WILLIAMS, John (by 1518-57/58), of Langton Herring, Dorset.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. by 1518. m. Anne, 1da.1
John Williams bought the lease of Langton in 1539 from Sir John Rogers for £100 but sold it soon afterwards, with the farmstock, for £300. In 1543 its purchaser, Edward Clement, sold to Williams 700 sheep which they agreed were to be pastured at Langton free for one year; Clement also sold or agreed to sell to him property in Shaftesbury and lands in Wiltshire. These transactions brought both parties into Chancery as complainants, Williams asserting that he had never received his sheep, Clement alleging partiality by Williams’s attorney Christopher Hole. The lease of Langton reverted to Williams and when he made his will, on 7 Oct. 1557, he left it to his wife during her widowhood and then to his nephew and executor Henry Williams. The will was proved on 13 May 1558. Three years later Henry Williams was granted a pardon of outlawry incurred as its executor. The widow married as her second husband Clement Hyett.2
As Williams’s home lay five miles north-west of Weymouth, it was presumably as a local gentleman that he was returned to Parliament early in 1554, but if Hole was still under sheriff of Dorset his Membership may have been promoted by Hole, who himself was returned for Dorchester. Nothing is known about Williams’s part in the work of the House. As a freeholder he helped choose the knights of the shire in 1555. He was never put on the Dorset bench, the John Williams who appears on commissions of the peace from 1537 to 1547 being his more eminent namesake of Winterbourne Herringston.3