The Marland Family


Merlands of Banstead, Surrey

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The very full accounts of this family in Manning and Bray (Ref.1) and in the Victoria County History of Surrey (Ref.2) leave little to be said.


The first of this line to be noted is Henry, who acquired the Banstead, Surrey, property in 1466 and was presumably the Henry Merland who represented the Borough of Guildford in the Parliament of 1477-78. He may also have been the Henry Merland with land in Islington in 1465 (Ref.3). Henry's origins are unknown, but he was a member of the Skinners' Company (Ref.4), and his London connections are maintained in later generations.


William Merland, who died in late 1525 or early 1526 (Will proved 21 April 1526; Ref.5) is a case in point. He lived in Milk Street, off Cheapside in the City, adjacent to the Church of St Mary Magdalene (lost in the Great Fire), and was a Mercer. Presumably he was a son of Henry Merland, since the only Merland named in his will is Edward, probably the son of Nicholas (who had died in 1524). From this we know that Edward was then still a minor. William also left a bequest to the parish church in Banstead.


Henry's eldest son, Richard, was the first of two known lawyers in the family, being a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn from 1494 to 1505. In this period he was also a Commissioner for the Peace in Surrey (Ref.6) and at the Inn he held the offices of butler, pensioner, reader, master of the chapel, and treasurer, during the tenure of which he died (Ref.7).


Their brother Nicholas must be the Nicholas Merland who was supplying arms through Calais to Henry VIII's French expedition of 1512-13, apparently in his own ship, the Mary of Walsingham (Ref.8). Nicholas continued the line through his son Edward, whose extravagancies are remarked upon by Manning and Bray as having led to his affairs being placed in trust. Nevertheless, Edward's son the second William Merland seems to have been able to rebuild the house at Great Burgh in the early years of the seventeenth century. Perhaps this was an expenditure too far, for he subsequently sold much of the Surrey estate to Sir Christopher Buckle, son of the Lord Mayor Sir Cuthbert Buckle. In his will four years later (1618) he is "of Trinitie Minories" (near the Tower), and orders the rest of the estate (Preston) to be sold off for legacies (Ref.9); presumably the Buckles bought this too, since the Victoria County History account says "the two manors have since [1506] been held together".


Of his sons, Francis was admitted into the Inner Temple in November 1605 (Ref.10), but died in or shortly before 1612 (Ref.11). Of those mentioned in William's will, the eldest, Bartholomew, was then en route for the Indies, and may well have perished; of the others (Edward, Thomas, Oliffe and Robert), nothing is yet known, except that we believe the first to have been the Edward who had three children baptised at St Clement Danes in Westminster in the 1620s; one of these is probably the James Marland whose son Edward was baptised at St Stephen Coleman in the City a generation later.


For a pedigree of this family click here.



  1. Owen Manning and William Bray, History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey (1814)
  2. Victoria County History - Surrey: Volume 3 (1911)
  3. Feet of Fines 4 Edward IV, no.13
  4. Close Rolls 11 Edward IV, 1471
  5. PCC Will of William Merlande of London and Banstead, Mercer 21 Apr 1526 PROB 11/22
  6. Patent Rolls 12-21 Henry VII, 1494-1509
  7. State Papers 4-9 Henry VIII, 1512-1516
  8. Records of Lincoln's Inn, Black Books 1422-1586
  9. PCC Will of William Merland of Trinity Minories, 1 Apr 1618 PROB 11/131
  10. Members of the Inner Temple 1547-1660
  11. Admon Francis Merland of Inner Temple, gent 1612

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Edited: 18 December 2015