Thomas Williams (1513/1514–1566) was a Speaker of the English House of Commons. He was a lawyer and a member of the Inner Temple, sat as MP for Exeter (UK Parliament constituency) during the first and second Parliaments of Elizabeth I and was elected Speaker on 12 January 1563 and remained so until his unexpected death in 1566. His family home was Stowford House in the parish of Harford, Devon.
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.
Exeter is a constituency composed of the cathedral city and county town of Devon represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. The constituency has had a history of representatives from 1900 of Conservative, Liberal Party, Independent and Labour representation and has been represented since 1997 by Ben Bradshaw of the Labour Party, who served in government as a Health Minister and as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2009–2010).
Devon, also known as Devonshire, which was formerly its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million.
He was a Member of the Parliament of England for Bodmin 1555, Saltash 1558, Tavistock 1559 and Exeter 1563.
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Bodmin was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Cornwall from 1295 until 1983. Initially, it was a parliamentary borough, which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of England and later the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the 1868 general election, when its representation was reduced to one member.
Saltash, sometimes called Essa, was a "rotten borough" in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1552 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.
Three curlews' heads and necks erased.
1. Sable, three curlews' heads erased argent. 2. Ermine, a lion passant gules. [DREWE.] 3. Or, a fess wavy gules between three (?) goats' heads erased of the same. 4. On a chevron sable four bars wavy of the field. [Prideaux.] 5. Azure, a bend per bend indented argent and gules between six escallops or [Cruwys.] 6. Gules, on a bend sable cotised or three boars heads couped argent. [Edgcombe.]
These records reflect both the tombstones preserved in St Pedroc's Church, Harford and other genealogical records.
Father: Adam Williams b. ca. 1484 Mother: Alice Prideaux b. 1488 Thomas Williams: Only known child Wife: Emeline (Emliss) Crewes 1515-1602 daughter of William Crewes and Margaret Pollard of Mochard, Devon b. 1492 Married in Chimley 1545 Daughters: Joane Williams wife of Phillip Cole / Emlyn died 12/12/1610? / Thomasina wife of Francis Buller Sons Thomas 2 ob S.P. / John Williams husband of Marie Drewe of Hayne Note: John Williams died 01/11/1615 husband of Mary Drew of Hayne. It is John who is reported to have sold the ancestral home to the Saverys in the reign of Charles 1. Grandchildren of heir Jone / Arthur / Thomas / Adam Great grandchildren of heir Richard / Thomas / Anne / Emylyn
He is buried in Harford Church, South Devon.
His coffin inscription says:
Here lyeth the corps of Thoms Willms esquire
Twice reader he in court was
Whose sacred minde to vertu did aspire
Of Parlament he speaker hence did passé
The comen he studied to preserue
And thew relygion ever to maynetayne
In place of justyce where as he dyd serue
And nowe in heaven wth mightie love doth raigne
Obiit primo die mensis Julii Ao Dni Moccccclxvi.
Aetatis suæ anno quinquagesimo secundo.
The Parliamentary entry states:
Lunae, 30o Septembris Proceedings on Death of the Speaker. At which Thirtieth Day of September, 1566, & Anno Octavo Elizabethae Reginae, Mr. Comptroller, declaring the Death of Mr. Williams, the late Speaker, moved, that some of the House might be sent up to the Lords, to require them, that they would be a Mean to the Queen's Majesty, that this House, by her Majesty's Licence, might proceed (according to the ancient Custom) to the Election of a Speaker: Whereupon immediately Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Secretary, with a convenient Number, went up to the Lords with that Message ; and brought Answer, the Lords would gladly, by a convenient Number, do it; and required, that Four of this House, being of the Privy Council, might join with them therein.
A comptroller is a management-level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization. A financial comptroller is a senior-level executive who acts as the head of accounting, and oversees the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets and income statements.
The Lords named were, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, the Duke of Norfolk, the Lord Treasurer, and the Marquis of Northampton. Of this House were, Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Secretary Cicill, Sir Francis Knolles, Vicechamberlain, and Sir Ambrose Cave, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. And then agreed to meet there again at Nine of the Clock the Morrow following, to know the Queen's Majesty's Pleasure.
The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly an officer of the English Crown charged with physical custody of the Great Seal of England. This position evolved into one of the Great Officers of State.
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the county of Norfolk. The current duke is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk. The dukes have historically been Catholic, a state of affairs known as recusancy in England.
