BAYNTON, Edward (c.1520-93), of Bromham and Rowden, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1520, 2nd s. of Sir Edward Baynton† of Bromham by his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Sulyard; bro. of Andrew, half-bro. of Henry Baynton I. m. (1) c.1553, Agnes (d.1574), da. of Sir Griffith Rhys of Carew castle, Pemb. by Katherine, da. of Thomas, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, at least 2s. inc. Henry Baynton II. 4da.; (2) Anne (d.1578), da. of Humphrey Packington of London and wid. of (1) Humphrey Style, (2) Edward Jackman and (3) James Bacon, s.p. suc. bro. Andrew 21 Feb. 1564. Kntd. 1574.2
J.p. Wilts. 1559, q. from 1574, sheriff 1571-2.
Baynton’s first wife was the mistress of William, Lord Stourton (d.1548), who settled on her a life interest in a large part of the Stourton inheritance. This she had to defend against the heir Charles, Lord Stourton, in a series of lawsuits in which Baynton naturally became involved. It was not until after the execution of Charles, Lord Stourton, for murder in 1557, that Baynton and she succeeded in establishing a claim to some of the Stourton lands on the borders of Wiltshire and Somerset. Next, in 1559, Baynton’s elder brother Andrew was persuaded to disinherit his daughter by entailing his estates upon Edward, which brought about another series of lawsuits, this time against Gabriel Pleydell and other executors of Andrew Baynton’s nuncupative will. These suits ended about 1566, when Pleydell and others gave up, leaving Baynton in possession of sufficient property to make him one of the biggest landowners in north Wiltshire.3
His career under Elizabeth was uneventful. In spite of his father’s friendship with Latimer, his religious convictions were lukewarm, and he was classified as ‘no hinderer of religion in the bishops’ report of 1564. Although the Bayntons had been followers of the Seymours there is no evidence that Edward was connected with the Earl of Hertford, his return for the county, as well as for Devizes and Caine (at a by-election) being due to his own local standing. In 1571 Baynton was appointed to the committee concerning tillage and the navy (21, 25 May), and on 13 Mar. 1576 he was named to the committee dealing with Lord Stourton’s bill, in which he was obviously an interested party. After 1581 he seems to have preferred to allow his brother, and then his son, to sit for the local boroughs.4
Baynton’s eldest son William died as a child in 1564, allegedly by witchcraft practised by one Agnes Mills (who was duly hanged) at the instigation of Baynton’s sister-in-law Dorothy, who hoped that her children would succeed to the entailed estates. At his death, on 21 Mar. 1593, Edward’s surviving son and heir Henry, born shortly before his mother’s death, inherited the Baynton property, considerably increased by purchase during the previous 30 years. Baynton’s will, dated 21 Sept. 1592, included bequests of a £20 annuity to his half-brother Henry, and smaller sums of money and jewels to friends and relatives. He also remembered the poor of Caine and Chippenham. He appointed his son executor, and John Danvers an overseer.5