John Williams, 1st (and last) Baron Williams of Thame

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John Williams, 1st (and last) Baron Williams of Thame

Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Thame, Oxfordshire, England
Death: October 14, 1559 (53-61)
Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, England
Place of Burial: Thame, Oxfordshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Williams, MP and Isabell Williams
Husband of Elizabeth Bledlow and Margaret "Margery" Wentworth
Father of Isabel Huddleston; Sir Henry Williams; Margaret Norreys and Francis Williams
Brother of Reginald Williams and Anne King
Half brother of Reginald Williams

Managed by: Oliver Marcus Stedall
Last Updated:

About John Williams, 1st (and last) Baron Williams of Thame

John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame

John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame (c.1500 – 14 October 1559) was Treasurer of the King's Jewels, Lord Chamberlain of England (1553–1557) and Lord President of the Council of the Welsh Marches. He was summoned to parliament as Lord Williams of Thame on 17 February 1554.

Williams was the son of Sir John Williams of Burghfield in Berkshire and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter and eventual heiress of Richard Moore also of Burghfield and of Preston Candover in Hampshire.

As Treasurer of the King's Jewels, Williams was heavily involved in the Dissolution of the Monasteries, during which he obtained Thame Abbey and its lands. He also had a palace at Rycote which Henry VIII and Catherine Howard visited on their honeymoon. Later, he rose in favour with Queen Mary for having declared for her party so early. Her sister, Elizabeth I, liked him because he had been kind to her during her imprisonment. He served as High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire for 1538.

Williams gave his name to Thame School, Thame, Oxfordshire, also known as Lord Williams's School, Thame. He bequeathed a sum of money to create an establishment of learning for all comers. The school was founded in 1559. The school has been a grammar school and is now a comprehensive school. The boarding element to the school closed in 1990.

Williams married firstly, by July 1524, Elizabeth (c.1504 – 25 October 1556), daughter & coheiress of Thomas Bledlow of Bledlow in Buckinghamshire, grandson of Thomas Bledlow and Elizabeth Starky, daughter of Sir Humphrey Starkey, Chief Baron of the Exchequer.[1] Elizabeth Bledlow was the widow of Andrew Edmonds (d. 23 June 1523)[2] of Cressing, Essex, by whom she had a son, Sir Christopher Edmonds (d.1596), and a daughter, Ursula Edmonds.[3] By Elizabeth Bledlow, Williams had three sons, John, Henry and Francis, and two daughters, Isabel, who married Sir Richard Wenman, and Margery, who married Henry Norreys, 1st Baron Norris of Rycote.[4]

Williams married secondly, on 19 April 1557, Margaret Wentworth (d.1587), the daughter of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead, Suffolk. She survived him, and later married Sir William Drury, and James Croft of Weston, Oxfordshire.[5]

Williams' three sons predeceased him, and the barony became extinct at his death on 14 October 1559.[6] His elder daughter, Isabel, inherited Thame, and his younger daughter, Margery, inherited Rycote.[7]



