MILL, William (d.1608), of Charterhouse Churchyard, London and Harscombe, Glos.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of William Mill, attorney in the Star Chamber, of Croydon, Surr. (d. Jan. 1564), by his 2nd w. Hawisa Harwell of Worcester. educ. G. Inn 1574. m. Margaret, wid. of William Butler, s.p.
Clerk of the Star Chamber in reversion 22 Aug. 1583, succeeded 1 Oct. 1587; j.p. Surr. from c.1592.
Mill was a moneylender with a useful job in the Star Chamber, where his tenure of office was challenged in 1591 and subsequently. In 1601 he was cleared of various charges and confirmed in office. An unknown compiler (probably a subordinate Star Chamber official) of a list of ‘exceptions’ against Mill wrote:
I am credibly informed that when there was a matter in question between a great personage and him, he said he had the Earl of Shrewsbury as assured to him as the skin on his face, and also the Earl owes him a great sum of money.
Others who owed him money included Lord Burgh, the ward of Lord Cobham, and the Earl of Essex. With all these contacts the name of his parliamentary patron at Weymouth and Melcombe Regis cannot be guessed.
Mill died 16 July 1608. His will mentions some personalities of the period and property in the city and county of Gloucester. He desired a funeral ‘that may be thought fit for a man of my condition and place wherein I have served and lived in this commonwealth’. He mentioned six godchildren, to one of whom he left £500. His ‘loving wife’, for whom he had a ‘resolute opinion’, for ‘her tender love and care of her children’ (by her former marriage), was to be executrix and residuary legatee. He appointed as overseers (Sir) John Brograve and Thomas Cooke of Gray’s Inn: the latter was to receive £300.
He left bequests to the poor, to relatives and to personal servants, but
for my other servants which I have employed in my office I think I need not bestow anything on them because I hope that God has well blessed their labours with sufficient profit.
An inquisition post mortem held 20 Jan. 1609 named as heir his sister Margaret, wife of Richard Michell†.
Upon Mill’s death Francis Bacon obtained the lucrative appointment in the Star Chamber for which he had been waiting for 19 years and which he reckoned to be worth £2,000 p.a.
This biography is based upon the following: Bodl. Rawl. B. 429, ff. 6-8 and C142/316/42, ex inf. T. G. Barnes, Univ. California, Berkeley; E. Skelton, ‘Ct. of Star Chamber, Reign of Eliz.’ (London Univ. MA thesis 1930); Egerton Pprs. (Cam. Soc. xii), pp. 316-7; Lansd. 66, f. 254; Harl. 6853, f. 70; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 33; 1601-3, p. 121; HMC Hatfield, ix. 425; x. 164, 348; St. Ch. 5/C1/8/23; Bodl. Tanner 283, ff. 31, 41; PCC 69 Windebanck; J. Spedding, Francis Bacon, iv. 21.