About William Rice, MP
William Rice, of Medmenham (d. 29 July 1588).
William Rice claimed gentle birth but his parentage has not been traced. He is first glimpsed in 1543 when already established as a minor household officer he obtained the bailiwick of two Herefordshire manors. Of his progression at court nothing has been found until Mary made him a gentleman of the privy chamber and gave him an annuity of £20 in reward for his support during the succession crisis of 1553. A more substantial grant to him and his wife Barbara, for good service, was made on 7 Nov. 1553, comprising the manors of Backnoe in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire and Medmenham. Later royal grants included manors in Kent and Somerset, and a moiety of some former Dudley properties in the midlands. . . .
At the accession of Elizabeth he withdrew from court and played no part in national or local affairs. In April 1561 he was imprisoned in the Tower ‘for the mass’, but although he implored pardon he is not known to have accepted the Anglican settlement. He was a sick man when on 22 July 1588 he made a will providing for his wife and three of his sisters and naming his wife and two friends executors. He died at Chipping Wycombe a week later. At the inquisition, not taken until 1596, it was found that the manor of Medmenham had been settled in July 1588 on his nephew William Rice, but by 1596 there were no heirs on his father’s side, and his nearest kinsman was his maternal cousin, William Saunders.
Source: "William Rice" at The History of Parliament, visited Aug. 2, 2013.
Fuller is probably the maiden name of Barbara Rice, wife of William Rice of Herefordshire (d. July 29, 1588) by 1553. They had no children, or at least none that survived and little is known about them prior to the access of Queen Mary. Rice was made a gentleman of the privy chamber and Barbara served as a chamberer from 1553-1557. On November 7, 1553, the queen granted them, jointly, for good service, the manors of Backnoe in Thurleight, Bedfordshire and Medmenham, Buckinghamshire. Later they were granted manors in Kent and Somersetshire. Rice withdrew from court after Elizabeth Tudor took the throne. In 1561, he was imprisoned in the Tower for hearing mass. He made his will on July 22, 1588 at Chipping Wycombe, naming Barbara one of his executors. He had already settled the manor of Medmenham on his nephew, another William Rice.
Source: A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, visited Aug. 2, 2013.
WILLIAM RICE of Boemer, Bucks, England received a grant of arms in 1555. He was descended it is said, from Rhys ap Griffith FitzUryan (who m. Katherine, d/o Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk), ancestor of the Barons Dynevor (See Burke's Peerage) and was father of THOMAS RICE of Bucks who died leaving TWIN SONS, Robert and Edmund....
Source: Burke's Landed Gentry. Note: Despite the name Burke's, which might seem to make this information particularly reliable, this book was compiled without verification from information submitted by amateur genealogists.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms granted to William Rice contained a pomegranate, the badge of Mary I. The grants of royal badges at this period was a mark of favor. It does not indicate a relationship between William Rice and Mary I. The claim of "gentle birth" made above was boilerplate language in grants of arms at this period. There is no reason to read in anything more.