Humphrey Slaney of the Hem, Shropshire

There is an entry in the Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock parish register for the burial of Humphrey Slaney of “the Hemme” on 3 Oct 1603. It seems very likely he is the father of Richard Slaney also of the Hem who leaves a will dated 1620.

Richard Slaney’s will then allows us in turn to draw up a list of Humphrey’s many children. Firstly a daughter of his would be the first wife of Edward Allcock, gent of Little Wenlock. Further evidence for this is discussed elsewhere on this web site under Edward Allcock’s page.

Whilst Humphrey’s oldest son is Richard who stayed on the landed estate in Shropshire, he had two younger sons, John and Humphrey who moved to the City of London and made successful careers as Citizens and Merchant Taylors. The son, John Slaney of St Martin Pomeroy, Ironmonger Lane,¬† London left a very detailed and useful will in 1632.

For the first recorded origins of this family, we need to first examine the Slaney family of Mitton in Staffordshire listed in the Heraldic Visitation of Shropshire in 1623. This describes a John Slaney from Mitton as the father of Sir Stephen Slaney, Lord Mayor of London in 1595. Hem is about twenty miles west of Mitton which is near Penkridge, south of Stafford. Other branches of the Slaney family start in Yardley, Bloxwich and the main armiger line continued living at Hatton Grange, Shifnal after 1665.

It is possible that Humphrey is a brother to Sir Stephen but is more likely a first cousin. Sir Stephen names two brothers Henry and William in his will in 1608 but no Humphrey. However, the geographical location, the use of the christian name Stephen in Humphrey’s descendants and connection to the cloth and skin trade all point to the closeness of the relationship. Moreover, John Slaney, Humphrey’s second son describes Peter Phesant as his cousin in his 1632 will. Sir Stephen Slaney’s wife was Margaret Phesant and Peter would appear to be a nephew. The connexions with Sir Stephen must have been instrumental in the advancement of the successful City careers of John and Humphrey.

John Slaney’s will talks of his sisters Elizabeth Eaton, Mary Allen, Margaret Alport (deceased), Judith Bawtry (deceased). He also talks of his sister Harwell.

Richard Slaney’s will talks of his sisters Eaton and Allen as well as his brothers John and Humphrey Slaney

Edward Allcock talks of his brothers, Richard Slaney, Edward Harwell and Allen.

It looks likely that the name ‘Margaret Alport’ (sic) in the National Archives transcript of the PCC will of John Slaney should read Margaret Alcock – although there could be other permutations.

On 29 Sep 1580, Hunphrey Slaney is first mentioned in the Corporation Records of the Town of Much Wenlock when he is elected as one of “the six men” – a member of the council under the Baliff of the town. His son Richard is first mentioned in 1589. The continuity of father to son is indicated when Richard is eventually elected as Bailiff from 29 Sep 1612 to 28 Sep 1613.

In Boyd’s Inhabitants of London the entry for Humphrey Slaney, Citizen and Haberdasher, Humphrey’s third son, it lists Humphrey Slaney’s two parents as Humphrey Slaney of Linley, Salop and Elizabeth Granger of Sutton, Salop. Elizabeth widow of Humphrey is recorded as being buried in Much Wenlock on 18 Dec 1607.

Sources and Notes

  • Will of Richard Slaney, Probate 20 Jul 1620 PCC (Eldest son and heir)
  • Will of John Slaney, Probate 26 Apr 1632, PCC (Second son)
  • Will of Edward Allcock, Probate 1606, PCC (Son-in-law)
  • Will of Sir Stephen Slaney, Probate 3 Jan 1608, PCC (Brother or First Cousin)
  • Will of Margaret Slaney, Probate 24 May 1619, PCC (Widow of Sir Stephen)
  • Parish Register of Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock, Salop, findmypast
  • Visitation of Shropshire 1623 (Vol 2)
  • A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain Vol 4, John Burke, 1838
    • Mentions implausible ‘legend’ that the family came from Slany in Czech Republic (Blakeway)
  • Corporation Minute Book of the Town and Liberty of Much Wenlock (1495-1658) held at Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury
  • Boyd’s Inhabitants of London – Percival Boyd (1868-1955) in findmypast.com
    • the entries here by Boyd are not entirely convincing and perhaps contradictory but the name Elizabeth as Humphrey’s wife is supported by the burial entry
  • British History Online Vol 10, pp 348-354 – Linley and the Hem