Joseph Offley d.1721

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Joseph OFFLEY d.1721

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of John Offley, merchant. He was admitted at the Middle Temple in 1669 and became a barrister in 1675 (reader 1701, treasurer 1710). He developed a successful legal practice and acquired property in and around Icklesham, Sussex; he was a JP for Westminster and MP for Rye 1698-1702, where he was noted as active in parliamentary committee work.


Offley used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 22197). He was unmarried and left much of his estate to a cousin, Stephen Offley; to Middle Temple Library he left "all my manuscripts books of the rolls of parliament being twenty five in number and also my Cottons abridgement of the said rolls together with all my manuscript books of the journalls of the House of Lords and Commons", on condition that should anyone "of my name of Offley" ever desire access to them, they should be loaned to them one book at a time, in return for "reasonable security". The extent of the rest of his library is not known; any other books would have been inherited, with the residue of his estate, by his cousin Stephen. The manuscripts remain in Middle Temple Library, as MSS 59 and 82.