FITZHERBERT, William (c.1520-?59), of Lichfield and Swynnerton, Staffs. and the Inner Temple, London.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1520, 4th surv. s. of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert of Norbury, and bro. of Thomas. educ. I. Temple. m. Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Humphrey Swynnerton of Swynnerton and Hilton, Staffs., 2s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Queen’s serjeant, I. Temple 1553-5, bencher 1556.


When his father died, leaving him three gilt goblets, a gilt standing cup and half a dozen silver spoons, William Fitzherbert was on the threshold of a legal career which but for his early death might also have ended on the judicial bench. Among those who employed his services was William, Lord Paget, who as the patron of Lichfield was probably responsible for his election there to the second Edwardian Parliament, although he could have been helped both by his father-in-law and by his own standing in the city, where in 1545 he was assessed towards the subsidy at 16s. on property.2

Fitzherbert died between 1 Dec. 1558, when he was appointed to hold an inquisition post mortem, and 4 Aug. 1559, when his will was proved. He had been ‘in indifferent good health’ when he made the will, which he left undated. He asked to be buried near where he died, without solemnities other than those befitting his station, and to have masses said for his soul. Among his bequests was that of his law books to whichever of his sons first began to study law, while his brothers Sir Thomas and John Fitzherbert were each to have ten books of their own choosing. He named as executors his wife, father-in-law, and his three elder brothers. The widow of one of his descendants married the Prince Regent in 1785.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from career and elder brother’s birth. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii(2), 73-74; vii(2), 49, 113.
  • 2. PCC 20 Dyngeley; CPR, 1547-8, p. 220; 1557-8, p. 327; E179/177/137.
  • 3. CPR, 1558-60, p. 146; PCC 37 Chaynay; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. vii(2), 58, 113.