LEONARD, William, of Dover, Kent.

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

?s. of Harry Leonard, chamberlain of Dover 1559. m. 26 Nov. 1618, Priscilla, da. of Edward Oxenden of Walmer, Kent.1

Offices Held

Brodhull rep. for Dover 1594; commr. restraint of passage at Dover by Apr. 1599; mayor, Dover 1597-8, 1610-11, 1611-12.2


Leonard’s origins and early life are obscure. One of this name was admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1577, called in 1585, and subsequently became a reader at Staple Inn and (1593) a member of the ‘grand company of Gray’s Inn’. But it is unlikely that this was the ‘jurat of Dover’ who was married, possibly not for the first time, in 1618, and who is assumed to have been the man who sat in Parliament for the town in 1597. At the time of his election, during his first mayoralty, the town agreed to pay him wages at the high rate of 6s. a day, plus expenses for ‘such suits as the burgesses shall have to handle’. Either he or Sampson Lennard may have served on the armour and weapons committee, 8 Nov. References to Leonard in the state papers cease early in 1633, and no further mention of him has been found.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Dover Charters ed. Statham, 400; Vis. Kent Soc. xlii), 20; J. M. Cowper, Canterbury Mar. Lics. i. 262.
  • 2. Cinque Ports black bk. ff. 54, 61; J. B. Jones, Dover Annals, 301.
  • 3. Pension Bk. G. Inn, i. 66, 98, 100, 136 et passim; Canterbury Mar. Lics. i. 262; Egerton 2095, ff. 337, 366, 425; D’Ewes, 553; HMC Hatfield, ix. 219; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 180; 1628-9, p. 339; 1631-3, pp. 566 et passim.