SEBRIGHT, William (d.1620), of Wolverley, Worcs. and London.

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

2nd s. of Edward Sebright of Blakeshall, Wolverley by Joyce, da. of William Grosvenor of Bushbury, Staffs. educ. I. Temple 1565. m. (1) da. of one Goldston of London, s.p.; (2) c. 1574, Elizabeth, da. of James Morley of London, wid. of Thomas Bourcher, s.p.

Offices Held

Town clerk, London in reversion 1568, succeeded 1574-1613.


It has not been ascertained how Sebright came by the reversion of the town clerkship of London only three years after entering his inn of court. Presumably it was through one of his family ties with the Grocers’ Company. In 1572 he was returned to Parliament for Droitwich, a borough not far from his family seat. His only recorded parliamentary activity is his appointment to a committee on sheriffs, 24 Feb. 1576. His purchase of the lease of Blockley Park, Worcestershire from his brother-in-law, John Talbot, for £200 was complicated by his courtship of a wealthy widow. His own resources not being great enough to meet the expense, Sebright persuaded Talbot to provide a release of the debt to show to Mrs. Bourcher. It is by no means clear that Sebright paid the purchase money even after his finances were established by his fortunate marriage and his successsion to the town clerkship, which he held for nearly 40 years. From time to time he was named by the government to commissions concerning London affairs, and in 1596 he was in trouble over the subsidy assessment, but in general he makes only formal appearances in the records. By the end of the century he was investing in lands in his own county, as well as in London, and was, at his death, the owner of a comfortable estate. He had no offspring of his own, but many stepchildren, and was always much concerned with family affairs, the oversight of his brother’s numerous family and the care of his sister’s daughters, all of whom made good marriages, especially his brother’s daughter, Sarah, who married Thomas Coventry, the lord keeper, whom Sebright made overseer of his will. All the surviving children received monetary bequests and the residue went to Sebright’s nephew Edward Sebright. About £2,245 was bequeathed to charity. He endowed a grammar school at Wolverley. Sebright resigned his office in 1613 and died 27 Oct. 1620, being buried in his parish church of St. Edmund the King, Lombard Street.

Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 126; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. i), 121; Remembrancia, City of London 1579-1664, p. 31; CJ, i. 108; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 361; 1601-3, pp. 4, 314; APC, xxii. 270; xxv. 50; xxvii. 304; Lansd. 78, f. 126 seq.; PCC 97 Soame, 12 Dale, 58 Nevell; VCH Worcs. iii. 16 n. 43, 177, 222, 272, 515, 570, 572; iv. 21-3, 155, 473, 529, 530; Nash, Worcs. i. 78; Wards 7/64/46; C142/386/85; W. K. Jordan, Charities of London, 112, 238, 340.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe