COMBE, William (1551-1610), of Middle Temple, London and Warwick.
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Family and Education
b. June 1551, posth. s. of John Combe (d.1550) of Stratford-on-Avon, Warws. by his 3rd w. Jane, da. of John Wheeler of Droitwich, Worcs., wid. of Baldwin Sheldon of Broadway. (She m. 22 Nov. 1554, Thomas Lewkenor† of Alvechurch). educ. New Inn; M. Temple 1571, called 1579. m. ?(1) a da. of Thomas Lewkenor of Alvechurch; (1) or (2) Alice, da. of Richard Hanbury of London; (2) or (3) Jane, da. of Nicholas Chowne† of Fairlawn in Wrotham, Kent, wid. of (Sir) John Puckering of Kew, Surr.1
J.p. Warws. by 1595, Worcs. by 1604; sheriff, Warws. 1607-8.
The Combes were related to several substantial families in Worcestershire and Warwickshire and were well known in Stratford, where, at the turn of the century, they engaged in a number of transactions with William Shakespeare. No adequate pedigrees of the family are known.
Though Combe’s elder brother John was classed as an adversary of true religion in 1564, and Combe himself had Catholic connexions, his loyalty to the government was certain. According to a contemporary account he was ’set to school and brought up in learning by some loving benefactors’, including the recusant Mrs. Dorothy Heath (widow of William Heath†) whose arrest many years later, on 4 Jan. 1595, while shelt