LAWRENCE, William (c.1514-c.80), of Winchester, Hants.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1514, s. of Gilbert Lawrence, mayor of Winchester, by Joan, da. of Richard Ladye. m. a wid., Helen, da. of John Cartwright of Staffs., 1da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchester by 1540, bailiff 1541-3, mayor 1548-9, 1553-5, 1574-5, bailiff of bishop’s liberty 1557-80; escheator, Hants and Wilts. 1569-70; dep. clerk of peace 1575.2


Of a family that migrated from Dorset, Lawrence is variously described as a grocer, haberdasher and weaver. He testified in favour of Bishop Gardiner in 1550, was granted a pension of 20 marks in October 1558, was classified by Horne in 1564 as a ‘misliker’ of the Elizabethan church settlement, and was presented as a papist in 1572. He received wages for his attendance at Parliament, sometimes of 1s.6d. and sometimes of 2s.6d. a day. While in London attending Elizabeth’s first Parliament, he successfully petitioned Cecil for the city to have the constableship of Winchester castle. He was excused further service as mayor in May 1579, and was dead by December 1580, having made his will 28 Aug. 1573. The widow and daughter claimed an intestacy, but the will was declared valid 19 Feb. 1583 and proved 10 May following. Lawrence had made his wife the sole executrix, but she evidently did not complete her task (perhaps she died), as two commissions were issued to deal with goods not yet administered, one in 1589 and the other in 1603.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Foxe, Acts and Mons. vi. 209; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 113.
  • 2. J. H. Milner, Winchester, ii. 311; T. Atkinson, Eliz. Winchester, 221; Eccl. 2/155895-155914; SP12/96/f. 49.
  • 3. E179/174/313, 358; Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 63-4; Foxe, loc. cit.; Winchester Black Bk. passim; Cant. and York Soc. xxxvii. 9, 98, 189; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 56; Winchester archives, 1st Bk. of ordinances and chamberlain’s accts.; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 117; CPR, 1558-60, p. 342; PCC 13 Rowe; PCC admon. act bk. 1589, f. 97; information from Dr. Adrienne Batchelor Rosen.