Sir William Askew, MP

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William Askew, MP

Also Known As: "William Ayscough"
Birthplace: Stallingborough,Lincolnshire,England
Death: Died in England
Place of Burial: England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir William Askew and Margary Mary Hillyard
Husband of NN Askew; Elizabeth Wrottesley and Elizabeth Hutton
Father of Sir Francis Ayscough, Kt.; Edward Ascough; Martha Ascough, Fiancee; Jane Ayscough; Anne Askew, Martyr and 3 others
Brother of Edward Ascough; Robert Ascough and Jane Ascough
Half brother of Isabella Ascough

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy, Vol. ...
Last Updated:

About Sir William Askew, MP

ASKEW (AYSCOUGH), Sir William (by 1486-1540), of Nuthall, Notts. and Stallingborough, Lincs.

Family and Education

b. by 1486, 1st s. of Sir William Askew of Stallingborough by 1st w. Margery, da. of Sir Robert Hilliard of Winestead, Yorks. m. (1) by 1508, Elizabeth (d.1521), da. of Thomas Wrottesley of Wrottesley, Staffs., 2s. 3da.; (2) da. of one Struxley or Streichley of Notts., s.p.; (3) settlement 2 May 1522, Elizabeth (d.1550), da. of John Hutton of Tudhoe, co. Dur., wid. of Sir William Hansard of South Kelsey, Lincs., 2s. suc. fa. 26 Mar. 1510. Kntd. 24 Sept. 1513.1

Offices Held

J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1510-d.; commr. Subsidy 1512, 1515, 1523, 1524. musters 1539; sheriff, Lincs. 1520-1; other commissions 1530-d.2


Sir William Askew is best remembered as the father of Anne Askew, the Protestant martyr burned in 1546, whose resolute disposition, great learning and doctrinal radicalism all reflect her parentage and upbringing.3

After a career which had included service in the French wars, knighthood at Tournai in 1513 and attendance at the Field of Cloth of Gold, Sir William Askew was returned as senior Member for Grimsby to the Parliament of 1529. Economic decline had long since cost the borough its electoral independence and from his neighbouring seat at Stallingborough Askew was well placed to join the ranks of local gentlemen who preponderated in its representation: his expectation that the town would do his bidding is reflected in a letter he wrote to the mayor making demands on behalf of one of his servants. He was probably returned again in 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the reelection of the previous Members, and may have sat for a third time in 1539, when the names of the Members for Grimsby are again lost. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons.4

In September 1527 Askew had been the subject of a royal inquiry in respect of rights at South Kelsey which he was alleged to have usurped for four years. In May 1533 he is recorded as dining in Princess Mary’s household at Otford, Kent. The outbreak of the Lincolnshire rebellion in 1536 found Askew among the first targets of the commonalty. He was taken prisoner by Nicholas Melton (‘Captain Cobbler’), and with three other captives was forced to write a letter to the King begging for a general pardon for the rebels. Askew then gained his freedom, and thereafter played little part in pacifying the county. He was one of the grand jury which found a true bill against Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, for treason.5

To what extent Askew shared his daughter Anne’s radicalism is not known. The traditional story—if it is to be accepted—of her marriage to her dead sister’s husband-to-be, in obedience to her father’s will but against her own, is not suggestive of a close bond between them, and she perhaps arrived at her final convictions only after his death. His placing of her brother Edward in Cranmer’s household may also have owed less to reformist zeal than to the archbishop’s ancestral origin in Lincolnshire. We do not know whether the summons which Askew received in January 1540 to appear before the Privy Council related to matters secular or religious, but it took two pleas of extreme infirmity from him to Cromwell to spare him the journey. He was, indeed, a dying man, although death when it came must have struck suddenly, for he died on the same day that he made his will, 6 Aug. 1540. He asked to be buried at Stallingborough. He was survived by his third wife and several children and stepchildren, but none of his daughters is mentioned in the will. He named as his executors his wife and his eldest son Francis, but with the proviso that if his wife was not willing to act she should have the £100 which she had brought to the marriage, and her room in the house: what came of this is unknown, but his widow survived him by ten years, dying in May or June 1550, and Francis by 24. Besides his lands in Lincolnshire Askew left property in Nottinghamshire: the inquisition post mortem on this was not held until 1543 after the widow had petitioned in Chancery over the failure of the escheator to hold it, despite the 4 marks she had paid him to do so.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. M. Hofmann


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/25/71. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. 1), 60-63.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, i, iii-vi, viii, xiii, xiv; Statutes, iii. 89, 172.
  • 3. D. Wilson, A Tudor Tapestry, passim.
  • 4. Rutland Pprs. (Cam. Soc. xxi), 32, 46; E. Gillett, Grimsby (1961 ed.), 48; G. Oliver, Grimsby, 118.
  • 5. E150/561/28; LP Hen. VIII, iv, vi, xii; M. H. and R. Dodds, Pilgrimage of Grace, i. 97-100, 110, 126.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xiv; PCC 29 Alenger, 16 Coode, 1 Morrison; C1/1096/59; 142/68/61; Pevsner and Harris, Lincs. 377


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William Ayscough b: 1490 in Stallingborough,Lincolnshire,England died Bef. May 28, 1541.

