Is your surname Coffyn Coffin?

Research the Coffyn Coffin family

William Coffin's Geni Profile

Records for William Coffyn Coffin

7,292 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

William Coffyn Coffin (Coffin), Sir

Birthplace: Alwington, Devon, UK
Death: December 08, 1538 (39-47)
Ware, Hertfordshire, UK (The plague - as confirmed by wife, Dame Margaret Coffyn (Dymoke))
Place of Burial: Standon, Hertfordshire, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Coffin, Sheriff of Devon and Alice Coffyn (Gambon)
Husband of Margaret Manners
Brother of John Coffyn, of Portledge; Jane Berry and Joan Coffin

Occupation: Knight, Master of the Horse, High Sherrif, Parliament Member
Managed by: Kira Rachele Jay
Last Updated:

About William Coffin

About his death:


MARGARET COFFYN to CROMWELL. Begs him to intimate to the King the death of her husband. He died of the great sickness, full of God's marks over all his body. Begs Cromwell to be her good lord that she may know how she and her servants stand. Standon, 8 Dec.

About Sir William's resting place:

Sir William was buried in the parish church of Standon, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, where he is commemorated by an inscription on a slab at the foot of the chancel steps. (Prior to the church's restoration in 1864, this slab had been in the centre of the chancel immediately above the steps). The inscription reads:

"Here lies William Coffin, Knight, sometime of the privy chamber with his sovereign Lord King Henry the eighth, Master of the Horse unto queen Jane the most lawful wife unto the aforesaid King Henry the eighth, and high steward of all the liberty [and] manor of Standon in the county of Hertford, which William deceased the eighth day of december Anno domini 1538, [in] the thirtieth year of the reign of King Henry the eighth (.........)"

On the nave floor, near the east end, are four slabs with brasses; one to Sir William Coffyn, of the household of King Henry VIII, died in 1538, a shield with his arms above.

Some armour, including a breastplate and helmet, pistol, spurs, and an instrument for stringing a cross-bow, which were over Sir Ralph's tomb, and a piece of horse armour which had hung over Sir William Coffyn's, are now in the possession of Rev. Franc Sadleir.

Born about 1495, younger brother of Richard Coffin, lord of the manor of Alwington and High Sheriff of Devon in the late 15th century. He joined Henry VIII's household about 1515, and took part, as a gentleman of the privy chamber, in the tournament between Henry VIII and the French King held at Guisnes in 1520.

"Sir William Coffyn, ' chosen by King Henry VIII. to accompany him to a tournament in France in 1520.' No knight of the Field of the Cloth of Gold was braver or gentler than himself."

In 1529 he became a Member of Parliament for Derbyshire, having acquired a connection with that county through his marriage to Margaret, the daughter of the Hereditary Royal Champion, Sir Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire; sister of Sir Edward Dymoke; and the widow since 1517 of Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon Hall.

_____________________________________________________________________________________ William Coffin (courtier) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Sir William Coffin was a courtier at the court of Henry VIII of England.

Born at Portledge about 1495 into an ancient Devon family, he was the younger brother of Sir Richard Coffin, who was Lord of the Manor of Alwington and High Sheriff of Devon in the late 15th century.

Sir William lived during the reign of Henry VIII, and was often seen at his court. He joined Henry VIII's household about 1515 as courtier and gentleman of the Privy chamber, a post of great confidence and trust. There were 40 of these, and their duty was to wait on the king in public and private; they were all knights or esquires of distinction, and the attendance of two was required at each meal, to help and serve the king; they had also to sleep within call of the king at night.