  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 61
  • Williams, John (1500?-1559) by Albert Frederick Pollard
  • WILLIAMS , JOHN, Baron Williams of Thame (1500?–1559), born about 1500, was the second son of Sir John Williams of Burfield, Buckinghamshire, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Richard More of Burfield. His father sprang originally from Glamorganshire, and was a kinsman of Thomas Cromwell alias Williams, whose service John Williams entered. He is also described as a servant to Wolsey and to Henry VIII (Lee, Hist. of Thame Church, pp. 410–15). On 6 April 1530 he was appointed a clerk of the king's jewels, with a salary of twenty marks, in succession to Thomas Wyatt (Letters and Papers, iv. 6418 [27]). On 6 March following he was made receiver of the lands of Edward Stafford, third duke of Buckingham [q. v.] On 8 May 1531 he received a grant in reversion of the office of principal clerk of the king's jewels. In 1535 he was placed on the commission of the peace for Oxford, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, and in April 1536 he was associated with Cromwell in the office of master or treasurer of the king's jewels (ib. x. 776 [1]). During the northern rebellions of that year he was ‘called by the council to hear matters and keep a register of accusations’ (ib. xi. 888). On 15 Oct. 1537 he was present at the christening of Prince Edward, and on 12 July 1538 was granted the receivership of the lands of Woburn Abbey. He had himself acted as visitor of the monasteries at Winchester and elsewhere. In November he was pricked for sheriff of Oxfordshire, and in 1539 obtained some of the lands of the dissolved monastery of St. Mary, Thame. He is said to have been knighted on 18 Oct. 1537 (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, viii. 140), but he is first so styled in contemporary documents on 29 Sept. 1539. The dissolution of the greater monasteries brought him further grants of land (see Letters and Papers, vols. xiv–xvi. passim, esp. xvi. 779 [21]), and on Cromwell's attainder he succeeded as sole keeper of the king's jewels. On Christmas eve 1541 there was a great fire at his house in Elsingspital, during which many of the jewels were stolen (Wriothesley, Chron. i. 133). Strype is in error in asserting that he retained the mastership of the king's jewels until 1552 (Eccl. Mem. ii. ii. 76), Williams having exchanged it in 1544 for the treasurership of the court of augmentations in succession to Edward, first baron North [q. v.], and the keeper of the jewels in Edward VI's reign being Sir Anthony Aucher.
  • To Williams's tenure of this office are due the innumerable references to him in the state papers and acts of the privy council; but he was without much political importance, and he was not even named as an assistant executor to Henry VIII's will. On 4 Oct. 1547 he was returned to parliament for Oxfordshire, which he had represented in 1542 and continued to represent until his elevation to the peerage. On 10 Oct. 1549 he was sent with Wingfield to arrest the protector, Somerset, and secure Edward VI's person at Windsor. Early in 1552 he gave offence by paying the pensions due from the augmentations court to dispossessed monks and chantry priests without consulting the privy council. On 3 April he was summoned to appear before it, and on the 8th he was committed to the Fleet prison, where, however, he was allowed for his health's sake to walk in the gardens and receive visits from his wife and children. On 22 May, however, on making his submission, he was provisionally released, and on 2 June was granted full liberty. He retained his office, and in March 1552–3 received the council's letters in favour of his re-election to parliament for Oxfordshire; but his temporary disgrace and religious conservatism made him welcome Mary's accession, which he did not a little to help. Immediately after Edward VI's death (6 July) he went down to Oxfordshire, and on the 15th news reached London that he was proclaiming Mary. A few days later he was said to have six or seven thousand men ready in Northamptonshire to maintain her cause. Northumberland's speedy collapse rendered their employment unnecessary, and on 22 July Williams was ordered to disband them. On the 29th he conducted the Princess Elizabeth through London to Somerset Place, and on 3 Aug. he was sent to suppress some commotions at Royston and in Cambridgeshire. On 19 Feb. 1553–4, after Wyatt's rebellion, he was sent to fetch Elizabeth to court, apparently from Hatfield. She sent Williams back, pleading sickness; but on 20 May he conducted her from Brentford to Woodstock, where she remained for a time in his custody, until the consideration with which he treated her caused her transference to the keeping of Sir Henry Bedingfield (1509?–1583) [q. v.]
