Edward Giles

Sir Edward Giles (1566–1637) of Bowden House, Ashprington, near Totnes, Devon, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1629.

Sir Edward Giles
Bowden House, Ashprington, Devon
Resting placeSt George's Church, Dean Prior
OccupationMember of Parliament
Spouse(s)Mary Drewe
ChildrenAdam Giles
Parent(s)John Giles


Giles was the son John Giles of Bowden, Member of Parliament for Totnes, and was baptised at Totnes on 21 July 1566. Edward's great-grandfather, John Giles, was also MP for Totnes. His Great-Grandfather was one of the richest merchants in Devon and owned properties in and around Totnes, Dean Prior, Bowden and Ashprington.


He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 1 February 1583, aged 17. He was a student of the Middle Temple in 1584. In 1597 he was elected Member of Parliament for Totnes. He was knighted on 23 July 1603 and appointed High Sheriff of Devon for 1612–13. In 1614 he was elected MP for Devon. He was elected MP for Totnes again in 1621 and was re-elected in 1624 and 1625. In 1628 he was elected MP for Totnes again and sat until 1629 when King Charles I decided to rule without Parliament for eleven years.[1]

Marriage and children

On 28 January 1587 at Newton St Cyres, near Crediton, Devon, Giles married Mary Drewe daughter and heiress of Edmond Drewe of Hayne, Newton St Cyres, Devon, and widow of Walter Northcote (1566–1587), younger brother of John Northcote (1570–1632) of Uton and Hayne, Newton St Cyres, the latter who was ancestor of the Northcote Baronets and the Earls of Iddesleigh.[2] By his wife he had one son, Adam (born 21 March 1595 in Newton Toney, Wiltshire), and one daughter, neither of whom survived him.[3]

Death and burial

Giles died at the age of 71 and was buried in St George's Church, Dean Prior,[1][4] where survives his monument erected in 1642.[5]


  1. 'Alumni Oxonienses, 1500-1714: Gabel-Gilmore', Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714: Abannan-Kyte (1891), pp. 542-568. Date accessed: 19 November 2011
  2. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.409,581
  3. Vivian, p.409 d.s.p. (decessit sine prole)
  4. Vivian, p.409
  5. Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.333
  • "GILES, Sir Edward (1566-1637), of Bowden House, Ashprington and Dean Court, Dean Prior, Devon". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Richard Sparry
Christopher Savery
Member of Parliament for Totnes
With: Christopher Buggin
Succeeded by
Leonard Darre
Philip Holditch
Preceded by
Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet
Sir John Acland
Member of Parliament for Devon
With: John Drake
Succeeded by
John Drake
Sir Edward Seymour, 2nd Baronet
Preceded by
Nathaniel Rich
Lawrence Adams
Member of Parliament for Totnes
With: Richard Rood 1621–1622
Arthur Champernowne 1624
Sir Edward Seymour, 2nd Baronet
Succeeded by
Arthur Champernowne
Philip Holditch
Preceded by
Arthur Champernowne
Philip Holditch
Member of Parliament for Totnes
With: Thomas Prestwood
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
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