usher of the Court of Star Chamber

mar. (3)

4 Jul 1621 Hon Jane Boteler (mar. (2) 1629 Maj Gen Hon William Ashburnham MP, Cofferor of the Household (bur.sp. 28 Mar 1672), 2nd son of Sir John Ashburnham, of Ashburnham, co. Sussex, by his wife Elizabeth Beaumont, suo jure Lady Cramond), sister and cohrss. of William [Boteler], 2nd Baron Boteler of Brantfield, and 3rd dau. of John [Boteler], 1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield, by his wife Elizabeth Villiers, half-sister of George [Villiers], 1st Duke of Buckingham, and 1st dau. of Sir George Villiers, of Brokesby, co. Leicester, by his first wife Audrey Saunders, dau. and hrss. of William Saunders, of Harrington, co. Northampton


14 Mar 1629


20 Jul 1619 a Baronet of England, styled "of Westbury in the County of Wiltshire"

31 Dec 1624 Baron Ley, of Ley in the County of Devon

5 Feb 1625/6 Earl of Marlborough, with a special remainder to the heirs male of his body by Jane, his then wife, whom failing to the heirs male of his body

suc. by

son by first wife


admitted to Lincoln's Inn 1576/7; barrister 1584; Member of Parliament for Westbury 1597-98, 1604-05, 1609-11 and 1620-21, and for Bath 1614; Second Justice of Carmarthen, Pembroke and Cardigan 1603-04; knighted 1603; Serjeant-at-Law 1603; Chief Justice of the King's Bench of Ireland 1604-08; a Commissioner of the Great Seal of Ireland 1605; Attorney of the Court of Wards 1608; Chief Justice of the King's Bench of England 1621-24; Speaker of the House of Lords and Joint Commissioner of the Great Seal 1621; Privy Councillor 1624; Lord High Treasurer of England 1624-28; High Steward of Yarmouth 1625-29; Lord President of the Council 1628


Henry [Ley], 2nd Baron Ley later 2nd Earl of Marlborough


3 Dec 1595


5 Nov 1616 Mary Capell (bapt. 20 Mar 1596/7; mar. (2) Thomas Wanklyn; d. 2 Jun 1670), 9th dau. of Sir Arthur Capell, of Little Hadham, co. Hertford, by his first wife Margaret Grey, dau. of Lord John Grey, of Pirgo, co. Essex (by his wife Mary Browne, 1st dau. of Sir Anthony Browne KG), 4th son of Thomas [Grey], 2nd Marquess of Dorset


1. Hon James Ley, later 3rd Earl of Marlborough

1. Lady Elizabeth Ley (d. unm.)


1 Apr 1638

suc. by



Member of Parliament for Westbury 1614 and 1624-25, for Devizes 1620-22 and 1625/6, and for Wiltshire 1625; knighted 1617; sum. to Parliament v.p. 2 Mar 1625/6 in his father's Barony of Ley


James [Ley], 3rd Earl of Marlborough


28 Jan 1617/8


2 Jun 1665

suc. by



supported the King in the Civil War; General of the Ordnance in the West and Admiral in command of Dartmouth 1643; established a colony at Santa Cruz in the West Indies and was granted the Caribbee Islands 1645; killed in command of the "Old James" at the Battle of Solebay


William [Ley], 4th Earl of Marlborough, PC


10 Mar 1612


Margaret Hewett (bur. 7 May 1713), dau. of Sir William Hewett, of Breckles, co. Norfolk, by his wife Ursula Webb


s.p. 1679


Ensign, Coldstream Guards 1655; Privy Councillor 1662


On the death of the 4th Earl of Marlborough all his titles became extinct


 First written 21 Mar 2003



ã Copyright: Heraldic Media Limited. All rights reserved.