BASSETT, William (by 1531-52 or later).

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 1531, poss. yr. s. of John Bassett of Great Chishall, Cambs. by Catherine, da. of William Andrews.2

Offices Held


William Bassett, who replaced Henry Dowes in the last session of the first Edwardian Parliament, has not been certainly identified. There were several gentle families called Bassett in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, but no connexion between these families and Essex has been traced. One of the knights returned for Derbyshire in 1547 had been Sir William Bassett, and it is possible that the Member for Maldon was his son William (d.21 Feb. 1562) who married a sister of Thomas and William Fitzherbert. There was, however, a William Bassett of Great Chishall, just over the north-west border of Essex in Cambridgeshire; he was a brother of Gregory Bassett (d.1528) whose daughter Dorothy became a ward of Thomas Bonham and subsequently married Bonham’s son Robert. The family seat was apparently the manor of Cardens or Bassett’s Hall, Great Chishall, but the name of North Weald Bassett, near Epping, points to land holdings in Essex of an earlier date, if not at this period. A William Bassett was, during Henry VIII’s reign, bailiff of the manor of Hinxton, Cambridgeshire which belonged to Colne priory, Essex. At the Dissolution the 15th Earl of Oxford obtained Hinxton, and in 1550, the last year in which reference to the bailiff has been found, he was thus in the service of the earl’s son and successor. During the last session of the Parliament the 16th Earl obtained an Act (5 and 6 Edw. VI, no. 35) overturning assurances made by him to the Duke of Somerset, and it is possible that, if the Member was his servant, the earl procured Bassett’s election to assist the passage of the bill. Bassett may have been a relative of Thomas Tey, another servant of the earl’s and a former Member for Maldon.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Presumed to be of age at election. Morant, Essex, ii. 156.
  • 3. Morant, i. 149-50, ii. 156, 606; Wm. Salt. Arch. Soc. iii(2), 45; Shaw, Staffs, ii. 13; C142/137/109; Essex RO, D/DPr./64, 140; M. A. R. Graves, ‘The Tudor House of Lords’ (Otago Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1974), 277-8.