REDE, William II (by 1529-69 or later), of Devizes, Wilts.; Yate, Glos. and the Middle Temple, London.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1529, s. of Thomas Rede (d.1529) by Joan. educ. M. Temple. m. by 1558, Maud, da. of Walter Bailey of Devizes, at least 1s.2

Offices Held

Subsidy collector, Wilts. 1552; escheator, Hants and Wilts. 1564-5.3


Since Devizes normally returned townsmen under Mary, William Rede was probably a son of Thomas Rede, the wealthy clothier who was assessed for the subsidy in 1525 on goods in St. John’s parish worth £100, the second largest sum recorded for the borough; apparently a younger son, William received £40 by Thomas’s will. Although William Rede was never assessed for subsidy in Devizes, his family background makes it likely that he was the William Rede of Yate, in southern Gloucestershire, who married a daughter of Walter Bailey, another rich clothier of Devizes; Bailey left small bequests to his son-in-law William Rede and his ‘godson’ Edward Rede, both of whom witnessed his will on 1 Mar. 1559.4

Rede was admitted to the Middle Temple between 1524 and 1550, a period for which the entries are missing, and he was followed there by his son Edward. He could have been the attorney of that name in the common pleas in the late 1540s. If his career lay in London it is less surprising that the Devizes records, which exist in a fragmentary state from 1555, do not mention him. He seems none the less to have retained links with the town; the subsidy collector of 1552 is described as ‘William Reade of the Devizes, gentleman’, a similar style is given to the escheator of Hampshire and Wiltshire 12 years later and property in Devizes was sold by Rede and his wife in 1560-1. During the Easter law term of 1569 the same couple sold more lands, this time in Chippenham and Titherton Lucas. It is also likely that he was the man so named who had been steward of Calstone manor, near Calne, in 1562, when it was owned by Thomas Long.5

Rede’s return to Parliament reflected his own local standing and may have been intended to promote his career. Of his part in the work of the House all that is known is that he did not oppose the restoration of Catholicism. When he obtained a pardon in June 1554 he was styled as ‘late of London, alias of the Middle Temple, alias of Bristol’. That he was sometime a resident of Bristol suggests that he may have been a kinsman of William Rede I, whose mother, Lady Berkeley, lived there. The Berkeley family had a lease of the manor of Yate where Rede lived.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Bodl. e Museo 17.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from father’s will, PCC 7 Jankyn. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 160; PCC 13 Mellershe.
  • 3. E179/198/265.
  • 4. E179/197/156; PCC 7 Jankyn, 13 Mellershe.
  • 5. M.T. Recs. i. 154, 156, 171; CP40/1140, r. 453; E179/198/265; Wilts. N. and Q. iv. 456; vi. 355; vii. 305; Wilts. RO, 212b/967/12.
  • 6. CPR,1553-4, p. 429; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxi. ii.