  • Meanwhile Williams had been created Baron Williams of Thame—partly as a reward for his prompt adherence to Mary, and partly as compensation for the loss of the treasurership of the court of augmentations, which the queen had naturally abolished. The creation was doubtless by writ of summons to parliament dated 17 Feb. 1553–4, and the proceedings mentioned by the chroniclers under date 5 April were merely confirmatory (Machyn, p. 54; Chron. Queen Jane, p. 72; G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, viii. 140). On 8 March 1553–4, as sheriff of Oxfordshire, he conveyed Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley to await their trial at Oxford. He was present in the same capacity at the execution of all three, and also examined John Philpot [q. v.] (Cranmer, Works, vol. i. pp. xxii, xxiii, xxix; Ridley, Works, pp. 293, 295; Hutchinson, Works, p. ix; Philpot, Works, p. 49; Foxe, Actes and Mon. ed. Townsend, passim). He was also chamberlain to Philip II (cf. Chron. Queen Jane, p. 82).
  • Owing to his kindness to Elizabeth, Williams remained in favour after her accession. He was one of the lords appointed to attend her to London in November 1558, and in February 1558–9 he was appointed lord president of Wales. He was also in that year made a visitor of the Welsh dioceses and of Oxford University; but his health was failing in March, and he died at Ludlow Castle on 14 Oct. 1559, being attended by John Jewel [q. v.] (afterwards bishop of Salisbury). He was buried on 15 Nov. in the parish church at Thame, where there is an inscription to his memory. An epitaph composed by Thomas Norton [q. v.] is printed in Tottel's edition of Surrey's ‘Songs and Sonnets,’ 1565.
  • By his will, dated 8 March 1558–9 and proved in 1560, Williams left the rectories and parsonages of Brill, Oakley, and Borstall in Buckinghamshire, and Easton Weston in Northamptonshire, to his executors for the purpose of founding a free school at Thame. The school buildings were begun in 1574, and an account of the foundation, privately printed in 1575, is in the Bodleian Library. Among the alumni of Thame school were Dr. John Fell, Shakerley Marmion, Anthony à Wood, Edward Pococke, and Henry King, bishop of Chichester. Williams also bequeathed money to the almshouses at Thame.
  • Williams married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Bledlow and widow of An- drew Edmunds of Cressing Temple, Essex. She died on 25 Oct. 1556, and was buried on 4 Nov. at Ricot, Oxfordshire (Machyn, pp. 118, 354). Williams married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Thomas, first baron Wentworth [q. v.]; he left no issue by her, and she married, secondly, on 10 Oct. 1560, Sir William Drury [q. v.], and, thirdly, Sir James Crofts; she survived until 1588 (see Acts P. C. vols. xv–xvii. passim). By his first wife Williams had issue three sons: John, who died unmarried, and was buried at St. Alphege, London Wall, on 18 Feb. 1558–9, his funeral sermon being preached by John Véron [q. v.]; Henry, who married Anne, daughter of Henry Stafford, first baron Stafford [q. v.], but died without issue on 20 Aug. 1551; and Francis, who died unmarried. The barony thus became extinct, if it was created by patent; if it was created by writ, it fell into abeyance between his two daughters, Isabel (who married Richard Wenman, great-grandfather of Thomas, second viscount Wenman [q. v.]) and Margaret (who married Sir Henry Norris, afterwards Baron Norris of Rycote [q. v.]).
  • [Cal. Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Brewer and Gairdner, vols. iv–xvi. passim; State Papers, Henry VIII, 11 vols.; Cal. State Papers Dom. 1547–80, and Addenda 1547–65; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, vols. i–viii.; Hatfield MSS. i. 454; Lit. Rem. of Edward VI (Roxburghe Club); Machyn's Diary; Wriothesley's Chron., Chron. Queen Jane and Queen Mary, and Narr. of the Reformation (Camden Soc.); Strype's Works (general index); Gough's Index to Parker Soc. Publ.; Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, ed. Pocock, passim; Foxe's Actes and Mon. ed. Townsend; Carlisle's Endowed Grammar Schools ii. 312–15; Off. Return Members of Parliament; F. G. Lee's Hist. of Thame, 1883; Davenport's Lord Lieutenants and High Sheriffs of Oxfordshire, p. 37; Lists of Sheriffs, 1898; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage, viii. 140–1.]
  • From:,_John_(1500%3F-1559)_(DNB00)


