WINSTON, Walter (by 1502-40 or later), of Randwick, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. by 1502. m. Margaret, sis. and h. of Thomas Baynham (d. Mar./Apr. 1529) of Bristol.1
Escheator, Glos. 1523-4, 1538-9.
Little has come to light about Walter Winston, a Gloucestershire man of gentle birth. The pedigrees of his family contain numerous errors, but it is evident from other sources that he was well connected in the west and that he could count among his kinsmen David Broke, Sir John Brydges and Richard Tracy. It was with Tracy that Winston was returned to Parliament for a north Wiltshire borough, but presumably he owed his place in the Commons not so much to Tracy as to Brydges, who was powerful in the locality and who was at the same time elected one of the knights for Gloucestershire. Winston may have hoped that his own presence at Westminster would aid his executorship of Thomas Baynham’s will: he had proved the will in the spring of 1529, but his efforts to obtain Baynham’s plate had been rebuffed by James Cliff of Gloucester to whom Baynham had entrusted it, so that between late 1529 and early 1532 he petitioned More as chancellor for redress. Whether he succeeded is not known, but he doubtless had the support of Brydges, one of Baynham’s feoffees, and perhaps also of another of them, the courtier and soldier Sir Anthony Poyntz. Nothing is known of Winston’s role in the proceedings of the House. He may have served for Wootton Bassett in the following Parliament, that of June 1536, when the King asked for the re-election of the previous Members, and perhaps again in 1539 and 1542, Parliaments for which the names of its Members are also lost.2
Winston’s two terms as escheator suggest that he had received a legal education but his name has not been traced in the records of any inn of court. In a chancery case brought in 1540 he was accused of wrongfully dispossessing Anthony Cole of Gloucester of property in the town and at Stanton, a village in north Gloucestershire: he replied that he had purchased the disputed properties of one of Cole’s cousins. This is the last certain reference found to Winston but he may have been the Walter Winston who with a wife Margaret is mentioned in a deed of 1551 as holding land in the neighbourhood of Chippenham.3