Ley, James, 1st Earl of Marlborough (1550 -1629)
James Ley, of Westbury in Wiltshire, was born in 1550, the sixth son of Henry Ley of Teffont Evias in Wiltshire and Dyonis St Mayne. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, which he entered in 1569, and took his B.A. 3 February 1574, and Lincoln's Inn. He entered Parliament as Member for Westbury 1597 1598, 1604 1605, and 1609 1611, and for Bath in 1614. He subsequently became Serjeant at Law in 1603, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland in 1603, and was knighted the same year, King's Attorney in the Court of Wards and liveries 1609, a baronet 15 July 1619, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in England in 1621, and Lord High Treasurer in 1625. On 31 December of the same year, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ley of Ley in Devon, and 5 February 1626, was created Earl of Marlborough, and President of the Council. He married three times, firstly Mary, daughter of John Petty of Stoke Talmage in Oxfordshire; secondly, Mary, widow of Sir William Bower; thirdly, 4 July 1621, Jane, daughter of John Lord Boteler. He died 14 March 1629 and was succeeded by his son Henry. The title became extinct in 1679 on the death of William the 4th Earl.