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Thomas Foley
2013 04 19 Whitly Court 03.jpg
Witley Court, Worcestershire
Born(1617-12-03)3 December 1617[1]
Died1 October 1677(1677-10-01) (aged 59)
OccupationIronmaster and politician

Thomas Foley (1617–1677) was an English ironmaster and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1659 and 1677.


Foley was the eldest son of Richard Foley and his second wife Alice Brindley. His father was a prominent Midlands ironmaster of Stourbridge. Foley took over his father's business and made great profits from it in the 1650s and 1660s, which he used to buy estates. He was appointed High Sheriff of Worcestershire for 1656–57.[2]

In 1659 he was elected Member of Parliament for Worcestershire in the Third Protectorate Parliament. He was elected MP for Bewdley in 1660 for the Convention Parliament. In 1673 he was elected MP for Bewdley in a by-election to the Cavalier Parliament.[3]

Foley built Witley Court. In the late 1660s, he founded a bluecoat school at Stourbridge known as Old Swinford Hospital, which he endowed in his will.

Foley married Anne Browne, daughter of John Browne. They had four sons and two daughters:

He handed his business over to his sons. He was the eighth great-grandfather to Queen Elizabeth through his son Thomas, and her mother.


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. volume 1: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 1448.CS1 maint: location (link).mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background-image:url("//");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background-image:url("//");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background-image:url("//");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:9px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-image:url("//");background-image:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//");background-repeat:no-repeat;background-size:12px;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}
  2. ^ Sachse, William. Lord Somers: A Political Portrait. p. 4.
  3. ^ History of Parliament Online - Foley, Thomas
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Col. James Berry
Edward Pytts
Nicholas Lechmere
Sir Thomas Rouse, Bt
John Nanfan
Member of Parliament for Worcestershire
With: Nicholas Lechmere
Succeeded by
John Wilde
Preceded by
Nicholas Lechmere
Member of Parliament for Bewdley
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Herbert
Preceded by
Sir Henry Herbert
Member of Parliament for Bewdley
Succeeded by
Henry Herbert, later
1st Baron Herbert of Chirbury

1 Annotation

Terry F  •  Link

from L&M Companion
Thomas Foley (1617-77), elder son of Richard Foley, who had founded a manufacturing dynasy in Worcestershire in the early part of the century, was said by the Puritan moralist Richard Baxter (also from Worcestershire) to have got £5000 p.a. by fair dealing. Thomas's grandchildren moved into a different world, his grandson Thomas becoming 1st Baron Foley in 1712, and two of his granddaughters marrying the politicians Robert and Edward Harley.

Brother of Robert Foley

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.