PRICE, William II (d.1596), of Bath, Som.

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

m. Susan, 3s. 2da.

Offices Held

Town clerk, Bath 1590-d.


William Price of Bath was born in north Wales, probably in Denbighshire where he both inherited lands from his father and acquired others by purchase. Conceivably he was the Mr. Price who in 1573 received from the corporation of Bath a gallon of Gascon wine, but the surname (variously rendered) was not unique in the city: an Edward Apprice occurs in the chamberlain’s accounts for the selfsame year. Judging from later entries—and assuming that the identification is correct—the service so rewarded was probably of a minor legal nature, for in 1580 he was paid for making a lease, in 1582 for riding to Mr. Ayshe, the recorder, about the charters, in 1585 for making certain bonds, letters and other writings, and in 1589 again for legal writings. A suit—‘Price’s suit’ or ‘against William Apprice’—is mentioned in 1586 and 1587. Literate, and possessed of some legal knowledge, he was not during these years of sufficient standing to be accorded at all times the respectful prefix to his name. Between 1584 and 1590 four of his children, but not his first-born son, John were christened in Bath abbey. In the new charter of 1590 William Price, gentleman, was named as town clerk.

There had been town clerks in Bath before Price, but he was the first in this period to be returned to Parliament, the most frequent recipient of this honour being its recorder, generally in company with a townsman of aldermanic or mayoral rank. John Court, recorder during Price’s early years as clerk, sat as senior burgess in 1589, and possibly it was to ascertain his inclination in 1593 that the city then wrote to him ‘about a burgess’. In the event the mayor, not the recorder, was returned for the senior seat, with Price as his fellow-Member, sitting for the first and only time and serving perhaps on two committees concerned with cloth (15, 23, Mar.). His fee as town clerk, normally 40s. per annum, was raised to 60s. for this particular year, and for his wages at the Parliament he received £4—20s. less than was paid to the mayor.

His will, naming John as his heir, and two aldermen as executors—his wife being already dead—has a long religious preamble and is dated 2 Oct. 38 Elizabeth, ‘whose reign I pray may long continue to the glory of God and the good of the Church and the commonwealth of this land’. He was buried in Bath abbey on 4 Nov. 1596.

PCC 85 Harte; Bath Chamberlains’ Accts. (Som. Rec. Soc. xxxviii), passim; Regs. Bath Abbey (Harl. Soc.), 6, 7, 8, 9, 334, 336; BL Cartae Antiquae 83H4; D’Ewes, 501, 507.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy