HAMPSHIRE, William (by 1525-58 of later), of London.
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Family and Education
?Searcher, port of London 1542; clerk, the Exchequer in 1546.3
Although William Hampshire was a Member of three Marian Parliaments, little has been discovered about him. He was a clerk in the Exchequer towards the end of Henry VIII’s reign and may have been one of the searchers of London accused of fraud by a certain Baldwin Smith in April 1542. In the Easter term of 1546 the Exchequer ordered Clement Smith, one of its officials, to pay a debt of £30 claimed by Hampshire, but no other evidence about his exchequer career has been found. He may have been related to Edmund Hampshire, yeoman of the poultry in the households of Henry VIII and Edward VI, whose descendants were to own property at Chedworth and Northleach in Gloucestershire, not far from Cricklade. In any case he seems to have had some link with Gloucestershire for when he was fined for quitting Parliament prematurely without licence, two men from that county, Humphrey Dix of Winchcombe and John Dix of ‘Bowbarkley’, stood surety for him. As John Dix was in the service of the Brydges family, Hampshire could have been the servant of that name remembered in the will of Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos of Sudeley, in 1572; either this man or another namesake married the widow of a further Brydges dependent, Giles Payne, who was Hampshire’s fellow-Member in the Parliament of November 1554.4
A connexion with the Brydges could account for Hampshire’s Membership as both of the Wiltshire boroughs returning him were susceptible to influence from that family. Evidence of his intrusion is forthcoming in the spring of 1554 when his name was inserted on the election indenture in a different hand from that of the rest of the document. When the House was called early in January 1555 he was found to be absent and for this dereliction he was informed against in the King’s bench, being described as ‘of London’. A writ of venire facias was issued, but no further action was taken until Michaelmas term 1556 when he appeared in his own person and made a successful plea for a delay until Hilary term. He did not appear again until Michaelmas 1558 when he was fined 53s.4d. The process against him does not seem to have affected his reelection for Cricklade in 1558, unless the absence of his name with that of his fellow-Member John Marmion from the list of Members in use during the second session is taken as evidence that his return then was not accepted by the House.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Elizabeth McIntyre
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
- 2. Date of Birth estimated from first certain reference. VCH Glos. xi. 223.
- 3. APC, i. 46; E13/225, mm. IV, 2V.
- 4. E13/225, mm. Iv, 2v; APC, i. 46; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 319; Stowe 571, f. 35v; Archaeologia, xii. 365; LC2/2, f. 31; LP Hen. VIII, xix; Req.2/139/2; PCC 38 Woodhall, 20 Peter; KB27/1188.
- 5. C219/22/104; KB27/1176, 1180; Wm. Salt Lib. SMS. 264.