DORMER, William (by 1514-75), of Eythrope in Waddesdon, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. by 1514, o. s. of (Sir) Robert Dormer of West Wycombe, Wing and London by Jane, da. of John Newdigate of Harefield, Mdx. educ. ?I. Temple. m. (1) lic. Jan. 1535, Mary (d.1542), da. of Sir William Sidney of Penshurst, Kent, 2s. d.v.p. 2da.; (2) by 1551, Dorothy, da. of Anthony Catesby of Whiston Northants., 1s. Robert† 6da. suc. fa. July 1552. KB 29 Sept. 1553.1
J.p. Bucks. 1547-d.; commr. relief 1550, musters 1570-4; sheriff, Beds and Bucks. 1553-4, 1568-9; marshal and keeper of the falcons July 1552-d., chief steward, Ampthill honor 15 Oct. 1553-d.2
William was a baptismal name much favoured by the Dormer family and the career of the only son of Sir Robert Dormer before the 1540s is all but impossible to disentangle from those of his numerous kinsmen. One of the bearers of his name was a gentleman in the household of Cromwell considered for transfer to the royal service in 1538. If Dormer was Cromwell’s servant, his marriage to a daughter of Sir William Sidney, later chamberlain of the household to Prince Edward, may have been the minister’s work. He served under his father in the French campaign of 1544 and is probably the ‘young Dormer’ who two years later was mustered in Buckinghamshire as a captain with 100 men. In 1546 also, with his father, he attended the reception at court for the French ambassador. From 1535 until his mother’s self-imposed exile in 1559 he lived at Eythrope.3
Dormer gained his first experience of Parliament as a young man when he was returned in 1542 as second Member for Chipping Wycombe with John Gates, who had no known connexion with the county but was a groom of the privy chamber. Dormer probably also benefited from his court connexions both then and at his later returns for the shire. Nothing is