In 1519, Sir William Coffin joined King Henry in the tournament of Guesnes, Field of the Cloth of Gold, as one of His Majesty's eighteen favourites. After Anne Boleyn's beheading, Sir William continued to serve in the king's Privy chamber and attendant to His Majesty; serving the King's third wife, Jane Seymour, just as he had served Queen Anne.[1]

In 1529 he became a MP for Derbyshire, having acquired a connection with that county through his marriage to Margaret Dymoke, the daughter of the Hereditary Royal Champion, Sir Robert Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire; sister of Sir Edward Dymoke; and the widow since 1517 of Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon Hall. In 1531 he was appointed High Sheriff of Derbyshire

He was Master of the Horse at the coronation of Anne Boleyn in 1533, when the king knighted him.

Eric Ives described Coffin as a professional household administrator, actively concerned with the staffing of his department, and later to serve Jane Seymour in the same capacity.[2] His wife Margaret

When Lady Margaret Dymoke of Scrivelsby was left a wealthy widow by the death of her first husband, Henry VIII urged her to marry Sir William Coffin. Margaret had attended Catalina of Aragon at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1519 and was at court with Sir William, her second husband. Margaret was one of the gentlewomen sent to wait (and spy) upon Anne Boleyn in the Tower. Some accounts give the name as "Mistress Cosyns" but this is a mistake for Coffin (presumably the confusion was caused by the use of the long "S"). In Jane Seymour’s household, Margaret was a lady of the bedchamber. Shortly after Sir William Coffin's death in December, 1538, she married Sir Richard Manners of Garendon, Leicestershire.

In 1536, five women were appointed to serve Queen Anne in the Tower of London, reporting back to William Kingston, Lieutenant of the Tower, and through him to Thomas Cromwell, all that the Queen said. Margaret Coffin was one of them. The others included Anne Shelton, the sister of Thomas Boleyn. Lady Shelton had been entrusted with the care of Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth, but perhaps fell out with Anne during Henry VIII's affair with Anne's first cousin and Lady Shelton's daughter, Mary Shelton. The other women to attend Anne were Lady Kingston, wife of the Lieutenant of the Tower and Elizabeth Stoner, wife of the King's sergeant-at arms, Anne's aunt, Elizabeth Boleyn, Lady Boleyn and 'Mother of the Maids', the woman with responsibility for the young female attendants.[3]

Kingston described the five as honest and good women but Anne said that it was a great unkindness in the King to set such about me as I have never loved.[4]

From The worthies of Devon, by John Prince


Coffin, Sir William, Kt. was born in this county, at the most antient seat of the name and family, called Portledge, in the parish of Alwington, bordering on the sea, about six leagues to the east of the isle of Londy, which stands therein ; a most ancient tribe, of no less antient inheritance. For I find* Sir Richard Coffin ton, Kt. so far back as the days of K. Hen., and that the Mannor of Alwington been in the name of Coffin, from the time of the Norman Conquest unto this day.

As farther evidence of the antiquity of this gentile family, there is a boundary-deed (a copy whereof is in my custody) made near the Conquest," written in the Saxon tongue, which giveth good confirmation thereof Which said deed, expresseth the bounds between the lands of Richard Coffin, Lord of the mannor of Alwington and Cockemenlon, and the abbot of Tavistock, in relation to the lands belonging to that abby, in the near adjoining parish of Ablotsham.

Some of the terms and articles of which agreement, between them, are these. 'That the abbot and convent of Tavistock, should give to the said Richard Coffin, and his next heir, full fraternity in his church of Tavistock, to receive there the habit of religion, whensoever (God so inspiring) they would ; and that, in the mean time, he should have the privilege of one monk there,"

This family very early spread itself into several branches, which flourished so well diverse places of this county, that they left their name and adjunct to them, as Combe-Coffin, now Combe-Pyne, in the east part, Coffin's-Will in the south part, and Coffin's-Ingarly in the west part of this province; in which last place, the mansion-house was near the church ;" to which was belonging a fair deer park, now wholly demolished.

Nor is it less observable, that some of those places yielded gentlemen with gilded spurs, as Sir Jeffery Coffin of Combe-Coffin, in the days of K. Hen. 3 ; and before that. Sir Elias Coffin of Ingarly (called also. Sir Elias Coffin of Clist)^ in the days of King John, of England.

