WILLIAMS, William Wynn (by 1500-59), of Cochwillan, Caern.

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 1500, 1st s. of William ap Gruffydd ap Robin of Cochwillan by Angharad, da. of Dafydd ab Ifan of Cryniarth and Hendwr, Merion. m. Lowri, da. of Henry Salusbury of Llanrhaiadr, Denb., 6s. 4da. suc. fa. by 1500.1

Offices Held

Commr. tenths of spiritualities, Bangor and St. Asaph dioceses 1535, relief, Caern. 1550; sheriff 1541-2, 1546-7; j.p. 1555.2


The Williams family of Cochwillan, founded by William Wynn Williams’s great-grandfather, was linked with the Wynns of Gwydir, John Wynn ap Meredydd being Williams’s nephew. A supporter of the Tudor cause, Williams’s father had been made sheriff of the old ‘county’ of Caernarvon in 1485 and granted denizenship in the following year.3

Williams was presumably the William ap William whom Edward Gruffydd of Penrhyn reported to Cromwell in 1534 as having vexed him before the royal commissioners. As William Gruffydd alias Williams he was sheriff in 1541-2 and as William Williams alias Gruffydd he had a second term in 1546-7, but the William ap William esquire who served in 1552-3 is more likely to have been his son, from whom he was sometimes distinguished by the suffix ‘senior’, as on the plea roll of the Caernarvonshire great sessions in the time of Edward VI. He was then assessed on lands worth £10 a year in the commote of Uchaf, and at about the same time he was sued by one James ap Robert over lands in the lordship of Bangor.4

In 1555 Williams was one of the Caernarvonshire gentlemen, his nephew John Wyn ap Hugh and John Wyn ap Meredydd being among them, to whom the council in the marches recommended Sir Rhys Gruffydd (q.v.) as knight of the, shire; Gruffydd was married to a great-niece of Williams. His own return at the next election, despite his age, is the less hard to credit in the light of his eldest son’s death some months earlier and of his nephew John Wynn ap Meredydd’s shrievalty until shortly before the election. It was to this nephew that he was to write not long before his own death in 1559 describing himself as ‘old and stricken in age’; the hope which he expressed that ‘your sons and mine shall be loving together’ was not to be realized, his heir William Williams and John Wynn of Gwydir proving the worst of enemies.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from fa.’s death. Griffith, Peds. 186, with dating errors; Dwnn. Vis. Wales, ii. 86-87 and n; DWB app. (Williams fam.).
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, viii; CPR, 1553, p. 363.
  • 3. CPR, 1485-94, p. 55.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, vii, xx; UCNW Penrhyn ms 63; NLW ms Wales 20/4, m. 92; E179/264/24; C1/1283/2.
  • 5. NLW Add. ms 464/E19; ms 9051E; Cal. Wynn (of Gwydir) Pprs. 1515-1690, p. 3; DWB app. mentions Williams’s will but this has not been located from the references there given.