GODOLPHIN, William II (by 1532-75), of Windsor, Berks. and Finchley, Mdx.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1532, prob. 3rd s. of Sir William Godolphin, and bro. of William Godolphin I. educ.?L. Inn, adm. 25 Nov. 1537. m. da. of William Gardiner of London and Grove Place, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks., at least 1s.1

Offices Held


No local family of this name has been traced, and the most likely William Godolphin to have sat for Bedford in March 1553 is the younger brother and namesake of one of the knights of the shire for Cornwall in the same Parliament. The Godolphins were known to Sir John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, who could have sponsored William Godolphin’s return aided by the Gascoigne and Gostwick families, with various members of whom Godolphin’s brother was acquainted through service earlier under Cromwell. Godolphin’s brother-in-law, or brother-in-law to be, William Gardiner, was one of the Members for Barnstaple in the same Parliament.

Little is known of William Godolphin. He may have been a lawyer, although he is probably not to be identified with the recipient in 1540 of a BCL at Oxford. For some time he lived at Windsor, where he sold land to Thomas Good, but by 1563 he had settled in London and afterwards moved to Finchley where he had a house on Ballards Lane. In 1546 a William Godolphin, whose domicile is not stated, received several grants of land, mostly in the midlands and the north. As ‘William Godolphin of London’ in 1563 he shared with three others a lease of tin mines in Cornwall, which by his will of 15 Dec. 1575 he left to his residuary legatees and executors, his ‘man’ Robert Barnes and Barnes’s wife Helen, after remembering the poor and several kinsmen, including Francis Godolphin. In accordance with his instructions Godolphin was buried on 24 Dec. 1575 in Finchley church and a monument put up to his memory. The will was proved early in the following year after it had been contested by Francis Godolphin. As late as 1611 a commission was granted to a creditor of Godolphin, John Fitzjames (perhaps the Elizabethan Member of that name), to take any outstanding goods.2

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Presumed to be of age at election. PCC 57 Pyckering, 36 Loftes; Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 183; Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 81-82; F. G. Marsh, The Godolphins, 3, 4, 78.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1560-3, pp. 609-10; PCC 57 Pyckering; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 298.