WALDEGRAVE, William (c.1540-1613), of Smallbridge, Suff. and Wormingford, Essex.

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

b. c.1540, o.s. of Sir William Waldegrave by Juliana, da. of Sir John Raynsford. educ. L. Inn 1560. m. (1) Elizabeth (d.1581), da. of Thomas Mildmay, 6s. inc. Sir William 4da.; (2) Grizelda, da. of William Lord Paget, wid. of Sir Thomas Rivett, s.p. suc. fa. 1554. Kntd. 1576.

Offices Held

Master of the revels, L. Inn Nov. 1561; j.p.q. Essex c.1564-87, Suff. from c.1564; sheriff, Norf. and Suff. 1568-9; eccles. commr. diocese of Norwich 1570s; commr. musters, Suff. by 1588; dep. lt. by 1613.


When Waldegrave was granted livery of his lands in November 1561 on coming of age, he was still at Lincoln’s Inn. However, he was not called to the bar, instead settling on his considerable East Anglian estates and enjoying the compliment of being elected knight of the shire for Essex to the first Parliament called thereafter. He continued to buy land in east Suffolk, notably at Boxford, where in 1596 he and his heir were governors of the local school, and in 1561 and again in 1579 he entertained the Queen at Smallbridge. Towards the end of the reign he may have been in financial difficulties, as he sold several Suffolk manors to a local clothier. Perhaps this had some connexion with his second wife’s recusancy. He was himself classed as a ‘favourer’ of religion in 1564, and his omission from the Essex commission of the peace from 1587 was almost certainly due to the fact that his main residence was at Smallbridge. Waldegrave led 500 men from Suffolk to join the Earl of Leicester at Tilbury in 1588. He died on 25 Aug. 1613.

CPR, 1560-3, p. 362; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 121-2, 251; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 62; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 435; Collinson thesis, 808, 869; Recusant Rolls 1592-3 (Cath. Rec. Soc. xviii), 324; L. Inn Black Bk. i. 335; Morant, Essex, ii. 232 et passim; W. A. Copinger, Suff. Manors, passim; PRO Index 6800; Lansd. 48, f. 136 seq.; 56, ff. 168-9; 121, f. 68; 146, f. 18; APC, xxv. 96; xxx. 438; C142/335/10.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge