LANE, William II (c.1553-1618), of Horton, Northants.

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.1553, 1st s. of Sir Robert Lane by his 1st w. m. his step-sis. Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Andrew of Charwelton, Northants., 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 1588. Kntd. 1597.

Offices Held

J.p. Northants. from c.1583, 1587-d., dep. lt. or commr. musters from c.1588, capt. of horse 1588-1601, of E. division, Northants. only from 1601; receiver-gen. Herefs., Salop, Staffs., Worcs. from 1598; equerry of Queen’s stables by 1598.1


Lane was a soldier, sea captain and courtier, knighted by the lord deputy in Ireland. He was returned to Parliament for Gatton because his Catholic cousin William Copley’s lands were in the custody of his uncle Ralph Lane. In 1601, after recovering from a serious illness, he was elected knight of the shire, and was named to committees concerning the penal laws (2 Nov.) and the repair of Kentish Town highroad (2 Dec.). As knight for Northamptonshire he was eligible to attend the main order of business committee (3 Nov.) and the monopolies committee (23 Nov.). His employment at court evidently left him little time to attend to his local duties. He had led the Northamptonshire horse at Tilbury in 1588, and had since retained command of them, but so laxly did he fulfil the office, that in 1601 he was replaced by (Sir) Arthur Throckmorton. Lane protesting, a compromise was arranged whereby the county was divided between them.

In 1605 Lane was in trouble for signing a petition in favour of the puritan clergy in the county. He does not seem to have lost the King’s confidence, however, for later in the year it was to his custody that the Earl of Northumberland was committed. Though Lane complained that he had no share in the distribution of lands forfeited in the Gunpowder Plot, he did obtain the custody of Copley’s lands after his uncle. He died 12 May 1618.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Bridges, Northants. i. 367; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 185-6; C142/363/209; Cal. Carew Pprs. iii. 257; HMC Buccleuch, iii. passim; HMC Hatfield, vii. 508; xi. 224; Lansd. 86, f. 30; LC 2/4/4; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 126.
  • 2. Lansd. 67, ff. 152, 157, 163, 167; 145, f. 182; CSP For. 1585-6, p. 261; CSP Dom. 1591-4, pp. 202, 555, 570; 1603-10, pp. 200, 250, 258, 322, 323, 337; 1611-18, pp. 24, 31; HMC Montagu, 22, 46; Cal. Carew Pprs. loc. cit.; CSP Ire. 1592-6, p. 242; 1596-7, pp. 114, 214, 337, 345; D’Ewes, 623, 624, 649, 662; APC, xxxi. 477; HMC Hatfield, iv. 604; vii. 304; ix. 363; x. 181; xi. 224, 257, 464-5; xvii. 190, 491, 503, 518, 522, 608, 609; xviii. 74, 206, 415, 416, 425; 426; HMC Buccleuch, iii. passim; C142/363/209, 365/122.