LYSTER, William (d.1579), ?of London and Shropshire.

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

?rel. of John Lyster of Rowton Castle, Salop, ?2nd s. by his 1st w. Christabel, da. of John Gattacre.

Offices Held

?Exchequer official by 1579.


This Member was returned to the second session of the 1572 Parliament following the death of Thomas Gourney. His patron was almost certainly the 2nd Earl of Bedford, who on Lyster’s own death wrote to the borough 11 Jan. 1580 for a blank indenture, on which he could insert the name of a new nominee. If, as seems likely, this man was one of the Shropshire Lysters, he was related to Thomas Bromley, an executor of Bedford’s will. Thus it may have been Bromley who asked Bedford for the nomination at Dartmouth. No details are given in the printed Shropshire visitations (where the name is spelled Lister) about John Lyster’s younger son William, who was presumably the nephew mentioned in the will of a namesake, a merchant of Great Yarmouth, made and proved in 1579. The will also refers to ‘my cousin William Lyster of the Exchequer’. It seems, then, that there were at least three Williams of the Shropshire branch living in 1579—the merchant himself, who was the younger brother of John of Rowton; his ‘cousin’ or kinsman of the Exchequer (conjecturally suggested as the MP), and his nephew William. William of Yarmouth is himself known to have had a son William, but he may have been dead by the time of the will, which does not mention him. The only William Lyster known to have died in 1579 is the Yarmouth merchant, but no reason can be suggested for his sitting for Dartmouth. There were members of the Yorkshire Lysters with the same christian name at this time, but again in the absence of any connexion with the Earl of Bedford or with Devon, no reason can be put forward to explain why any of them might have sat for Dartmouth.

Roberts thesis, 55-8; Exeter city mun. DD61461; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 278; (xxix), 328-9; PCC 47 Bakon.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.