World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Paul Foley (ironmaster)

Article Id: WHEBN0004997415
Reproduction Date:

Title: Paul Foley (ironmaster)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sir Thomas Littleton, 3rd Baronet, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, Baron Foley, William Rea (ironmaster)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Paul Foley (ironmaster)

Speaker Foley

Paul Foley (1644/5 – 13 November 1699), also known as Speaker Foley, was the second son of Thomas Foley of Witley Court,[1] the prominent Midlands ironmaster.


  • Ironmaster 1
  • Gentleman 2
  • Politician 3
  • Family 4
  • References 5


He took over his father's ironworks in and around the Forest of Dean in the early 1670s and continued them until 1685 when he let them to John Wheeler and Richard Avenant, who had managed ironworks for his brother Philip Foley. In 1692, the two brothers entered into a partnership with these managers and John Wheeler's brother, Richard. This lasted until after Paul's death.[2]


Stoke Edith House – built by Paul Foley.

Paul Foley had the resources from his father and the profits of his ironworks to buy himself a substantial estate around Stoke Edith in Herefordshire, part of which still belongs to a descendant. Important purchases included Stoke Edith from the trustees of Sir Henry Lingen in 1670 (made by his father),[3] and other property from Sir Thomas Cooke in 1683.[4] He rebuilt the house at Stoke Edith and laid out formal gardens and a park (which he had a royal licence to empark.[3][5]


Paul Foley was elected M.P. for Hereford in 1679. He was elected again for the same seat in 1689.[6] He actively campaigned for the exclusion of the Duke of York from the throne. He was imprisoned at the time of the Rye House Plot and again during the Monmouth Rebellion. However, James II later favoured him during his own later difficulties. During the reign of William III took an anti-court position, establishing Country Whigs with his nephew Robert Harley. During the early 1690s, he sat on several important Parliamentary committees, including being a commissioner of accounts. He was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1695, a post he held until his death.[5] He was (like the Harleys and his elder brother Thomas) a Presbyterian and used his patronage rights in the church to appoint clergy of that persuasion to churches.[7]


He married Mary daughter of Alderman John Lane of London. Their eldest son was Thomas Foley. His younger son Paul,[1] was also briefly an MP.[6]


  1. ^ a b Burke's Peerage
  2. ^ Schafer, R. G. (1971). "Genesis and Structure of the Foley 'Ironworks in Partnership' of 1692". Business History 13: 19.  
  3. ^ a b Stoke Edith Park, Hereford, England. Parks and Gardens UK
  4. ^ Archenfield Archaeology Ltd, Swan House, Tarrington, Herefordshire: archaeological monitoring and building recording (2001), 5, citing Herefordshire Record Office, E12/IV/163/5 Archaeological Data Service.
  5. ^ a b Newton E. Key, 'Foley, Paul (1644/5–1699)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008 [2], accessed 1 September 2009
  6. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  7. ^ John Trevor Cliffe, The Puritan gentry besieged, 1650–1700 (1993), pp. 103–8.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir John Trevor
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Littleton
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Herbert Westfaling
The Viscount Scudamore
Member of Parliament for Hereford
With: Bridstock Harford 1679–1681
Herbert Aubrey 1681–1685
Succeeded by
Herbert Aubrey
Thomas Geers
Preceded by
Herbert Aubrey
Thomas Geers
Member of Parliament for Hereford
With: Sir William Gregory 1689
Henry Cornewall 1689–1695
James Morgan 1695–1698
James Brydges 1698–1699
Succeeded by
James Brydges
Samuel Pytts
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.