  • WILLIAMS, Sir John (by 1503-59), of Rycote and Thame, Oxon.
  • Family and Education
  • b. by 1503, 2nd surv. s. of Sir John Williams of Burghfield, Berks. by Isabel, da. and coh. of Richard More of Burghfield. m. (1) by July 1524, Elizabeth (d. 25 Oct. 1556), da. and coh. of Thomas Bledlow of Bledlow, Bucks., wid. of Andrew Edmonds (d. 23 June 1523) of Cressing Temple, Essex, 3s. inc. Henry 2da.; (2) settlement 19 Apr. 1557, Margaret, da. of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Lord Wentworth, of Nettlestead, Suff., 1da. Kntd. 15 Nov. 1538/28 June 1539; cr. Lord Williams of Thame 1554.1
  • Offices Held
    • ?Chancery official by 1526; clerk of the King’s jewels 8 May 1530, jt. (with Thomas Cromwell) master c. Jan. 1535, sole 1540-44, receiver, lands formerly of 3rd Duke of Buckingham Mar. 1531, Thame abbey by 1535; j.p. Bucks. 1535, Oxon. 1535-7. 1542-7 or later, Berks. 1544, Northants. 1554; sheriff, Oxon. and Berks. 1538-9; 1544-5, Sept.-Nov. 1553; visitor of monasteries 1538, commr. subsidy, Oxon. 1540, benevolence 1544/45, chantries, Northants., Oxon., Rutland 1546, 1548, of Admiralty in Nov. 1547, relief, Berks., Oxon., Northants. 1550, musters, Salop, Staffs., Warws. 1559; steward, manors of Grafton and Hartwell, Northants. Feb. 1540, Easton Neston, Northants. 1542; master of cygnets in Thames Mar. 1542; treasurer, ct. augmentations Mar. 1544-Jan. 1554; high steward, Oxford ?by 1553; chamberlain to King Philip Apr. 1554-8; trier of petitions in the Lords, Parlts. of Nov. 1554, 1555 and 1559; pres. council in the marches of Wales Feb. 1559-d.2
  • Biography
  • John Williams was of Welsh descent. His father was the first of the line to anglicize his name and probably the first to seek his fortune in England. He was a kinsman of Morgan Williams who married Cromwell’s sister, a relationship which must have helped his son in his early career: in 1535 Gregory Cromwell wrote to his own father from Rycote that he had been splendidly entertained by all the neighbourhood, especially by Williams. In 1544 Richard Cromwell alias Williams*, Morgan Williams’s son, left Sir John Williams two of his best horses.3
  • It is not certain which of the family first became established in the region of Thame. John Williams’s sister Anne married William King, of Thame, and by 1535 another sister was prioress of Studley, but it was Williams’s own marriage which was probably decisive, for Bledlow is only five miles from Thame. The marriage, to the widow of an important Londoner, also suggests that by 1524 Williams was a royal servant with London connexions; these may have included Sir John Dauntesey, his neighbour at Thame.4
  • In 1536 Williams increased his reputation by his prompt and effective action against the Lincolnshire rebellion. In 1537 he was commissioned to investigate allegations against the abbots of Eynsham and Osney and to sit with Dauntesey to hear charges of sedition at Thame. Although he was probably responsible for the reprieve of Studley in that year, he was assiduous in receiving the surrender of monasteries and particularly, as master of the jewels, in ransacking their shrines. Early in 1538 he took 5,000 marks’ worth of gold and silver from Bury St. Edmunds; between 7 and 11 Mar. he stripped Abingdon and was reported to have left 100 barge-loads of spoils at the waterside; and at three o’clock on a Saturday morning in September, he and two others ‘made an end’ of the shrine of St. Swithun at Winchester, taking the trouble to ‘sweep away all the rotten bones called relics’ lest the citizens think that they came only for the treasure. In the previous May he and Thomas Lee I had taken the surrender of Woburn, where he heard accusations of treason against the abbot and eventually became the receiver of the property. In Oxfordshire he took the surrenders of Eynsham, Godstow, Osney, Studley and Thame, that of Studley from his own sister. Between 1542 and 1557 he pulled down and sold the materials of Gloucester Hall, Oxford.5
  • The abbot of Thame was Anne Williams’s brother-in-law Robert King, for whom Williams had secured the abbacy of Osney in commendam in 1537 and who in 1541 became bishop of Thame and Osney and in 1545 first bishop of Oxford, no doubt with Williams’s continued assistance. If he could look after a relative in this way, Williams was able to do much more for himself. He had begun by securing a 21-year lease of the crown’s demesne lands at Grafton, Northamptonshire, in 1528 and the reversion of lands at Upper Winchendon, Buckinghamshire, four years later. With the Dissolution there began an impressive series of grants and purchases. He had already bought the house at Rycote, which became his chief seat, from Giles Heron and had secured an interest in the estates of Thame abbey. His possession of Rycote was confirmed by an Act of 1539 (31 Hen. VIII, c.19), introduced into the Lords by Williams himself, and reaffirmed in the following year by a proviso to Heron’s Act of attainder (32 Hen. VIII, c.58). In 1538 he purchased Wytham, Berkshire, from Leonard Chamberlain and began to form a second cluster of properties west of Oxford, while his purchase of a manor in Monmouthshire may reflect some awareness of his origins. In Cripplegate, London, he purchased the priory of Elsingspital for some £530 and up to 1547 he made five further purchases, in conjunction with other speculators, of monastic lands to a total value of about £8,000, much of which was resold. At the beginning of Edward VI’s reign he bought the abbeys of Thame and Notley, near Thame, from the Duke of Somerset and Sir William Paget. His last major purchase was that of the priory of Marlow in 1555.6