Entry the Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Lords in the Session of Parliament holden at Westminster, An. 8 Regin. Eliz. A. D. 1566. which began there (after divers Prorogations of the same) on Monday 30 September, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof on Thursday the 2d day of Jan. Ann. 9. Regin. ejusdem. states:
This day Sir Edward Rogers Knight, Comptroller of her Highness Household, Sir Francis Knolles Knight, her Highness Vice-Chamberlain, Sir William Cecill Knight, her Highness Principal Secretary, and Sir Ambrose Cave Knight, Chancellor of her Highness Dutchy of Lancaster, four Chief Members of the House of Commons, and divers others of that Assembly to the number of twenty persons, being sent up to the Lords from that House upon some urgent and weighty occasions, desired to be admitted into the Upper House, there to make known to their Lordships somewhat wherein they should require their advice, and need their assistance; upon which, being admitted, the said Mr Comptroller, assisted with the Personages and Company aforesaid, did in comely order and discreet modesty, make manisest and known unto the said Lords, that Thomas Williams Esquire, their late Speaker in the last Session of this Parliament, in the fifth Year of the Queens Majesty that now is, was bereft from them by Death, which had been openly and manifestly made known and testified unto them; for remedy of which defection, they humbly prayed their Lordships advice; after which the Lord Keeper, first requiring the said Personages a while to withdraw themselves, and then commending the Order of the matter to the Lords sitting in consultation for the same, it was by them all upon considerate advice therein had, thought fit to signifie unto the said Commons by the Personages aforesaid, that they thought it expedient and good, the said Lord Keeper, the Lord Treasurer of England, the Duke his Grace of Norfolk, and the Lord Marquess of Northampton, with the four forecited Personages of the said House of Commons, being also of her Highness most Honourable Privy-Council, should in the name of both of the Assemblies, with all humbleness and due celerity, make intimation of their said Estate, and the Petition thereupon depending, unto her said Highness, to which advice the said House of Commons, upon knowledge had of the same, wholly assented.
Some of the Bills presented to Parliament whilst Thomas Williams was Speaker include:
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Alms or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities free. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē, from ἐλεήμων, eleēmōn ("merciful"), from ἔλεος, eleos ("pity").
Baron Brabourne, of Brabourne in the County of Kent, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1880 for the Liberal politician Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen, the second son of Sir Edward Knatchbull, 9th Baronet, of Mersham Hatch. He had previously represented Sandwich in the House of Commons and served as Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. Lord Brabourne had assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Hugessen in 1849. His son, the second Baron, represented Rochester in Parliament as a Liberal.
Sir John Popham of Wellington, Somerset, was Speaker of the House of Commons, Attorney General and Lord Chief Justice of England.
Sir Richard Reynell (c.1558–1633) of Forde in the parish of Wolborough, Devon, was an English lawyer and Member of Parliament. He built the surviving Ford House, now in the suburbs of Newton Abbot and his daughter and sole heiress Jane Reynell, married the Parliamentary general Sir William Waller.
Sir Thomas Jermyn (1573–1645) was an English politician, courtier and Royalist who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1604 and 1640.
Kerswell Priory was a small Cluniac priory in the parish of Broadhembury in Devon, England.
Stowford House is a former manor house in the South Hams district of Devon. It is close to the village of Harford. The building was designated a Grade II listed building on 23 April 1952. The house was the birthplace of Thomas Williams, speaker at the House of Commons, and John Prideaux, Bishop of Worcester.
Sir William Strode (1562–1637) of Newnham in the parish of Plympton St Mary, Devon, England, was a member of the Devon landed gentry, a military engineer and seven times a Member of Parliament elected for Devon in 1597 and 1624, for Plympton Erle in 1601, 1604, 1621 and 1625, and for Plymouth in 1614. He was High Sheriff of Devon from 1593 to 1594 and was knighted in 1598. In 1599 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Devon. His monument with effigy exists in Plympton St Mary Church.
Sir Amyas Bampfylde of Poltimore and North Molton in Devon, England, was a Member of Parliament for Devon in 1597.
Sir John III Chichester of Hall was Member of Parliament for Lostwithiel in Cornwall in 1624.
Sir Lewis Pollard of Grilstone in the parish of Bishop's Nympton, Devon, was Justice of the Common Pleas from 1514 to 1526 and served as MP for Totnes in 1491 and was a JP in Devon in 1492. He was knighted after 1509. He was one of several Devonshire men to be "innated with a genius to study law", as identified by Fuller, who became eminent lawyers at a national level. He was a kinsman of the judge and Speaker of the House of Commons Sir John Pollard.
Robert Carey, lord of the manor of Clovelly in North Devon, was Member of Parliament for Barnstaple, Devon, in October 1553 and served as Sheriff of Devon in 1555–56. He served as Recorder of Barnstaple after 1560. Along with several other members of the Devonshire gentry then serving as magistrates he died of gaol fever at the Black Assize of Exeter 1587. His large monument survives in Clovelly Church.
William Pole (1515-1587), Esquire, was a lawyer and speculator in church lands following the Dissolution of the Monasteries who served as MP for Lyme Regis in 1545, Bridport in 1553 and for West Looe in 1559. He acquired lands in East Devon and was the founder of the influential and wealthy Pole family of Shute, Devon. He was the father of the famous Sir William Pole (1561-1635), the antiquary, historian of Devon.
Hall is a large estate within the parish and former manor of Bishop's Tawton, Devon. It was for several centuries the seat of a younger branch of the prominent and ancient North Devon family of Chichester of Raleigh, near Barnstaple. The mansion house is situated about 2 miles south-east of the village of Bishop's Tawton and 4 miles south-east of Barnstaple, and sits on a south facing slope of the valley of the River Taw, overlooking the river towards the village of Atherington. The house and about 2,500 acres of surrounding land continues today to be owned and occupied by descendants, via a female line, of the Chichester family. The present Grade II* listed neo-Jacobean house was built by Robert Chichester between 1844 and 1847 and replaced an earlier building. Near the house to the south at the crossroads of Herner the Chichester family erected in the 1880s a private chapel of ease which contains mediaeval woodwork saved from the demolished Old Guildhall in Barnstaple.
The landed gentry and nobility of Devonshire, like the rest of the English and European gentry, bore heraldic arms from the start of the age of heraldry circa 1200-1215. The fashion for the display of heraldry ceased about the end of the Victorian era (1901) by which time most of the ancient armigerous families of Devonshire had died out, moved away or parted with their landed estates.
Ash in the parish of Musbury in the county of Devon is an historic estate, long the residence of the ancient Drake family, the heir of which remarkably was always called John, only one excepted, for ten generations. It was formerly believed to have been the birthplace of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722), whose mother was Elizabeth Drake, but was in fact probably in ruins at the time of his birth. The future Duke was however baptised in 1650 in the Chapel at Ash, which had been licensed by the Bishop of Exeter in 1387. Ash was "burnt and demolished" during the Civil War and "lay long in ruins" during which time the family moved one mile away to Trill, Axminster. John Drake (1625–1669), the wartime occupant who had suffered so greatly for the Royalist cause received some recompense at the end of the troubles by being created a baronet by King Charles II on the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Ash was rebuilt "to a greater perfection than it was of before" by Sir John Drake, 2nd Baronet (1647–1684). The last in the male line was Sir William Drake, 6th Baronet, who died without children and bequeathed all his estates to his widow Anne Williams, who remarried to George Speke, MP, and had by him a daughter Anne Speke, who brought the Drake estates, including Ash and the advowson of Musbury, to her husband Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732–1792), who sold them piece-meal to various persons. Ash House survives today as a grade II* listed private residence in much the same form as depicted by Swete in 1795.
The Spanish Company was an English chartered company or corporate body established in 1530, and 1577, confirmed in 1604, and re-established in 1605 as President, Assistants and Fellowship of Merchants of England trading into Spain and Portugal, whose purpose was the facilitation and control of English trade between England and Spain through the establishment of a corporate monopoly of approved merchants.
Sir James Hamlyn, 1st Baronet (1735–1811) of Clovelly Court in Devon, and of Edwinsford, Carmarthenshire, Wales, was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carmarthen 1793–1802. He served as Sheriff of Devon 1767-8. He was created a baronet in 1795. He not only inherited a large estate in Devon from his wealthy childless great-uncle, but also married a wealthy Welsh heiress.
Thomas Luttrell, of Dunster Castle in Somerset, feudal baron of Dunster, was a Member of Parliament for his family's newly enfranchised pocket borough of Minehead, from 1563 to 1567. He was Sheriff of Somerset in 1570–1.
Richard Bampfield (1526–1594) of Poltimore and Bampfylde House in Exeter, both in Devon, was Sheriff of Devon in 1576. He began construction of the tudor era Poltimore House in 1550, and completed the building of Bampfylde House, Exeter, along with The Great House, Bristol one of the finest Elizabethan town houses in the West Country, in 1590. He is the ancestor of the Bampfylde Baronets and Barons Poltimore.
Sir Hugh Stucley (1496–1559) was lord of the manor of Affeton in Devon, and was Sheriff of Devon in 1545. His third son was Thomas Stukley, known as "The Lusty Stucley".
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