RISELEY, William (c.1527-1603), of Chetwode, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

b. c.1527, 1st s. of William Riseley of Witlebury by Alice, da. and coh. of John Newman or Newnam of Staverton, Northants. m. Joan or Jane (d.1584), da. of Fulk Butlery or Butlery alias Mautany of Farthinghoe, Northants., 3s. 5da. suc. fa. 1552.

Offices Held


Riseley’s father acquired much of the land formerly belonging to the monastery of Notley, Buckinghamshire: in June 1540 he paid £183 for the manor of Chetwode and other Buckinghamshire estates together with the rectories and advowsons of the vicarages of Chetwode, Barton and Barton Hartshorn. Soon after the younger William sat in the 1559 parliament, he conveyed this property and lands in ‘Godington’, Oxfordshire, to William Chauncy and Cressentius Buttery, reserving the profits of the estates to himself.

Riseley was, on at least two occasions, accused of violence; in Mary’s reign some of the parishioners of Chetwode brought a Star Chamber case against him, claiming that by his forcible eviction of one of the villagers from a pew, and by his removal of glass and lead from the parish church, he was interfering with freedom of worship. On the second occasion he was accused, also in the Star Chamber, of destroying crops and animals belonging to a Buckinghamshire neighbour.

He was doubtless the William ‘Biseley’ described by his bishop in 1564 as ‘indifferent’ in religion, and, as his name does not appear on commissions of the peace, he may have refused to take the oath of supremacy. He died on 9 Jan. 1603. In addition to the Chetwode estates, his inquisition post mortem gives property in Oxfordshire, and houses at Preston, Buckinghamshire. The heir, his eldest son Paul, was over 40 when he succeeded.

C142/95/3; 280/47; Wards 7/6/94, 28/143; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 105-6; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 3; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, 4; 1558-60, pp. 8-9; LP Hen. VIII, xv. p. 408; VCH Bucks. iv. 148; St. Ch. 4/8/42; 5/C1/35; Cam. Misc.ix(3), p. 32.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge