PERYAM, William (1534-1604), of Crediton, Devon.

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

b. 1534, 1st s. of John Peryam, and bro. of John. educ. Exeter Coll. Oxf. 1551; Clifford’s Inn; M. Temple 1553, called 1565. m. (1) Margery, da. of John Holcot of Berks.; (2) Anne or Agnes, da. of John Parker of North Molton, Devon, 4da.; (3) Elizabeth, da. of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper, wid. of Robert Doyley and of Sir Henry Neville I. suc. fa. c.1573. Kntd. 1593.

Offices Held

J.p. Devon from c.1569, many other counties from c.1583; bencher, M. Temple 1577, serjeant-at-law 1580; justice of common pleas 1581; chief baron of the Exchequer from 1593; commr. trials of Mary Stuart 1586, Earl of Essex. 1601.1


The son of a Marian exile, Peryam became a London lawyer. By the time of the 1568 parliamentary election his services were no doubt already retained by the Plymouth corporation, which paid him for drawing up a bill about an almshouse during this Parliament. Peryam was a supporter of the 2nd Earl of Bedford as his father had been of the 1st. He was an overseer of the 2nd Earl’s will, and succeeded to his borough patronage at Bossiney and Camelford. Early in 1568 Peryam was called to Ireland by Sir Peter Carew, then prosecuting his claims to an Irish barony, and he was instrumental in winning Carew’s case. This may have led to his suggested appointment as judge under the president of Munster, Sir John Pollard. Though ‘scarcely known’ to Sir William Cecil, Peryam wrote to him to try to get out of it, then petitioned the Privy Council against it, mentioning his wife and children, losses previously incurred in Ireland, and his delicat