KINGSWELL, Sir William (c.1554-1613), of Shalden, Hants.

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. c.1554,1 1st s. of Swithin Kingswell of Shalden and Avis, da. of John Hunt of Bentworth, Hants.2 m. by 1586, Ambrosia (d. by 1599),3 da. of Henry Macwilliam† of Stambourne, Essex, and coh. to her bro. Henry, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.4 suc. fa. c.1560;5 kntd. 11 May 1603.6 d. 27 Aug. 1613.7

Offices Held

J.p. Hants by 1596-d.,8 escheator 1600-1;9 kpr. Freemantle forest, Hants 1604-d.;10 commr. subsidy, Hants 1608,11 concealed lands, 1608,12 aid 1609, 1612.13


The Kingswell family seems to have originated in the Isle of Wight. This Member’s grandfather, who was sufficiently prosperous to be styled ‘gentleman’, moved to the mainland and was living at Shalden by 1535.14 Kingswell himself bought the freehold of Shalden in 1591.15 He was fined £500 in Star Chamber for trespassing on the estates of Sir Henry Wallop* in 1597, but obtained a free pardon in the new reign, perhaps through the good offices of Sir John Stanhope I*, who had married his wife’s sister.16 By 1597 he was the highest rated resident in the subsidy roll for Petersfield.17 He was elected for the borough in 1604, probably on the interest of his cousin (Sir) Richard Norton†, but left no trace on the records of the first two sessions of the Parliament. In a Star Chamber case heard later in the year he was described by his adversaries as ‘a common buyer and maintainer of suits and titles in other men’s names’.18 Two years later he went to law to establish his title to the manor of Lasham, adjoining Shalden, which he had acquired in compensation for an unpaid debt.19 On 26 Feb. 1607 he was granted privilege in respect of goods seized by the sheriff of Hampshire, probably on behalf of his neighbour Sir Richard White, from whom he had borrowed £450.20 Kingswell’s only parliamentary committee was on the bill to reform abuses of common rights (19 Feb. 1610).21 White’s case was eventually referred to commissioners, Edward Savage I* and Marcell Rivers, who found in Kingswell’s favour in 1612.22 Kingswell drew up his will on 27 Aug. 1613, and died the same day. He left £10 10s. to the church and poor of various parishes.23 His main beneficiary was his only surviving son Edward, who sold the Shalden estate in 1628 to (Sir) Richard Young* for £5,050.24 No other member of the family entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. STAC 8/204/13.
  • 2. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 114.
  • 3. C142/358/97.
  • 4. Morant, Essex, ii. 345; PROB 11/122, f. 281.
  • 5. PROB 11/43, f. 223v; REQ 2/231/42.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 106.
  • 7. C142/347/49.
  • 8. SP13/Case F/no. 11, f. 30b; SP14/33.
  • 9. C142/259/35; List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 150.
  • 10. Lansd. 1217, f. 11.
  • 11. SP14/31/1.
  • 12. C181/2, f. 70.
  • 13. SP14/43/107; Harl. 354, f. 68.
  • 14. I.o.W. RO, OG/X/27, OG/A/58.
  • 15. VCH Hants, iv. 83, 103.
  • 16. STAC 5/W26/32; 5/W68/11; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 87.
  • 17. E.M. Yates, Petersfield in Tudor Times (Petersfield Pprs. v), 22.
  • 18. STAC 8/228/21.
  • 19. STAC 8/191/7.
  • 20. CJ, i. 343a; Lansd. 486, f. 115.
  • 21. CJ, i. 396b.
  • 22. C78/146/2.
  • 23. C142/347/49; PROB 11/122, f. 281.
  • 24. C2/Chas.I/Y6/28.