WILLIAMS, Edward (d.c.1594), of the Inner Temple, London.

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

Surveyor of the stable by 1583-d.; surveyor of Tutbury honour, duchy of Lancaster 1583; ?an official in the ct. of wards.

Offices Held


Williams was admitted to the Inner Temple (1567) at the suit of Edward Anderson, later chief justice of common pleas. During the early years of Elizabeth’s reign he was busy as a servant of Sir Ambrose Cave, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, whose books, reckonings and inventories he was responsible for keeping. First in association with Brian Cave, and later with Ralph Browne I, he purchased extensive lands in Leicestershire and Warwickshire, probably as his master’s agent. In 1562, presumably on Cave’s initiative, he was granted the stewardship of several manors formerly belonging to the monastery of Basingwerk. Sir Ambrose Cave’s will, besides thanking Williams for his excellent book-keeping, left him £20, a gelding and a mare. Henceforth Williams seems to have attached himself to the Knollys family, particularly Henry Knollys II who, in his will, advised his wife to consult Williams, ‘whose counsel I have always used in my business’.

Williams’s return for two Cornish boroughs is not easy to explain. The 2nd Earl of Bedford received letters from the Privy Council in 1571 and 1572, asking him to supervise the choice of Members in Cornwall, and it is possible that Bedford secured Williams’s return at Camelford just as, in the following year, he probably obtained the return of William Knollys at Tregony. In that year, 1572, Williams sat for St. Ives, jointly owned by the Marquess of Winchester and Lord Mountjoy. Once again it can only be presumed that some member of the Knollys family acted as inter