ADYES (ADDIS), William (by 1520-58/59), of Worcester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1520, s. of John Adyes by Joan. m. by 1541, Ellen, 2s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Clerk of the audit, Worcester by 1551-?d.2


Little has come to light about the origins and upbringing of William Adyes. He claimed gentle birth and kinship with the Seborne family of Herefordshire and probably received a legal education, for he counted many lawyers among his friends, discharged several tasks calling for a knowledge of the law, and sent his elder son to Gray’s Inn. His mother had as part of her jointure some lands at Shelwick, Herefordshire, but Adyes was to make his home at Worcester, where in 1545, as a resident of St. Martin’s ward, he was assessed towards the subsidy on goods worth £10 During 1547-8 he received 4s. from the city authorities for ‘certain writing about the Trinity [guild]’, and by 1551, when he had 12d. for drawing up an indenture, he had become clerk of the audit to the city. He remained active there throughout his life.3

Adyes was one of the city’s officials who negotiated a charter of incorporation from Queen Mary, and his election to the first Parliament following its issue was perhaps an acknowledgment of his part in obtaining it. He and his fellow-Member Robert Youle set out from Worcester three days before the opening of the Parliament and returned three days after the dissolution: both were paid expenses on the following day. Neither had joined Sir Anthony Kingston in his opposition to a government bill, but they had presumably sponsored the unsuccessful measure touching the making of Worcester cloths: Adyes’ interest in the subject is suggested by the further journey which he undertook with John More during 1555-6 to obtain from the Privy Council a licence regulating the weight of cloth.4

In March 1549 Adyes had joined Thomas Watson of Daglingworth, Gloucestershire, in buying ex-chantry land in the south-west and in the marches for £1,306: much of this property was soon sold by Watson, but Adyes may have kept the land in Worcestershire for his own use. By his will of 2 Aug. 1558 he remembered his father, mother, cousins and friends, provided for his children and his wife, whom he made residuary legatee and sole executrix, and gave 10s. to the poor of his ward. He left all his books to his elder son William and asked his wife and cousin Richard Sebourne to see that both his sons were brought up in learning, the legacies for that purpose being entrusted to Sebourne until they reached 18. Adyes did not render his account as clerk of the audit for the year ending Michaelmas 1558, so that he probably died shortly after making the will, which was proved before the end of March 1559.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Worcs. RO, 008.7/842/1558.
  • 2. Worcester Guildhall, audit of accts. 1540-1600.
  • 3. E179/200/147, 162; G.I. Adm. i. 26; PCC 11 Populwell; Worcester Guildhall, audit of accts. 1540-1600.
  • 4. Worcester Guildhall, chamber order bk. 1540-1601, f. 62; CJ, i. 43.
  • 5. CPR, 1548-9, p. 185; VCH Worcs. iii. 271, 486, iv. 315; Worcs. RO, 008.7/842/1558.