  • The fall of Cromwell does not seem to have affected Williams’s position, save in making him sole master of the jewels. On 26 Aug. 1540 the Privy Council met at Rycote and a week later it added his name to the Oxfordshire subsidy commission. In 1544 he was licensed to retain ten men in addition to his household servants and was listed as the captain of 20 archers and 40 billmen in the King’s battle of the army against France. His career in royal administration culminated in his appointment as treasurer of the augmentations in 1544 with a yearly salary of £320.7
  • Williams is first known to have been elected to the Parliament of 1542, although he could have sat for a borough in its precursor of 1539, for which most of the returns are lost. His shrievalty doubtless excluded him from the last Parliament of the reign, but he was to sit in the three summoned before his ennoblement. It was presumably he rather than his son Henry, knight of the shire for Northamptonshire, who as Mr. Williams had a bill concerning sheriffs committed to him after its second reading on 8 Dec. 1547, and certainly he to whom one concerning tithes and another on regrators and forestallers were committed during the second session of that Parliament on 22 Feb. and 1 Mar. 1549. In the third session he was doubtless the recipient of a bill to encourage husbandry, first read on 4 Jan. 1550, and another for putting away old service books after its second reading ten days later. On 21 Jan. 1549 he secured privilege for his servant Anthony Butler. He was himself an unpopular landlord and a victim of the rising in Oxfordshire in the summer of 1549 when the commons ‘disparked his park(s) ... and killed all the deer’ at Rycote and Thame. It is not surprising, therefore, in view of Somerset’s alleged leniency to the rebels, that Williams was one of the three ordered to Windsor in October 1549 to ‘protect’ the King and arrest Somerset.8
  • In October 1551 the imperial ambassador reported that Williams himself had been arrested, an act which, since Williams possessed a huge amount of livestock and was loathed by the people, was meant to show that the Duke of Northumberland wanted to ease the people’s burdens. There is no other evidence of the arrest before 8 Apr. 1552, when the Privy Council ordered the warden of the Fleet prison to receive him and to allow none to converse with him. By 25 Apr. the confinement was affecting his health and he was allowed to exercise and to be visited by his family and friends; the ill-health seems to have persisted, for on the Crown Office list of the Parliament of October 1553 he is described as ‘infirmus’. According to the King’s journal, Williams had disobeyed an order not to pay pensions without the Council’s foreknowledge, and it was for ‘lack of doing his duty in his office’ that he made his humble submission on 22 May 1552, when he was released. The Privy Council continued to issue warrants to Williams throughout his imprisonment. There is little reason to question the official version of his offence, although his unpopularity may have made him a target, and there are other pointers to his having fallen short of even the far from rigorous standards of the time. Only in May 1552 were his accounts as master of the jewels cleared, and in Mary’s reign he was to be in trouble over his augmentations accounts. On 5 June 1556 he was charged with a debt of £2,500; he promised to pay within a fortnight but five days later, in consideration of his service, he was pardoned all arrears both as master of the jewels and treasurer of augmentations. At the end of Edward VI’s reign these arrears had already stood at over £28,000. Despite the pardon, the Privy Council was still discussing Williams’s accounts in May 1558.9
  • The Council recommended to the sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire that Williams should be returned for Oxfordshire to the Parliament of March 1553, but he had to yield first place to Northumberland’s brother Sir Andrew Dudley, whose recent acquisitions in the county were making him a threat to Williams’s local preponderance. On grounds of self-interest Williams might therefore have been expected to go over to Mary and in the event he sprang to her support with the alacrity he had shown in 1536 and with the same reward for himself. He is said to have raised 6,000 men, including cavalry recruited among the peasantry, and the news of the response to his summons was believed to have had a decisive effect on the Council in London. On 22 July he was ordered to dismiss his men and to wait upon the Queen who continued to employ him in a military role; on 12 Aug. 1553 he and Leonard Chamberlain were given £2,000, on 14 Aug. 400 lances and 500 corselets and on the 15th six field pieces. In the following February he was commanded to provide 100 horse and 100 foot for the Queen’s retinue.10
