About William Catesby
William Catesby was one of Richard III of England's principal councillors. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Speaker of the House of Commons during Richard's reign.
He was the son of Sir William Catesby of Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire (died 1470) and Philippa, daughter and heiress of Sir William Bishopston. He was trained for the law in the Inner Temple.
William Catesby was one of the two councillors (the other was Richard Ratcliffe) who are reputed to have told the king that marrying Elizabeth of York would cause rebellions in the north. He fought alongside Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field and was captured. Alone of those of importance he was executed three days later at Leicester. The suggestion that he might have made a deal with the Stanleys before the battle comes from his will when he asked them "to pray for my soul as ye have not for my body, as I trusted in you."
After his death his estates were largely confiscated by Henry VII. Catesby was succeeded by his eldest son, George, to whom the family seat of Ashby St Legers was later restored. Robert Catesby, leader of the Gunpowder Plot, was a descendant.