HAWLES (HALLES), William (by 1489-1536/38), of Lincoln's Inn, London and Winchester, Hants.

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 1489, 1st s. of Robert Hawles of Budbridge, Arreton, I.o.W. by Jane Fawkenor. educ. L. Inn, adm. 20 Feb. 1505. m. Anne, da. and coh. of John Tristram, at least 1s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Steward, L. Inn 1520.

J.p. Hants 1510-d.; commr. musters 1511, subsidy 1512, 1515, Southampton 1515; other commissions 1512-35; recorder, Winchester by May 1516-d.; bailiff, bp.’s liberty of Winchester 1522-36.3


William Hawles came of an Isle of Wight family. On his admission to Lincoln’s Inn in 1505 he was pardoned five vacations on condition that he kept the remaining four within four years. He retained his chambers there for many years and makes occasional appearances in the records of the inn: he was first elected steward in 1512 only to be excused the office, he served as auditor of building accounts, and he was twice fined for violent behaviour. During these years he was also establishing himself in Winchester. In 1513 he was paid 10s. for negotiating on the city’s behalf with Hyde abbey: the dispute was settled by Bishop Fox, whose service Hawles was later to enter. Two years later he was assessed there for subsidy on lands valued at £20, a figure increased to £100 in 1524, when it was the highest in the city; in 1523 his goods at Lincoln’s Inn were rated at £60. Between 1530 and 1533 he lived in a house leased from Bishop Gardiner. His son-in-law Richard Colnet, who entered Lincoln’s Inn in 1524, may have been a grandson of the Member for Winchester in 1472.4

Hawles may have represented Winchester in the Parliament of 1523, if not indeed earlier, the names of the Members for the early Parliaments of Henry VIII having been lost. In 1529 he was returned with Thomas Coke II, also of Lincoln’s Inn, who was his cousin; the two had once styled themselves ‘your servants’ in a letter to Bishop Fox, and Hawles at least had continued in the service of Wolsey, bishop in commendam at the time of the election. Of his part in the proceedings of the Commons the only glimpse is the appearance of his name, with six others, on the dorse of an Act for regulating the keeping of sheep which was passed during the sixth session (25 Hen. VIII, c.13). It was shortly after this that Lady Lisle was advised to solicit the use of Hawles’s chamber at Lincoln’s Inn for her son John Bassett, on the ground that Hawles seldom used it, but this does not appear to mean that he was an absentee Member. The accounts of St. John’s hospital for 1535-6 record payment £4 for his expenses in Parliament: although the period in question saw both the last session of the Parliament of 1529 and its successor of June 1536, the sum paid is within 2s. of the amount due (at the statutory rate but without travelling expenses) for the latter Parliament and thus strengthens the probability that Hawles was re-elected in 1536 in accordance with the King’s general request to that effect.5

Hawles had also been active on the city’s behalf outside Parliament. In January 1535 he reported that Cromwell was considering ‘the great ruin of the city’, later in the same year he was among those appointed to address the King when he visited Winchester, and early in 1536 he and the mayor wrote gratefully, if prematurely, to Cromwell of the city’s emancipation from ‘the unlawful court of Pavilion’ held by the bishop during St. Giles’s fair and of the promised action on the commissions of sewers. In August 1535 Hawles and his wife had been granted certain pasturage rights for ‘his pains taken in the city’s business’. He gave less satisfaction to John Coke, ranger of Westbere forest, who in 1536 accused him, among other offences, of abusing his powers as a justice of the peace.6

The date of Hawles’s death is unknown. It may have been his championing of the city against the bishop which terminated his service as the bishop’s bailiff after 1536, but he had been replaced as recorder by November 1538 and it was his widow who paid rent for his city properties at Michaelmas 1539.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Hants RO, Winchester St. John’s hosp. accts. 27-28 Hen. VIII ex inf. Dr. Adrienne Rosen.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first commission. Portsmouth city lib. A. T. Everitt, peds. f. 836; Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 389 where an extra generation has been inserted between the Member and his grandfather; VCH Hants, v. 146.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i, iv, v, viii; Statutes, iii. 89, 170; Hants RO, Winchester 31/Bx/QS1 (doc. in red folder); Eccles. 2/155868-79.
  • 4. Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 134, 157, 160, 169, 180, 191, 197, 204, 207; Winchester Coll. Muniments 12165; Hants RO, Winchester 37/Bx/SR1, nos. 6, 7; E179/173/176; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 459; Eccles. 2/155875-7; HP, ed. Wedgwood, 1439-1509 (Biogs.), 207.
  • 5. Letters of Richard Fox, ed. Allen, 159; House of Lords RO, Original Acts 25 Hen. VIII, no. 13; LP Hen. VIII, vii; Hants RO, Winchester St. John’s hosp. accts. 27-28 Hen. VIII.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, viii, x; Black Bk. of Winchester, ed. Bird, 155, 157; Strype. Eccles. Memorials, ii(1), 485.
  • 7. Black Bk. of Winchester, 161; Hants RO, Winchester chamberlains’ accts. 30-31 Hen. VIII.