BENDLOWES, William (1514/15-84), of Great Bardfield, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1514/15, s. of Christopher Bendlowes of Great Bardfield by Elizabeth, da. of John Rufford. educ. St. John’s, Camb.; L. Inn, adm. 9 July 1534, called 1539. m. (2), by 1544, Eleanor, da. of Edward Palmer of Angmering, Suss. wid. of John Berners of Finchingfield, Essex, 1s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Bencher, L. Inn 1546, Autumn reader 1549, Lammas 1555, treas. 1550-4, gov. by 1576.

Commr. relief, Essex 1550, heresy 1556; j.p. 1554-64, seven midland counties 1561-4; serjeant-at-law 1 June 1555; justice assize, midlands 1558; recorder, Thaxted, Essex temp. Mary.2


William Bendlowes’s father was an Essex yeoman who succeeded in amassing a sufficient fortune to purchase the manor of Brent Hall in Finchingfield. Bendlowes was sent to Cambridge, but left without taking a degree and proceeded to Lincoln’s Inn. From his admission his career followed the well-trodden path of his more senior colleagues. One of these was William Rastell who had entered the inn two years earlier: the two men appear to have been personal friends and both were to display conservative religious leanings.3

One of the regions from which Lincoln’s Inn drew its members in the early 16th century was Cornwall, and several of Bendlowes’s contemporaries came from families of gentle standing in that county: when he answered his call to the bar he did so in the company of several Cornish men, Henry Chiverton, John Haydon and