COXE, William (1582-1633), of St. Olave's, Southwark, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 1582, 1st s. of Edward Coxe* and Susan, da. of William Munsey, ironmonger, of Ironmonger Lane, London.1 m. 6 June 1609,2 Anne, da. of Anthony Nash of Old Stratford, Warws., s.p. suc. fa. 1618. d. by 7 Nov. 1633.3

Offices Held

Freeman, Clothworkers’ Co. 1603, liveryman 1611, quarter warden 1626-7, upper warden 1628-9.4

Member, Hon. Art. Co. of London 1614-d.;5 vestryman of St. Olave’s, Southwark 1622-d.; churchwarden 1626-7; auditor churchwardens’ accts. 1629-31;6 gov. St. Thomas’ hosp., Southwark, Surr. by 1626-d;7 officer, Southwark militia at d.8

Commr. execution of poor laws 1632. 9


Coxe has to be distinguished from a namesake from St. Saviour’s, Southwark, who became librarian of the Middle Temple in 1642.10 Although less prominent in Southwark than his father, who represented the borough in 1614, he was first returned in 1625 with Richard Yearwood, soon to be a relative by marriage, and re-elected with him in 1626 and 1628. In 1627 he took Yearwood’s stepson Thomas Harvard as an apprentice.11

Coxe appears only once in the surviving records of the 1625 Parliament, at the second reading of the unsuccessful petty larceny bill on 6 Aug., when he moved that Southwark should be included in its provisions.12 The following year he was again only mentioned once in the parliamentary records, being appointed to the committee for drafting a bill against the abuses of alnagers on 25 May.13

Coxe was named to nine committees in the third Caroline Parliament. In the first session he was appointed to consider a bill for the suppression of unlicensed alehouses (17 Apr. 1628). On 13 June he was instructed to examine petitions from the Somers Island planters, currency exchangers and the Goldsmiths’ Company. He was also named to examine further petitions from the officers of the custom house (20 June), and ‘from the countries’ against the toll on malt levied by the Corporation of London (25 June).14

Alarmed by the Crown’s military preparations, on 6 June 1628 Coxe spoke several times in committee of the whole House on the heads of the Remonstrance. He alleged that he had evidence from ‘divers merchants at the Exchange’ about the bringing in of foreign cavalry. He passed on the report that ‘£100 a day is the charge of these horses, and £40 a day for the ships that lie to bring them home’, and later alleged that Philip Burlamachi ‘has raised ordnance forth to fly back into our faces, and brings in horses to kill us here’.15

In the 1629 session Coxe was added to the committee appointed to look into the case of John Rolle* (3 February). Six days later he was among those ordered to consider the merchants’ petition against a patent concerning the carriage of mercantile correspondence. He was also named to committees to consider bills to confirm the Somers Island plantation (10 Feb.) and for the increase of trade (11 February).16

Coxe drew up his will on 1 July 1633, though it was not signed and witnessed for another couple of months. He left 40s. to the minister of St. Olave’s, where he asked to be buried, and to the puritan minister of St. Saviour’s, Nicholas Morton, whom he called ‘my good comforter in health and sickness’. He left the same sum to his ‘careful and painful physician’ Dr. Fludd, presumably Robert Fludd, who had been involved in the rosicrucian debate. He further bequeathed £5, or a cup, to the Clothworkers’, £5 to the poor of St. Olave’s and £5 for the repair of the church, the two last bequests on condition ‘that my colours may hang up in some convenient place of the church’. Coxe had been a member of the London Artillery Company and was probably an officer in Southwark’s trained bands, as he willed that ‘all the garden men and other of my band do accompany my corpse with black ribbon as a soldier to the ground’. In addition he gave £25 towards ‘the building of the Armoury ... provided my arms be set up in glass’. This was presumably connected with proposals to build an armoury at the ‘martial yard’ situated at Horsleydown used by the Southwark militia for training. Coxe died sometime before 7 Nov. 1633, when his will was proved. None of his descendants are known to have sat in Parliament.17

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. WARD 7/85/2; H.F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in Eng. 617-18, 803.
  • 2. Ex inf. John Taplin.
  • 3. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 147; PROB 11/164, f. 398; WARD 7/85/2.
  • 4. Clothworkers’ Hall, London, wardens’ accts. 1598-1613, quarter warden’s accts. 1603-4; ct. bk. 1605-23, f. 77v; ct. bk. 1623-36, ff. 41, 75. Information from D.E. Wickham, former archivist of Clothworkers’ Co.
  • 5. Ancient Vellum Bk. ed. G.A. Raikes, 22.
  • 6. Southwark Local Studs. Lib. Stolave/1623, ff. 37, 45, 49v, 56, 63v.
  • 7. LMA, HI/ST/A/1/5, ff. 26v, 41v.
  • 8. PROB 11/164, f. 398.
  • 9. PC2/42, f. 54.
  • 10. MTR, 636.
  • 11. Waters, 267, 617.
  • 12. Procs. 1625, p. 411.
  • 13. Procs. 1626, iii. 330.
  • 14. CD 1628, ii. 507; iv. 289, 389, 467.
  • 15. Ibid. iv. 145, 146, 158.
  • 16. CJ, i. 926a, 927b, 928a, 928b; CD 1629, p. 181
  • 17. PROB 11/164, ff. 397v-8v; VCH Surr. iv. 149.