  • Alternate name spellings: Ayscoghe

Parents: William Ayscoghe b: 1464 in Of Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England and Margery Hildyard b: Abt 1470


  1. Elizabeth Wrottesley b: 1490 in Wrettesley,Staffordshire,England

Children include:

  1. Francis Ayscoghe b: 1508


  • ISAAC NEWTON - could there be a link to 16th Century AISCOUGH IN ORMSKIRK??
  • _____________
  • 'Lincolnshire pedigrees, Volume 1; Volume 50 By Arthur Staunton Larken
    • CHART
  • Pg. 60
  • 1 Gen. Sir William Ayscough of Stallingborough, Lincoln, Knt., Sheriff of Lincoln 1500, 1505, 1508; died 26 Mar 1 Henry VIII., 1509. M.I. at Stallingborough. mar. Margery, dau. of Sir Robert Hildyard of Winestead, Yorks, Knt. ch: 'Sir William Ayscough of Stallingborough'; etc.
  • Pg. 61
  • ' 2 Gen. Sir William Ayscough of Stallingborough, knighted in 1513; eat. 24 in 2 Henry VIII.; Sheriff of Lincoln 1521. Will dated 6 Aug. 1540 and proved 28 May 1541; (to be) bur. in our lady's quire. mar. Elizabeth dau. of Thomas Wrottesley of Wrottesly, Stafford. 1st wife. ch: Martha, elder dau., betrothed to Thomas Kyme, but died before marriage.; Jane, mar. 1st to George St. Paul of Suarford, 2nd to Richard Disney of Norton Disney, and bur. at South Kelsey, St. Mary, 27 Dec. 1590.; Anne, mar. to Thomas Kyme. For her religious principles, which she persistently and openly declared, she was committed to the Tower, subjected to the rack, and burnt at Smithfield 16 July 1546.; Edward Ayscough, Cup-Bearer to King Henry VIII., was of the household to Archbishop Cranmer, and one of the band of Gentlemen Pensioners at the Battle of Musselborough 10 Sept. 1547; a legatee of his father 6 Aug. 1540; died 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, April 1558; bur. at Keleby. mar. Margaret, dau. of Thomas Gibson .... wid. of George Skipwith ....; Sir Francis Ayscough, Knt., born in 1508-18; Sir William mar. .... dau. of .... Struxley or Streichley of Nottinghamshire; s.p. 2nd wife. Sir William mar. Elizabeth, dau. of John Hutton of Tudhoe, co. Durham, and widow of Sir William Hansard; ex'trix of her said husband 28 May 1541; bur. at St. Martin's, Lincoln, 12 May 1550. Will dated 10 May and proved 29 June 1550. 3rd wife. ch: Christopher Ayscough, living 6 Aug. 1540.; Thomas Ayscough, not mentioned 1540.
  • Pg. 63
  • 3 Gen. Sir Francis Ayscough, Knt., born in 1508-18; knighted at the winning of Boulogne 37 Henry VIII.; Sheriff of Lincoln 1545, 1549, 1554; proved his father's will 28 May 1541; died 19 Oct. 1564; bur. at At. Mary's, South Kelsey, 21 Oct. 1564. mar. Elizabeth, dau. and heir of William Hansard of South Kelsey; born 11 Henry VIII.; died 29 Sep. 1558; bur. at South Kelsey. The escheat says died 10 Oct. 1 Eliz. 1st wife. ch: 1. William Ayscough, aet. 22 in 6 Eliz., 1564; died 22 Aug. 27 Eliz., s.p.; bur at South Kelsey, St. Mary, 24 Aug. 1585. Adm'on 28 Aug. 1585 mar. Ann, dau. of Edward Fynes, Earl of Lincoln; bur. 11 May 1585, s.p.; Sir Edward Ayscough of South Kelsey, Lincoln, Knt., heir and administrator of his brother William 28 Aug. 1585; Sheriff of Lincoln 1587; knighted 1 Jac. I.; died 9, bur. at Stallingborough 11 Mar 1611-12. Inq. 24 April 10 Jac. I. mar. Hester, dau of Thomas Grantham of Galtho and St. Catherine's, near Lincoln; mar. at South Kelsey, St. Mary, 27 Sept. 1563; bur there 1-5 Oct. 1590.; Francis Ayscough, mar. Elizabeth, dau. of Thomas Ellis of Wyham. Sir Francis mar. Elizabeth, dau. of Robert Dighton of Sturton; widow of William Dallison; mar. 2 Eliz.; died 6 Dec. 1570; bur. at Clerkenwell. 2nd wife. ch: Sir Roger Ayscough of Nuthall, Notts, J.P., living 26 May 1607. mar. Dorothy, dau. of William Fitzwilliam of Mablethorpe, Lincoln; living 7 Jan. 1653-4.; Frances, bur. at South Kelsey, St. Mary, 4 May 1563.
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  • ' William Askew (also spelled Ascough) (1490–1541) was a gentleman at the court of Henry VIII of England. He has gone down in history as one of the jurors in the trial of Anne Boleyn and as the father of Anne Askew, the only woman to be tortured at the Tower of London.
  • ' Askew is described as a welcome guest in Mary's household in 1536[1], indicating that he was a religious conservative. He is said to have physically forced his daughter, Anne Askew, to marry Thomas Kyme. Her repudiation of this marriage and her disbelief in the doctrine of transubstantiation led to her torture and execution, burnt at the stake in 1546. Her accusers attempted to implicate influential women at court as sharing Anne's beliefs, including the queen, Catherine Parr. William Askew died in 1541, five years before his daughter's execution.
  • References
  • 1.^ p.384, Eric Ives, Anne Boleyn
  • _______________
