HEYRICK, William (1562-1653), of London; later of Beaumanor, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 9 Dec. 1562, 5th s. of John Heyrick of Leicester, and bro. of Robert. m. 6 May 1596, Joan, da. of Richard May of London and of Mayfield Place, Suss., at least 1s. Kntd. 1605.

Offices Held

Freeman, Leicester 1601; principal jeweller to the King, Queen and Prince of Wales 1603-25; freeman, London May 1605; prime warden, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1605-6; teller in the Exchequer by 1617.


Heyrick, the youngest son of a Leicester ironmonger, was sent to London in or about 1574 as an apprentice to his elder brother Nicholas, a goldsmith in Cheapside and later father of the royalist poet Robert Herrick, whose guardian William Heyrick eventually became. After serving his brother for a while, Heyrick set up in business on his own, apparently acquiring his leasehold premises in Wood Street from the Goldsmith’s Company. His marriage in 1596 further strengthened his ties in the city, and within a few years he had made a fortune as a moneylender. His wealth may have brought him to the notice of the Queen, who is said to have employed him on a mission to the Porte. In 1595, just before his fortunate marriage, Heyrick bought himself a country estate, the manor of Beaumanor, from the Earl of Essex, and obtained a right to arms. When he was made a freeman of Leicester in 1601—presenting the corporation with a dozen silver spoons in lieu of a fee—he was described as late of London. In September 1601 he was one of the two borough candidates suggested by the mayor of Leicester when consulting the 4th Earl of Huntingdon about the coming parliamentary election. The earl favoured Heyrick, who was returned. He died, aged go, 2 Mar. 1653, and was buried in St. Martin’s church, Leicester.

Mayors of Leicester, ed. Hartopp, 265; Reg. Leicester Freemen, xxxvii. 98; CSP Dom. 1603-10, pp. 7, 120, 122, 151, 536; 1611-18, pp. 94-6; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 158; ii. 49, 176, 219; SP14/60; W. S. Prideux, Memorials Goldsmiths’ Co. 122; G. F. Farnham, Quorndon Recs. 306; Leicester Recs. iii. 435-6, 451.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.

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