LYGON, William (1568-1608), of Madresfield, Worcs.

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. 1568, 1st s. of Richard Lygon of Madresfield by Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Russell of Strensham. m. c.1590, Elizabeth, da. of Edward Harwell of Besford, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1584. Kntd. 1603.2

Offices Held

J.p. Worcs. from c.1591, sheriff 1592-3, dep. lt. or commr. musters from 1595.


Of a Worcestershire family allied to the Russells and on friendly terms with the Talbots, Berkeleys and Lytteltons, Lygon’s election as junior knight of the shire in 1589, when only 21, was probably due to the support of his uncle, (Sir) John Russell II, who took the senior seat. When in 1604 he was elected again, his young cousin Thomas Russell, then sheriff, was accused by John Talbot of making an ‘undue return’.3

The family fortunes declined during Lygon’s lifetime, possibly because of his father’s over-generous provision for Lygon’s younger brothers, and the jointures of his long-lived mother and grandmother, or perhaps because of Lygon’s own rebuilding of the manor house at Madresfield which obliged him to sell the manor of Warndon in 1594. In November 1599 the situation had evidently improved, as he bought the manor of Pixham, Worcestershire for £1301 13s.4d.; but in 1602 he was again selling, this time the manor of Acton Beauchamp.4

Lygon died late in 1608. His heir, William, on inheriting the encumbered estates, was immediately obliged to sell several other manors. Still, the family survived, and the antiquary Habington hoped that they might ‘if it pleaseth God ... raise a greater fortune’.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 91; C142/206/8.
  • 3. Lodge, Illus. iii. App. 112.
  • 4. APC, xxv. 18; xxviii. 573; xxx. 439; xxxi. 403; xxxii. 282; HMC Hatfield, viii. 524; x. 267; Q. Sess. Pprs. 1591-1643 (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), passim; VCH Worcs. iii. 552; iv. 118-19, 121, 187, 225; CSP Dom. 1598-1600, p. 347.
  • 5. C142/306/161; PCC 39 Parker; Habington’s Worcs. (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), i. 329, 333, 347-8; VCH Worcs. iv. 104.