POLE (POWLE, POLEY), William (1515-87), of Colyford and Shute, Devon and the Inner Temple, London.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. 9 Aug. 1515, s. and h. of William Pole by 2nd w. Agnes, da. of John Drake of Ash, Devon. educ. I. Temple. m. (1) 19 Nov. 1548, Thomasin, da. of John Tudoll of Lyme Regis, Dorset, wid. of John Strowbridge (d.1539) of Streathayne in the parish of Colyton, Devon, and of William Beaumont (d.1547), s.p.; (2) by 1559, Catherine, da. of Alexander Popham of Huntworth, Som., 5s. inc. William 2da.1

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple 1556, Autumn reader 1557, Lent 1562, treasurer 1564-5.

J.p. Dorset 1558/59-d., Devon 1562-d.; counsellor to Lyme Regis by 1564.2


In the sheriff’s schedule of the Members elected in Dorset to the Parliament of 1545 the names of those for Lyme Regis were added in a different hand from the rest; and in Bridport’s indenture for Mary’s first Parliament William Pole’s name was inserted in a blank space left for the second Member. As early as 1541 Pole held a judicial appointment in Lyme, being then ‘a young justice’ whose behaviour was criticized by one who declared himself to be ‘a gentleman as Mr. Pole was (putting aside his office) and as well born as he’. Possibly there was opposition to his election in 1545 although later his advice was often sought by the town and he was retained of counsel by 1564. With Bridport he had no direct link; but John Paulet, Lord St. John, was high steward of both Lyme Regis and Bridport in 1553, and his deputy at Bridport, Robert Tytherleigh the younger, was a near relative of Pole.3

The family residence, Shute, in the parish of Colyton, formerly the property of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was acquired by Pole from (Sir) William Petre, to whom it had been granted after Suffolk’s attainder. There Pole died on 15 Aug. 1587.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth given in MI. Polwhele, Devonshire, iii. 3111; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 603; Colyton Par. Regs. (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. xiv), 20-21, 459, 579-82; St.Ch.4/3/10.
  • 2. Lyme Regis, finance 1, p. 60.
  • 3. C219/18C/36, 21/56; Lyme Regis, fugitive pieces, 1, no. 6; Bridport doom bk. 213.
  • 4. W. Pole, Description of Devonshire (1791), 137-8; C142/213/72; PCC 62 Spencer.