  • He discharged the office of sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire for a few weeks in the autumn of 1553 and Mary thereafter treated him as her henchman in Oxfordshire. In this capacity he was involved in the custody and execution of Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, and the safe-keeping of Princess Elizabeth. On 19 May 1554 he joined Sir Henry Bedingfield and Sir Leonard Chamberlain to escort Elizabeth from the Tower to Woodstock. It is not clear either that he was ever in sole charge of her, or that he was replaced by Bedingfield for his leniency, but he gained a lasting reputation for kindness to Elizabeth on her journeys to and from Woodstock. On both occasions he entertained her at Rycote and, according to Foxe, protested that he would die for her if necessary and clashed with Bedingfield over the respect he paid her. There is some likelihood, therefore, that he was the ‘Lord William’ reported by the imperial ambassador in March 1555 to be conspiring with Elizabeth and plotting to marry her to Courtenay. Williams’s favourable reputation with Protestants is also clear from Foxe’s report of his treatment of the condemned bishops, whom he conducted to Oxford from the Tower in March 1554 and at whose executions he presided in October 1555 and March 1556. The rumour is therefore intelligible which is reported to have been rife in September 1554, that the see of Canterbury ‘was given to a Spanish friar; and the Lord Williams was out of his chamberlainship, and Secretary Petre out of his office’.11
  • There is no evidence that Williams ever betrayed his allegiance to Mary and he remained in favour throughout the reign. In April 1554 he was summoned to Parliament as Lord Williams of Thame; this was in part to compensate him for his loss of office when the court of augmentations was dissolved and in part to give him the dignity necessary to his new office of chamberlain to King Philip. It was he who with the 12th Earl of Arundel met Philip at the gates of Southampton on 20 July 1554. On losing his augmentations office Williams was granted an annuity of £320, and in March 1554 he received a gift of 200 crowns from the Queen and in July a pension of 1,000 crowns from the King. He was fairly regular in his attendance in the Lords throughout the remainder of the reign and had several bills committed to him in the Parliaments of April 1554 and 1555, including one to confirm the articles of the Spanish marriage. In 1555 he was one of four peers who voted against a bill ‘for the keeping of milch kine’ and the sole dissenter from a bill for the repeal of an Act of 1497 concerning merchant adventurers (12 Hen. VII, c.6); in 1558 he was again the sole dissenter from a bill to cancel import licences for French or Gascon wines.12
  • With Elizabeth on the throne Williams’s ability to keep on good terms with all parties once more paid him well. One of his servants brought the Queen’s proclamation to Oxford, and he was one of the lords appointed to attend Elizabeth from Hatfield to London. Two months later he was appointed president of the council in the marches of Wales, but by the following March he was seriously ill and before he was able to make any impression on the marches he died at Ludlow on 14 Oct. 1559. Only at the very end of his life is there a suggestion that he was other than a leading example of the profiteer from the religious revolution: in his last illness he received into his house for a period Bishop Jewel, once vicar of Sunningwell, near Oxford, where Williams had an estate, and in 1559 just returned from exile.13
  • Williams was buried with great pomp at Thame on 15 Nov. 1559, and his tomb remains in the church. His sons having predeceased him, the barony became extinct and the heirs to his property were his sons-in-law Henry Norris and Richard Wenman. To his wife Williams left several manors, his house at Elsingspital and cups given by the Queen, the Duchess of Norfolk and Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, at the christening of one of her children; she later married in turn William Drury and James Croft†. To Bedford he left his personal armour and to Sir Robert Dudley a black mare called ‘Maud Mullford which mare I take to be the best mare in England’. Several rectories were assigned for the endowment of a free school at Thame and provision was also made for the restoration of the footway between Oxford and Botley and the support of Botley road upon stone arches: a bill for the amendment of causeways and highways had been committed to Mr. Williams, either Sir John or Thomas Williams I, a Member for Oxford, in the Parliament of October 1553. The executors included Sir Walter Mildmay and the supervisors the Earl of Bedford and Sir William Cecil.14
  • From:


  • Sir John Williams, Lord Williams of Thame1,2
  • M, #80488, b. circa 1500, d. 14 October 1559
  • Father John Williams b. c 1472, d. 15 Jun 1508
  • Mother Isabel (Elizabeth) Moore b. c 1475
  • Sir John Williams, Lord Williams of Thame was born circa 1500 at of Thame, Buckinghamshire, England. He married Elizabeth Bledlow, daughter of Thomas Bledlow and Elizabeth Starkey, before 4 July 1524 at England. Sir John Williams, Lord Williams of Thame died on 14 October 1559 at Ludlow Castle, Ludlow, Shropshire, England.
  • Family Elizabeth Bledlow b. c 1499
  • Child
    • Isabel Williams+1,2 b. c 1528, d. 1587
  • Citations
  • [S16] Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. IV, p. 325.
  • [S4] Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. V, p. 352.
  • From:


  • John Williams, Lord Williams1
  • M, #374472
  • Last Edited=11 Apr 2010
  • John Williams, Lord Williams gained the title of Lord Williams, of Thame.
  • Child of John Williams, Lord Williams
    • Margaret Williams+1
  • Citations
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 2, page 2352. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • From:


  • John WILLIAMS (1º B. Williams of Thame)
  • Born: 1503, Thame, Oxfordshire, England
  • Died: 14 Oct 1559, Ludlow Castle, Ludlow, Shropshire, England
  • Buried: 15 Nov 1559, Thame, Oxfordshire, England
  • Notes: See his Biography.
  • Father: John WILLIAMS of Burghfield
  • Mother: Isabel MORE
  • Married 1: Elizabeth BLEDLOW (b. 1490 - d. 25 Oct 1556) (dau. of Thomas Bledlow and Elizabeth Starkey) (w. of Andrew Edmonds) BEF 1524
  • Children:
    • 1. John WILLIAMS (d. 18 Feb 1551)
    • 2. Henry WILLIAMS (Sir Knight)
    • 3. Margery WILLIAMS (B. Norreys of Rycote)
    • 4. Francis WILLIAMS (d. 1551)
    • 5. Isabella WILLIAMS
  • Married 2: Margaret WENTWORTH
  • Children:
    • 6. Dau. WILLIAMS
  • From: WILLIAMS (1º B. Williams of Thame)


