Rev. William Overton

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William Overton

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England
Death: April 6, 1609 (84)
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England
Place of Burial: Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Guthlac Overton, Gent. and Olive Overton
Husband of Margaret Overton and Mary Overton
Father of John Overton and Rev. Valentine Overton, Archdeacon of Derby
Brother of Katherine Overton; Rose Beawe; Mary Martha Overton; Edward Overton; Isabel Hobson and 5 others

Occupation: Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield
Managed by: Kira Rachele Jay
Last Updated:

About Rev. William Overton

Birth: 1525 Clerkenwell Greater London, England Death: Apr. 6, 1609 Eccleshall Staffordshire, England

Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield from 1580 to 1609 and became a Perpetual Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford in 1551. He received a B.A. in 1547 and an M.A. in 1553. He was Rector of Balcombe and in 1553 was Vicar of Eccleshall. He was also a Prebendary of Chichester, Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals. He had a "prominent role in the reception of Queen Elizabeth at Oxford in 1564". He had a reputation of being "genial, hospitable and kind to the poor". He married Margaret Barlow (a daughter of Bishop William Barlow) and they were parents of Susan (Overton) Playsted and Valentine (or Valentyne) Overton.

Family links:

 Valentine Valentyne Overton (1565 - 1646)* 

Not sure who is the mother in the line- Mary or Margaret. Also- John may not be William's son, but his grandson (via Christopher?).

"Bishop William Overton, of Coventry and Litchfield, who was born in London, between 1520 and 1530. 'So it is more probable that Robert named one of his sons William.'"


“Andrew Meade of Ireland and Virginia; His Ancestors, and Some of His Descendents and their Connections, including sketches of the following families: Meade, Everard, Hardaway, Eggleston, Segar, Pettus, and Overton.” Patrick Hamilton Baskervill. Old Dominion Press Inc., Printers 1921. Richmond, Virginia.

Bishop William Overton (1580-1609) was probably responsible, in 1580, for bringing two glass making families from Lorraine, Tyzack and Henzey to Bishop’s Wood near Eccleshall to set up glass production. Manufacturing ceased around 1615, however, the site of one glass furnace has been excavated in recent times and is preserved and can be seen in Bishop's Wood.


A manor house existed in Easington in 1260, but had probably disappeared by 1470. Thomas de Overton of Easington was the first Prior of Haltemprice in Cottingham, and another Overton, also called Thomas, was a Baron of the Exchequer in 1403. The Overtons held land for three or four centuries in the Easington area, A John Overton held land in Easington from about 1560 onwards and a Christopher Overton held land in 1608. Another John had land in 1697. Colonel Robert Overton was the Governor of Hull in 1659-60.

It was recorded in 1672 that the Hall had 10 hearths. The Overtons lived there at that time, and it was often called the Manor House or Easington Hall. It was quite a large structure with a short wing at either end. The Hall contained an oak panelled apartment, decorated with portraits of the Kings of England from the Conquest to Charles II.


Part II

"treasurer of Chichester; died 9 April 1609; and was buried at Eccleshall."

Source: "A survey of Staffordshire: containing the antiquities of that county"

Sampson Erdeswicke, Thomas Harwood

Publisher Printed for and by J. B. Nichols and Son, 1820


1609 "William Overton, Bishop of Coventry and LIchfield erected this tomb to himself in the hope of resurection" It was erected 6 years before his death..

He came to this diocese in 1580 in debt and he died further in debt The income of the see was £200 pa less than 5 predecessors had received. In real terms the finances were far worse because the past 50 years had been a time of notorious inflation. There was not enough for the bishops to meet their responsibilities to church and state. Overton in his attempts to improve the finances made few friends because he took tenants and lease-holders to court and demanded a subsidy from his clergy. He tried to improve the quality of parish priests because only 1 in 8 was a graduate and in his view, only 1 parish in 30 had a tolerable preacher. His efforts at reform made him suspect. He was regarded by the Government as a puritan, yet they in their turn knew him to be their arch enemy.

He is best remembered for bringing glass making to Eccleshall.


Two wives: Margaret Barlow and Mary Bradstock

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Rev. William Overton's Timeline

Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England
October 25, 1565
Age 40
Wraxall, Warwickshire, England
- 1609
Age 55
Coventry and Litchfield
April 6, 1609
Age 84
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England
Age 84
Age 84
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom