Robert Keilway

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Canting arms of Keylway: Argent, two grozing irons in saltire sable between four Kelway pears proper, as seen on his monument in Exton Church[1]

Robert Keilway (alias Kellway, Keylway, Kaylway, Kelloway, etc.) (1497–1581) of Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, was an English politician and court official.[2]


He was Surveyor of the Court of Wards and Liveries, Custos Rotulorum of Berkshire, a Member of Parliament for Bristol[2] and legal advisor to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of England.[3]

Marriage & progeny[edit]

He married Cecily Bulstrode, a daughter of Edward Bulstrode of Hedgerley in Buckinghamshire and widow of Sir Alexander Unton of Wadley House in the parish of Faringdon, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire).[3] He was therefore the step-father of Sir Edward Unton.[3] By his wife he had progeny including:

Death & monument[edit]

His magnificent monument with effigy, erected by his daughter and son-in-law, survives in Exton Church,[1] inscribed as follows:

"Here lies Robert Keylway a distinguished esquire among civilians (whilst he lived), renowned for talent, learning and virtue, who loved retirement, lived as a Christian and died in the Lord on the 21st of February in the year of our Salvation, 1580, and the 84th year of his age. He left Anne his sole heiress and only dearly loved daughter married to John Harrington of Exton, Knt, whom he had always affectionately loved as a son and friend, by which Anne the said John had during the life of the aforesaid Robert two children, a son, Kelwey, who died Dec. 2nd, 1570, 21 weeks old, and lies buried here with his grandfather, and also a daughter Lucy still surviving, and may God grant her a long life. To pay, therefore, a just tribute to so dear and affectionate a parent and to leave to posterity an evidence of their deep gratitude, the said John and Anne have raised this monument and dedicated to their father, Keylwey, and their son Keylwey (to their lasting memory if it so please God) and design it, if God will, as a sepulchre for themselves also".


  1. ^ a b See image
  2. ^ a b  "Keilway, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ a b c Ford, David Nash (2010). "Sir Edward Unton (1534-1582)". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 15 November 2010.