EYRE, Sir William (1556-1629), of Great Chalfield, Wilts.

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. 1 Jan. 1556, o.s. of John Eyre of Wedhampton, Northcombe, and Great Chalfield by his 1st w. m.(1) Anne (d. 19 June 1587), da. of Edward Baynton of Bromham, 3s. 2da.; (2) Elizabeth (d. Mar. 1622), da. of John Jackman, merchant of London, 2s. 3da.; (3) c.1626, Anne, da. of Michael Erneley of Bishops Cannings, wid. of William Noyes. suc. fa. 1581. Kntd. 1592.1

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. by 1586, rem. Jan. 1599, rest. Feb. 1599, sheriff 1591-2; dep. lt. c.1602; constable, Trowbridge castle.2


Through two fortunate marriages the Eyres had become one of the leading families of Wiltshire. Eyre himself increased his estate in 1592 by purchasing the manor of Atworth Cottle from his cousin John Beaushyn, though he sold it again in 1604. He played an active part in county affairs, contributed £25 to the Armada fund and in 1601 was required to provide a light horse for service in Ireland.3

In 1597 Eyre took a turn as knight of the shire, and, as such, would have been able to sit on committees concerning enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.) and the subsidy (15 Nov.). He was named to committees concerning privileges and returns (5 Nov.) and armour and weapons (8 Nov.). In May 1598 he was seriously wounded in the City by an assailant named Woodrington. He died 24 Aug. 1629. His will appointing his daughter Lucy Stafford alias Eyre sole executrix was annulled on 9 June 1630. Administration of his goods was granted to his eldest son John, who sold Great Chalfield to a London mercer.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 56, 60.
  • 2. HMC Bath, iv. 375; PRO Index 4208; Wilts. IPM Chas. I (Brit. Rec. Soc. Index Lib.), pp. 370-1.
  • 3. VCH Wilts. vii. 18; Wilts. N. and Q. v. 399, 400, 451-2; APC, xxvi. 488; xxvii. 112; xxxii. 279; T. C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 68.
  • 4. D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 561; Lansd. 78, f. 165; APC, xxviii. 458, 459; PCC 60 Scroope.