As to the family of Alwington, I find three knights therein, before the present Sir William of whom we are discoursing all which were called Richard, as for example, Sir Richard Coffin of Alwington, Kt. in the reign of K. Hen. 2, and Sir Richard Coffin of Alwington, Kt. in the days of K. Hen. .3, and Sir Richard Coffin of Alwington, Kt. in the days of K. Edw. 1 And, as one notes, from the time of K. MHen. 1, unto the age of K. Edw. 2, (the space of above two hundred years) the heir of this family was always called Richard.

Of which name, is the present heir and possessor of this antient seat Portledge, a right worthy and worshipful gentleman, of great piety and virtue; and for his quality, of excellent learning, especially in venerable antiquity, which hath been much his delight and study. He hath a noble library, and knows well how to make use of it.

He was High-Sheriff" of this county, in the second year of K. Jam. 2, as his ancestor and namesake was in the second year of K. Hen. 8, as appears by the quietus he had out of the Exchequer, now in the present gentleman's custody ; however he came to be omitted in those catalogues of the sheriffs of this county, published by Fuller and Issac.

They have match'd, as they came along, into several honorable families, as Chudlegh, Cary, Prideaux, &c. and with divers daughters and heirs, as Cockementon, Hatliey, Hingeston, &c. But, omitting these things, let us proceed to the gentleman before us.

Sir William Coflin was the younger brother of Richard Coflni, Esq. that, as was said before, was High-Sheriff" of this county, in the second year of K. Hen. 8,

whose education and accomplishments were such, that they introduced him, with advantage, into the court of K. Hen. S, where he came to be highly prefer'd ; first, to the honor-able post of master of the horse, at the coronation of Q,. Anne Bulloigne, (mother to the glorious Q. Elizabeth) anno 25 of that king; and after that, to the honor of knight-hood, in the '29th of the same reign.

He was also one of the gentlemen of the Privy-Chamber, to the same king : A place of great reputation and trust, whose office is to wait on the King, within doors and without, so long as his majesty is on foot; and when the King eats in his privy-chamber, they wait at the table, and bring in the meat ; they wait also at the reception of ambassadors; and every night two of them lye in the King's priv^^-chamber; they are forty eight in number, all knights, or esquires of note: Whose power is great, for a gentleman of tiie privy-chamber, by the King's commandment only, without any written commission, is sufficient to arrest any peer of England.

Of what courage this gentleman was, and how expert at feats of arms, may be partly Collected from this,' that he was one of the eighteen assistants to K. Hen. 8, at the joust or tournament held, between him and the French king, before Guisnes in France, A. D. 1519. Of which exercise, it may not be improper to give some brief account which I shall do in the words of one that is greater than all exception. " These tournaments," saith he " were public exercises of arms, practiced by noblemen and gentlemen, and became more than mere sports or diversions. They were first instituted A. D. 934, and were always managed by their own particular laws. A long time this practice was continued in all parts, to that degree of madness, and with so great a slaughter of persons of the best quality, especially here in England, where it was first brought in by K. Stephen ; that the church was forced, by severe cannons, expressly to forbid them, with this penalty annexed, ' That whosoever should happen therein to be slain, should be denied christian burial.' And under K. Hen. 3, by ad-vice of parliament, 'twas also enacted. That the offender's estate should be forfeited, and their children disinherited ; yet in contempt of that good law, this evil and perni-cious custom long prevailed." Thus Cambden. But to proceed.

