WEATHERELD, William (d.c.1453), of Ipswich, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Dec. 1421
? 1447

Family and Education

m. Margaret, 1da.

Offices Held

Coroner, Ipswich Sept. 1421-3, 1430-1; treasurer 1432-3; bailiff 1432-3, 1435-6, 1438-9, 1443-4, 1446-7, 1450-1; auditor 1452-3.2

J.p. Ipswich 10 July 1433-Feb. 1438, 12 Nov. 1440-Mich. 1453.

Tax collector, Suff. May 1437, Aug. 1449.


Weathereld is first recorded in September 1418 when, already a burgess of Ipswich, he acted as pledge for the admission of another man to the freedom of the borough. He attested the local elections to the Parliament of 1421 (May), and was himself returned to the second Parliament of the year, which met not long after his nomination as a coroner. In his trading ventures Weathereld was probably quite successful, for some time in Henry V’s reign he was able to make a commercial covenant involving an initial outlay of as much as £317.3 Weathereld purchased property in various parts of Ipswich, thereby becoming a figure of some standing in the town. Besides those holdings he acquired by himself, in 1423 he was associated with Sir William Phelip* and others in securing from the bailiffs a lease of two plots of land in St. Peter’s parish, and in 1437 he joined with William Debenham II in renting premises in those of St. Nicholas and St. Clement.4

Although Weathereld’s relations with others involved in the government of Ipswich were not always cordial (when James Andrew* was engaged in an acrimonious dispute with the authorities, Weathereld revealed to him the secret deliberations of the borough council in order that he should succeed), his repeated service in borough offices clearly indicates that, on the whole, he was held to be trustworthy; and when, in January 1435, the town set up a body to supervise the building of an extension to the guildhall, he was one of the burgesses selected.5 As bailiff, Weathereld was responsible for making the returns to the Parliament of 1447, an assembly of which he himself may eventually have become a Member, although he is not named as such on the parliamentary indenture. He subsequently attended the elections held for the Parliament of 1449 (Nov.). Meanwhile, along with other portmen of Ipswich, he had been named in February 1449 as an overseer of repairs to the goal at the east gate. At some unknown date between then and 1452 it was alleged in Chancery that during one of his terms as bailiff he had made a false entry in the court rolls. Earlier, he had himself petitioned Chancery, in his capacity as executor of the will of a fellow townsman, for recovery of debts owed by a former sheriff of Kingston-upon-Hull. From November 1450 Weathereld was a feoffee of two manors and the advowson at Little Snoring (Norfolk), his co-feoffees being headed by Humphrey, duke of Buckingham; but no evidence has been found to show that he was ever in the duke’s service.6

As one of the j.p.s for Ipswich, Weathereld was given custody of the estreats under the green wax in June 1453, but it is likely that he was dead by Michaelmas following, since he was not then re-appointed to the bench. In May 1455 his widow, Margaret, made a claim in Chancery for certain lands which she said she and her late husband had purchased, but, far from proving her case, she was held liable for the defendants’ costs. Weathereld was survived by a daughter, Joan, who married Thomas Aldham.7

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: K.N. Houghton


Variants: Wedereld, Withereld, Wythereld.

  • 1. On 9 Apr. 1448 Weathereld was paid £5, and on 30 Jan. 1449 he and John Smith received £3 6s.8d., in both instances as parliamentary wages. Without doubt this related to service in the Commons in 1447. Smith had been elected to that assembly in association with William Rydout, but Weathereld, then bailiff, had clearly taken Rydout’s place for most, if not all, of the session, which only lasted three weeks. Whenever the substitution had occurred, it can only have been facilitated by the Parliament’s being held at Bury St. Edmunds: N. Bacon, Annalls of Ipswiche ed. Richardson, 104-6; Add. 30158, f. 11.
  • 2. Bacon, 92-107; Add. 30158, f. 15v.
  • 3. Add. 30158, f. 2; C219/12/5; E. Anglian Daily Times, 17 May 1928.
  • 4. Ipswich RO, recognizance roll 1-10 Hen. V; ct. rolls AV 10/3, 11/1; HMC 9th Rep. i. 234b.
  • 5. E. Anglian Daily Times, 6 Dec. 1928; Add. 30158, f. 6v.
  • 6. C219/15/4, 7; Add. 30158, f. 12v; C1/16/175, 273, 19/245; CCR, 1447-54, p. 244.
  • 7. Bacon, 110, 117; C1/25/117; Ipswich ct. roll AV 11/1.