BURYTON, William, of Hereford and Stoke Lacy, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



May 1421

Family and Education

prob. s. of Thomas Buryton*. m. ?Esther, da. or sis. of Sir William Downton,1 2s. Thomas† and John†.

Offices Held

Mayor, Hereford Oct. 1442-4.2


Since he was later, when indicted before the Shropshire j.p.s for the crime, described as ‘of Hereford, gentleman’, it was certainly this William Buryton who, in October 1416, with several armed men, allegedly broke into the house of Sir William Lichfield† at Kinlet. There, among other things, they stole a chest full of charters and muniments. Nevertheless, for the time being he remained at liberty. Indeed, he attended the parliamentary elections held at the guildhall in Hereford in 1419, and, having been again present in 1420, he was himself returned for the city in the following spring. Next, in 1424, he brought a suit in the King’s bench against the parson of Little Cowarne, Herefordshire, and his servant, Margaret Murecke, for breach of the Statute of Labourers, and three years later he was prosecuting certain local ‘wyredrawers’ and other tradesmen in the same court for trespass. As late as 1428, Sir William Lichfield’s criminal charges were still pending, but the case did not finally come before the justices of the King’s bench until the spring of 1429. Buryton gave himself up at the Marshalsea prison, but, after pleading not guilty, he obtained bail, and later secured his acquittal before the Shropshire justices of assize. In the summer of that year he was present at Hereford castle to attest the return of the shire knights to Parliament, shortly before his own election at the guildhall for the city. He again attended both elections in 1435 and 1442, and on the latter occasion witnessing the return of his son, Thomas. In the meantime, in 1431, Buryton had been a member of the Hereford jury which gave evidence for the assessment of contributors to a royal aid, testifying that he himself had an income of £5 a year from his property in the city. Early in 1434 he was among the gentry of the shire certified into Chancery as liable to be sworn to abstain from maintaining breakers of the peace. In 1442 he was elected mayor for the first of two successive annual terms, but appears to have had an imperfect grasp of the legal knowledge required for his mayoral duties: John Bursigant filed a petition in Chancery alleging that Buryton had allowed a convicted debtor to go free, and Richard Green claimed that he had been falsely imprisoned following Buryton’s poor judgement of a plaint of trespass sued in the guildhall. In September 1445 Buryton confessed to having mishandled the first case.3 Nothing more is heard of him.

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 8-10, which, however, identifies the MP with William, s. of Oliver Buryton of Salop (by a da. of Thomas Upton of Upton, Herefs.). That William was granted in 1401 an annual rent of £5 from the Shropshire manor of Worfield, on the instructions of William Beauchamp, Ld. of Abergavenny: CPR, 1399-1401, p. 538.
  • 2. Hereford City Lib. MT/VIII/6; J. Duncumb, Hist. Herefs. i. 365.
  • 3. KB27/652 m. 7, 666 m. 62d, 672 Rex m. 2; C219/12/3, 4, 14/1, 5, 15/2; Cal. Hereford Cathedral Muns. (NLW 1955), nos. 68, 78, 84, 185; Feudal Aids, ii. 422; CPR, 1429-36, p. 376; C1/13/159, 15/17. Buryton’s sons Thomas and John both represented Hereford in Parliament, the former doing so five times between 1442 and 1467.