PURY, William (by 1489-1537 or later), of New Windsor, Berks.

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. by 1489. m. ?Margaret.2

Offices Held

Jt. warden, guild of the Holy Trinity, Windsor by 1513-14; town clerk by 1514-?d., mayor 1518-19, 1522-3.3


William Pury was probably a kinsman, if not a son, of Edmund Pury, mayor of Windsor in 1466, and he was perhaps also related to John Pury, a household officer who held land in Windsor at about the same time. The antiquarian Elias Ashmole’s extracts from the Windsor corporation records, of which many of the originals have disappeared, include a reference to Pury as a Member of the Parliament of 1510, in which the high steward, Sir Andrew Windsor, secured a rent from a fee-farm for the town in an Act (1 Hen. VIII, c.16) for the royal household. There is no evidence that Pury’s parliamentary expenses were paid, but the same source frequently mentions his wages as town clerk, the first payment, one of 6s.8d. ‘for writing’, being dated 13 Jan. 1514; a book of chamberlains’ accounts which does survive records many similar payments for later years, the last of them occurring in the account heard at the guildhall on 16 Oct. 1537.4

Pury must have been a substantial townsman to have belonged, as did his fellow-Member John Welles, to the guild of the Holy Trinity. The brethren of this guild monopolized local offices, one of which had evidently been bestowed on Pury when in 1519 a sum of £3 18s.5d. was delivered to him for various repairs at the market place, the butts and in St. Mary’s church. He was also paid 5s.8d. in 1517 ‘for his costs riding to London divers times to Master Windsor for the subsidy’, and he received the normal fee of 20s. after each of his years as mayor. An indication of his financial standing is furnished by two indentures for subsidy assessments, dated 1 June 1524 and 2 Jan. 1525, in both of which he was rated at 20s. on goods worth £20; although this was small compared with the £200 worth of goods recorded for Andrew Bereman and Thomas Bennet, only these two exceptionally rich men, and four others ranging from £50 to £100, stood above Pury, and his name preceded those of dozens of poorer men, including a John Pury with goods valued at 20 marks.5

It was presumably this John Pury, a warden of the Trinity guild in 1520, who received 6s.8d., ‘being clerk for his fee’, every year from 1538 until 1544, the year in which he was mayor, and was then replaced by Thomas Butler II. As William Pury is not to be found in the next subsidy assessment, that of 1540, in which John appears with goods worth £20 and a Margaret ‘Pery’, widow, with the same, it appears that the Member had a kinsman—whether son, brother or nephew we cannot say—who succeeded him as town clerk but who did not hold that office long or enter the House of Commons in virtue of it.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. R. R. Tighe and J. E. Davis, Windsor Annals, i. 500.
  • 2. Presumed to be of age at election. E179/73/153; Bodl. Ashmole 1125, f. 25v.
  • 3. Bodl. Ashmole 1115, f. 40; 1126, f. 23; Windsor recs. Wi/FA c.1, ff. 11, 18v, 41v.
  • 4. VCH Berks. iii. 316-17; E. Cust. Cust. Fam. i. 273-4, 293; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 189; Tighe and Davis, i. 500; Bodl. Ashmole 1126, f. 23; Windsor recs. Wi/FA c.1, ff. 7-41v.
  • 5. VCH Berks. iii. 59-60; Windsor recs. Wi/FA, C.1, ff. 10, 12, 12v, 19v; E179/73/130, 137.
  • 6. Winsdor recs. Wi/FA c.1, ff. 41v, 42v-48; E179/73/153.