  • Sir John Williams
  • Birth: 1503 Thame, Oxfordshire, England
  • Death: Oct. 14, 1559 Ludlow, Shropshire, England
  • English Politician. In 1530 he was appointed a clerk of the King's jewels, eventually becoming sole master of the jewels. At the age of 37, he was knighted by the King. He served as a member of Parliament in the 1540s and 1550s. In 1553 Queen Mary Tudor named him Baron Williams of Thame.
  • Family links:
  • Spouse:
  • Elizabeth Bledlow Williams (____ - 1556)
  • Burial: Saint Mary The Virgin, Thame, South Oxfordshire District, Oxfordshire, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 73866169
  • From:


  • Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition ... By Douglas Richardson
  • Pg.216
  • 15. THOMAS WENTWORTH, Knt., de jure 6th Lord Despenser, of Nettlestead, Suffolk, Harston, Cambridgeshire, etc., Knight of the Shire for Suffolk, Privy Councillor, Lord Chamberlain of the Household to King Edward VI, son and heir, born about 1500 (age 28 in 1528). He married about 1520 MARGARET FORTESCUE, daughter of Adrian Fortescue, K.B., of Stonor (in Pyrton) and
  • Pg.217
  • Shirburn, Oxfordshire, and St. Clement Danes, London, by his 1st wife, Anne (descendant of Kind Edward III), daughter and heiress of William Stonor, Knt. [see STONOR 14 for her ancestry]. They had eight sons, Thomas [2nd Lord Wentworth], Henry, Richard, Philip, Gent., John, Edward, James, and Roger, and nine daughters, Anne, Cecily (wife of Robert Wingfield, Knt.), Mary wife of William Cavendish), Elizabeth (wife of John Cock and Leonard Matthew), Margaret, Margery (wife of John Williams [Lord Williams of Thame], William Drury, Knt., and James Croft, Knt.), Jane (wife of Henry Cheney [Lord Cheny]), Katherine, and Dorothy (wife of Paul Withypoll, and Martin Frobisher, Knt., John Savile, Knt.). He took part in the Duke of Suffolk's expedition to France in 1523. He was created Lord Wentworth and admitted to the House of Lords, 2 Dec. 1529. In 1530 he was one of the peers who tried Queen Anne Boleyn. His wife, Margaret, was heiress in 1540 to her younger sister Frances, wife of Thomas Fitz Gerald, 10th Earl of Kildare. In 1544 he served under the Duke of Norfolk as the Siege of Montreuil, being one of his Council of War. Margaret died between 23 April 1546 and 12 May 1551, presumably before her husband. He was granted the manor of Stepney, Hackney, and Cheyney Gate (now The Deanery), Westminster, all in Middlesex, in 1550. SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH, 1st Lord Wentworth, died at the King's Palace at Westminster 3 March 1550/1, and was buried 7 March 1550/1 in Westminster Abbey. He left a will proved 27 Nov. 1551 (P.C.C. 35 Bucke).
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John Williams, 1st (and last) Baron Williams of Thame's Timeline

Thame, Oxfordshire, England
Age 20
Rycote, Oxfordshire, England
Age 23
Age 32
Thame, Oxfordshire, England
October 14, 1559
Age 57
Shropshire, England
November 15, 1559
Age 57
Thame, Oxfordshire, England