AUBREY (AVRE, AVERY), William I (by 1501-49), of Canford, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1501, s. and h. of William Aubrey of Dawley Court in the parish of Harlington, Mdx. m. (2) Alice, wid. of Thomas Lister (d. Jan./Apr. 1549) of Southampton; 1s. illegit.1

Offices Held

Yeoman of the crossbows by 1528-40; bailiff, manor of Canford, Dorset 1536-d.; commr. subsidy, Dorset 1545.2


As a young man William Aubrey was bailiff of six manors in the west country belonging to Sir William Compton, at a yearly fee of 40s. Compton granted one of these properties before his death in 1528 to Aubrey on a lease which had not expired when Aubrey made his will in 1549: the remaining years of the farm of Chaddenwicke in Wiltshire Aubrey then bequeathed to his base son Thomas Aubrey, together with the household stuff there and the stock of 500 sheep. In later life William Aubrey was connected with Secretary Wriothesley, with whom in 1540 he received a lease of Christchurch priory, Hampshire. Wriothesley may have favoured Aubrey’s election at Weymouth in 1542, but more probably Aubrey himself, as bailiff of the crown’s manor of Canford, was sufficiently well-placed to secure his own election. A few years before this Aubrey was said to have many friends in Dorset. The statement, made by a legal opponent, may have been common form, but the suit shows something of Aubrey’s powers: he had obtained the bailiwick of Canford for himself by procuring a royal commission to investigate the conduct of the previous bailiff, Robert Bingham, which resulted in Bingham’s dismissal.3

Aubrey was never a justice of the peace in Dorset although he was a subsidy commissioner in 1545, at which time his own wealth was assessed at £26 13s.4d. in lands. His name also appears among those appointed in December 1550 to collect the third payment of the relief in Dorset, but this must be a mistake since he died on 4 Sept. 1549, being succeeded in his manor of Dawley, Middlesex, by his brother, John Aubrey, then aged 42 or more. William Aubrey was not long married to his second wife, and he left no legitimate child; after stipulating a burial according to ‘ceremonies as may stand and be not repugnant unto the King’ and providing for his illegitimate son, he bequeathed £100 and plate estimated at another £100 to his brother’s four children, to be divided equally between them. The will, made on 12 Aug. 1549, was proved in November by John Aubrey, the widow being unwilling to act as executor. She married as her third husband a kinsman of Andrew Horde.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from younger brother’s age at his death, C142/89/96. Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 8; C1/929/29; PCC 28, 43 Populwell.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, v, xvi, xxi; E179/104/172.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, iv, xv; PCC 43 Populwell; C1/929/29; Thoroton Soc. Rec. Ser. xxiv. 37; HMC Middleton, 147.
  • 4. E179/104/172; CPR, 1553, p. 351; C142/89/96; PCC 28, 43 Populwell; Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 3.