NEWDIGATE, William (1495-1530/31), of Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks. and London.

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



Family and Education

b. 3 Feb. 1495, yr. s. of John Newdigate of Harefield, Mdx. by Amphelicia, da. and h. of John Neville of Sutton, Lincs. m. Anne, prob. da. of Sir Edward Darrell of Littlecote, Wilts., at least 1da.

Offices Held

Officer in the royal stables by 1525; keeper, Maxstoke castle and park, Warws. 14 July 1530-?d.2


The Newdigate family probably derived its name from the Surrey village where its main, though less significant, line was settled. William Newdigate belonged to a cadet branch which had been at Harefield since the 14th century. He is said to have been born at Whitefriars, London, on 3 Feb. 1495, but the evidence for this statement has not been found.3

The probability that Newdigate married a daughter of Sir Edward Darrell, one of whose feoffees he was, rests on the couple’s inclusion, between Darrell’s daughters Elizabeth and Catherine, in his will of July 1528, and on Darrell’s bequest to them of Ioo marks, the sum which he also bequeathed to Catherine. It was doubtless Newdigate’s father who procured this advantageous match, which may also have led to his introduction into the royal service: when this took place is not known, but it was as a member of the King’s household that in January 1525 he was licensed, with Francis Sidney, also of the stables, to export 400 tuns of beer for two years, and that in July 1530 he was granted the keepership of Maxstoke castle and park.4

Darrell also had a hand in Newdigate’s return to Parliament in 1529. As lord of the manor of Bedwyn he must have conveyed the nominations there even if he did not originate them, and his interest in the Wiltshire elections is shown by his own return as a knight of the shire and his son Edmund’s as a Member for Marlborough. As Newdigate’s election came shortly after the grant to him of the manor of Willingale, Essex, and was to be followed by that of the keepership of Maxstoke, the initiative could have lain with the King. In the House, besides his Darrell kinsmen, Newdigate would have sat with his brother-in-law Robert Dormer and with Sir Edward Chamberlain, whose son Leonard Chamberlain married his sister Dorothy, but as it turned out, he was not to do so for long. In the absence of a will and of an inquisition post mortem his death cannot be dated with any precision but it presumably occurred between 14 July 1530, the day of the Maxstoke grant, and 18 Oct. 1531, when that office was given to William Paget. Newdigate therefore died at about the same time as Sir Edward Darrell, and their passing was recorded by the addition of ‘mortuus’ to their names on the list of Members which was revised in the spring of 1532. The vacancy at Great Bedwyn was almost certainly filled, probably by Thomas Polsted (q.v.), at a by-election held before the opening of the fifth session of the Parliament in February 1533, when the borough was in the King’s gift following Darrell’s death. Newdigate’s only known issue was a daughter Johanne who is mentioned in the will of Richard Newdigate, probably his cousin, dating from 1545.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: R. L. Davids


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth given in F. A. Crisp, Vis. Eng. and Wales, notes, vii. 36. PCC 37 Porch, 18 Jankyn; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 27; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. vii), 39; Mdx; Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 67; Mon. Brass Soc. Trans. vi. 59; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 301; Wilts. Arch. Mag. iv. 228; Surr. Arch. Colls. vi. 262; Egerton 2604, f. 3; LP Hen. VIII, iv. v.
  • 3. Surr. Arch. Colls. vi. 227-67; Crisp, vii. 36.
  • 4. Wilts. Arch. Mag. iv. 228; PCC 18 Jankyn; Egerton 2604, f. 3; LP Hen. VIII , iv.
  • 5. Surr. Arch. Colls. vi. 262.