ELSDEN, William (c.1528-99), of Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1528, 1st s. of Thomas Elsden, merchant, of Lyme Regis, and bro. of George. m. (1), 1s. 1da.; (2) Joan, da. of John Bailie of Nether Cerne, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1562.

Offices Held

Mayor, Lyme Regis 1570-1, 1576-7, 1585-6, 1591-2, 1595-6


By his father’s will, Elsden received a town dwelling and the manor of Charmouth. He leased the parsonage of Lyme Regis from Richard Drake and paid a church rate of £1 there. After representing Lyme in the Parliament of 1571, Elsden asked for wages for himself and his servant, and for money for the hire of their horses. In April 1578 he rode to Exeter with the mayor to visit the 2nd Earl of Bedford, and they went again three months later, about ‘the coming of the Queen’s ship’. Elsden’s name can be found in the records of his borough in connexion with the usual business and duties of a capital burgess. He was named in Lyme’s new charter in 1591, and died between making his will 7 Mar. 1599 and its proof 13 Apr. Administration was granted to the widow, Joan, during the minority of the sole executor and residuary legatee, his son Anthony.

Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 47, 71, 74, 78; Roberts thesis; Lyme Regis, fugitive pieces, mayors accts.; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 210; G. Roberts, Hist. Lyme Regis and Charmouth, 308, 382; PCC 17 Streat, 31 Kidd; G. Wanklyn, Lyme Leaflets, 63; G. Roberts, Soc. Hist. of Southern Counties, 71.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler