SKIPWITH, Sir William (by 1510-86), of South Ormsby, Lincs.

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 1510, 1st s. of Sir William Skipwith of South Ormsby by Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Tyrwhitt of Kettleby; half-bro. of Henry Skipwith. educ. G. Inn, adm. 1527. m. by 1534, Elizabeth (bur. 7 Apr. 1573), da. of Sir Richard Page of Beechwood, Herts., 1s. 5da.; 1s. illegit. Edward by Anne, da. of John Tothby of Tothby, Lincs. suc. fa. 7 July 1547. Kntd. 28 Sept. 1547.1

Offices Held

Gent. pens. 1540-47/49; feodary, duchy of Lancaster, Bolingbroke honor 1544-5; commr. relief, Lincs. 1550; other commissions, north midlands 1554-d.; sheriff, Lincs. 1552-3, 1563-4; j.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1554-72, q. 1573/74-d.2


William Skipwith began to take part in the affairs of his native county from about 1530, and the frequency with which his name appears from then onwards in local transactions and assignments calling for legal expertise suggests that his admission to Gray’s Inn had not been a formality. Presumably it was with the help of his kinsmen the Tyrwhitts, and particularly of his father-in-law, that he obtained a post in the new royal guard of gentlemen pensioners. In this capacity he attended the funeral of Henry VIII and fought in the Scottish campaign of 1547, being knighted for his military service by the Protector Somerset. Skipwith’s father had died during the summer of that year, so it was as head of the family that he was elected to the first Edwardian Parliament, together with his relative Sir Edward Dymoke. He might have been expected to support the Protector, but nothing has been discovered about his whereabouts during the coup d’état of 1549 and he seems to have commended himself to Somerset’s successor the Duke of Northumberland, for in 1552 he was pricked sheriff. Two Parliaments were summoned during his year of office from which he was for that rea