Sir William Coffin married the Lady Mannors of Darbyshire; and residing, as is likely, with her on her dowry, in those parts, he was chosen knight of that shire, in the parliament which began an. 21 K. Hen. 8, 1529: In his way to which there happened a remarkable accident, not unworthy the relating, especially for the good law it occasioned : Passing by a church-yard, he saw a multitude of people standing idle ; he inquired into the cause thereof: who reply They had brought a corps thither to be buried ; but the priest refused to do his office, unless they first delivered him the poor man's cow, the only quick goods he left, for a mortuary.' Sir William sent for the priest, and required him to do his office to the dead : Who peremptorily refused it, unless he had his mortuary first. Whereupon he caused the priest to be put into the poor man's grave, and earth to be thrown in upon him ; and he still persisting in his refusal, there was still more earth thrown in, until the obstinate priest was either altogether, or well nigh suffocated.

Now timid to handle a priest in those days, was a very bold adventure ; but Sir William Coffin, with the favor he had at court, and the interest he had in the house, diverted the storm ; and so lively represented the mischievous consequences of priests' arbitrary demanding of mortuaries, that the then parliament, taking it into their serious considerations, were pleased to bound that matter ever after, by a particular statute ; the preamble whereof, which runs thus, seems to intimate as much For as much as question, ambiguity, and doubt, is chanced and risen, upon the order, manner and form of demanding, receiving, and claiming of mortuaries, otherwise called Corps-Presents, as well for the greatness and value of the same, which, as hath lately been taken, is thought over excessive to the poor people, and others of this realm, as also for that, &c. Be it therefore enacted by, &c. First, That no mortuary shall be taken of any movable goods, under the value of ten marcs. Secondly, That no parson, &c. shall take of any person that, dying, left in movable goods, clearly above his debts paid, above ten marcs, and under thirty pounds, above three shillings and four pence for a mortuary, in the whole. And for a person dying, or dead, having, at the time of his death, of the value in movable goods, of thirty pounds or above, clearly above his debts, and under the value of forty pounds, no more shall be taken, for a mortuary than six shillings and eight pence, in the whole. And for any person having at the time of his death, of the value, in movable goods, of forty pounds or above, to any sum whatsoever it be, clearly above his debts paid, there shall be no more taken, paid, or demanded, for a mortuary, than ten shillings in the whole.'

What herein is farther observable, 'twas also enacted, that such mortuaries shall be paid, only in such a place where heretofore mortuaries have been used to be paid; and that those mortuaries be paid only in the place of the deceased person's, most usual habitation ; and that no parson, &c. shall take more than as limited in this act, under penalty of forfeiting every time so much in value, as they shall take above the sum, limited by this act, &c. So much for the occasion of this statute; which confirms the observation, That evil manners are often the parent of good laws.

Sir William Coffin was also high-steward of the mannor and liberties of Standon, in the coimty of Hertford ; which had some peculiar honor and privileges belonging to it, tho' I no where find what they were.

At his death, he humbly bequeathed to his great master the King, Hen. 8, with whom he was in special grace and favor, his best horses, and a cast of his best hawks : And leaving no issue of his own, he convey'd the manor of East-Hagginton, in the parish of Berry nerber, with all his other estate in the county of Devon, to his eldest brother's son, Richard Coffin of Portledge, Esq.

He died at Standon, aforesaid, about the year of our Lord 15.38 ; and lyeth inter'd in that parish church, under a flat stone, on which was sometime found this inscription"

Here lieth Sir William Coffin, Knight,

Sometime of the Privy Chamber to King Henry the Eighth,

and Master of the Horse to the Queen,

High Steward of the Liberty and Mannor of Standon.

Who died viii of December, M.CCCCCXXXVIH.

I have seen in the hands of the present heir of the family, a deed, dat. 22 Edw. 3, unto which the forementioned coat of beasants and croslets was affix'd, as belonging to this name ; yet more antiently than this, he shew'd me another coat given by it, viz. Arg. a chevron between three mullets sab. The occasion of this variety, that worthy gentleman could not inform me of.

view all 13

William Coffin's Timeline

Alwington, Devon, UK
December 8, 1538
Age 43
Ware, Hertfordshire, UK