PELLATT, William (c.1514-58), of Charlton Court, Steyning, Suss.
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Family and Education
Churchwarden, Steyning in 1548.3
William Pellatt came of a family long resident at Steyning and by the 16th century of importance there. This the Pellatts derived from their lease of the manor of Charlton, bordering the borough and belonging to Syon abbey: held successively by Pellatt’s grandfather and father, the lease was confirmed to him in 1539 at a rent of £34 a year. After the Dissolution the manor was annexed to the honor of Petworth, but in July 1557 Pellatt bought the freehold for £1,253. This, and his purchase in the same year for £34 of a scattering of lands in Sussex were his final additions to a patrimony which included the lease of a mill and buildings within the town. He combined sheep-farming with growing wheat and barley, and it is some indication of his affluence and aspirations that he sent his eldest son Richard to Cambridge and Gray’s Inn.4
Before Pellatt’s return to the Parliament of November 1554 the family’s role in elections had been limited to that of elector or at most constable, and thus returning officer, of the borough: Pellatt’s brother Thomas was constable at the election of 26 Sept. 1553 and signed the indenture. It was doubtless Mary’s request in the autumn of 1554 for the return of resident Members which allowed Pellatt to secure a seat himself. He disregarded Chancellor Gardiner’s admonition at the opening about attendance and was found to be absent at the call of the House early in January 1555. For this dereliction he was prosecuted in the King’s bench: on his failure to appear in Michaelmas 1555 Pellatt was distrained 20s., and in the following Easter term he was fined 53s.4d.: his sureties were John Hyde of Lancing and his brother Thomas Pellatt.5
In his will of 22 Aug. 1558 Pellatt described himself as patron of Steyning church, where he wished to be buried beside his ancestors. He named his son Richard executor and residuary legatee and stipulated that his second son John should have £40 on coming of age and the lease of Steyning parsonage. Six of his daughters were to receive £46 13s.4d. each, and the seventh £30. The overseers were Pellatt’s brothers Richard and Thomas and his Cousin John Gratwycke of Cowfold, and among the witnesses was the vicar of Steyning, Stephen Green. As the will was proved in September 1558 Pellatt, a man not yet 50, must have made it when close to death, perhaps of the disease then widespread.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: R. J.W. Swales
- 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
- 2. Date of birth estimated from a lease of 1539 and from his being under 22 when his father made his will. Suss. Arch. Colls. xxxviii. 107; PCC 46 Noodes.
- 3. Suss. Arch. Colls. viii. 132.
- 4. Ibid. viii. 132; xxxviii. 101; E326/5643, 5666, 6359 ex inf. Dr. R. W. Dunning; Harl. 606, f. 42; Chantry Recs. (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxvi), 110; Ministers’ Accts. Manor of Petworth (ibid. lv), 63, 82; C142/121/158.
- 5. C219/21/153; KB27/1176, 1178; 29/188 rot. 48.
- 6. PCC 46 Noodes.