WILLIAMS, George (by 1521-56), of Denton, Lincs.
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Family and Education
b. by 1521, 1st s. of William Williams of Stamford by Elizabeth, da .of John Upton. educ. L. Inn, adm. 8 Feb. 1535. m. (1) by 1539, Alice Cony of Bassingthorpe, 2s. 5da.; (2) 1551/55, Rose, 2da. suc. fa. by 1538.1
J.p. Lincs. (Kesteven) 1554; commr. sewers, Cambs., Hunts., Isle of Ely, Lincs., Northants, Notts. 1555.2
After a legal education George Williams took service with William Cecil. He had probably done so by July 1549, when he bought from Cecil and Lawrence Eresby (or Irby) for £261 the manors of Hungerton and Wyville, formerly belonging to the chantry called ‘Curteys’ in Grantham church; the property, which Cecil and Eresby had themselves just acquired from the crown, lay at Denton (which Williams made his home), Harlaxton, Hungerton and Wyville, all to the southwest of Grantham. Williams seems to have managed Cecil’s Lincolnshire properties, writing to him in 1551 about repairs to a church at Ewerby and tithes at Thorpe Waterville (Northamptonshire), and in 1552 about the purchase of land at Barholm and about guild property at Baston which he thought that Cecil could claim in right of his ward Arthur Hall†. The last of these provoked a Star Chamber suit after Williams had tried to intimidate the escheator, among his opponents being Edmund Hall, a rival claimant, and George Foster, who wanted to maintain the guild. In the same year Williams conveyed to Cecil a complaint by Cecil’s father about a grant of lands, and in 1554 his activities included receiving rents and debts and reporting arrears, describing the abuse of woods at Pickworth by servants of (Sir) William Hussey II, and attending a ‘great sale’ at Grimsthorpe.3
Williams clearly owed his election at Grantham to the patronage of Cecil, who was himself returned senior knight of the shire. Although he had sufficiently commended himself to the Marian regime to be put on the Kesteven bench, Williams was among those who in this Parliament opposed one of the government’s bills. Within eight months of doing so he was dead (2 Aug. 1556), perhaps unexpectedly, as he left no will. Letters of administration were granted to his 16 year-old heir Richard, whose wardship was acquired by John Allen, not the Member for Stamford who had died in 1554 but perhaps his son of the same name.4