WILTON, William, of Reading and Tilehurst, Berks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Mayor, Reading Mich. 1408-9, 1419-20.2
Tax collector, Berks. May 1416.
Wilton owned property in Reading by 1401, and from 1429 to 1443 he also rented, from the commonalty, three cottages in Castle Street. That he became a prominent figure in the town is clear not only from his two elections to Parliament and two terms as mayor, but also from the fact that in 1432 he was among the 24 burgesses chosen to negotiate with the abbot of Reading concerning the borough’s privileges. In one way or another, he was not infrequently involved in the local parliamentary elections: apart from his own service as MP, he was present at the election of 1419, and stood surety for John Veyre in 1420, William Kyng in December, 1421, Thomas Swayn† in 1426, and Nicholas Barbour† in 1427. In all these instances except the last, his fellow mainpernor was Walter Mustard*, who came forward to offer pledges for Wilton’s own appearance in the Commons in 1423.
Like Mustard, Wilton had acquired interests in the county as well as in Reading: in 1416, when he was appointed as a tax collector, he was living at Tilehurst, a few miles west of the town, and he was among the Berkshire gentry who, in 1434, were required to take an oath not to maintain breakers of the peace.3