  • .... Notable Ainscoughs
  • 1. William Ayscough (or William Aiscough) (?-d.1450), Bishop of Salisbury and Confessor to King Henry VI - of the Bedale/ Lincolnshire Ayscough line. He was nominated on February 11, 1438 and consecrated on July 20, 1438. “Many of his tenants intending to joyne with Jack Cade, came to Edendon, took him from masse and drew him-to ye top of a hill, where they cleft his head as he kneeled and prayed, not farre fro Edendon and spoyl’d him to ye skin June ye 29, 1450.”
  • 2. Anne Askew (Ayscough) Kyme (1521–1546), English Protestant and persecuted heretic, daughter of 'Sir William of Stallingborough, Lincolnshire'. In 1546 Anne was arrested three times for heresy, committed to the Tower, subjected to the rack, and burnt at Smithfield 16 July 1546.
  • ' 3. Sir William Ayscough of Stallingborough (1497–1541), knighted in 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII. Alabaster busts and brasses dated c.1612 of Sir Edward, Sir Francis and Sir William can be found in the church of St Peter & St Pauls, Stallingborough.
  • 4. Sir Francis Ayscough (c1509-1564) son of 'Sir William' was knighted "at the wining of Boulogne", Sheriff of Lincoln in 1545, 1549 and 1554. Buried at St Mary's Church, South Kelsey, Lincolnshire.
  • 5. Sir Edward Ayscough d.1558, youngest son of 'Sir William' and cup-bearer to Henry VIII from 1539-1547. Buried at Keelby, Lincs. .....
  • Lincolnshire Ayscoughs ( also known as Askews)
  • The following theory was put forward by researchers in the 1970s and although interesting seems unlikely, since earlier evidence has been found showing Ainscoughs existed in Lancashire prior to a possible migration from Lincolnshire.
  • The Lincolnshire Ayscough family originated from Bedale and owned estates around Stallingborough, Ashby, South Kelsey, Basford, Nuttall and Spalding. Ayscoughfee Hall, now a preserved manor house in Spalding, was originally built by the rich wool merchant, Richard Alwyn in 1420 and then it was owned by the Lincolnshire Ayscough family in the early part of the 16th Century. The grant of land at Spalding was made to Sir William Ayscough (b.1490-d.1541) by Henry VIII. E.H. Gooch writes about "Ayscoughfee Hall" in his book "The History of Spalding", 1940.
  • In the 15th Century the Ayscoughs had supported the Lancastrian side during the Wars of the Roses and later held posts at the Courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII. 'Sir William Askew of Stallingborough was knighted in 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII, his eldest son' Sir Francis Ayscough was knighted "at the wining of Boulogne" and was Sheriff of Lincoln in 1545, 1549 and 1554. He died in 1564 and is buried at St Mary's Church, South Kelsey, Lincolnshire. 'Sir William's youngest son' Edward Ayscough (d.1558) was cup-bearer to Henry VIII from 1539-1547. Anne Askew (Ayscough) Kyme (1521–1546), the English Protestant and persecuted heretic was also the 'daughter of Sir William'. Unfortunately for Anne her zealousness led to her execution and she was burned at the stake for heresy in 1546. Reluctantly, the Ayscough family got caught up in the Lincolnshire Rising in 1536, a Catholic uprising against Henry VIII of England, against the dissolution of the monasteries. 'Sir William had ridden to Louth to keep the peace and uphold the law but instead found himself taken 'prisoner' by the rebels and was expected to represent their cause'. Following this the Ayscough family fell out of favour with Henry VIII. However, Sir Francis continued to prosper by his own volition taking every opportunity to acquire land and so add to his estates. He died a convinced Protestant, clearly shown by the wording of his will. It is claimed (evidence required) that over the period which followed many of the Lincolnshire Ayscough family lost their estates, they migrated west to Lancashire, where they settled in the area around Mawdesley, near Croston, bleak wastes in the 16thC, as Farmers and Millers. However it does not seem possible to find specific evidence for this link, and without evidence the Lincolnshire origin seems increasingly tenuous. Researchers are requested to continue to investigate.
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Sir William Askew, MP's Timeline

Age 23
South Kelsey, Lincolnshire, England
Age 24
Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 25
Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 26
Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 27
Age 30
Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 35
South Kelsey, Lincolnshire, England
Age 38
Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 40
Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom