BERKELEY, William (by 1522-51/52), of Hereford.

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 1522. m. Jane, da. of one Walshe, 3s. at least 2da.2

Offices Held

Mayor, Hereford 1543-4.3


Little has been discovered about William Berkeley, merchant, or his family. Statements that he was the son of a Richard Berkeley of Dursley, Gloucestershire, and that he married Elizabeth Bunghill or Burghill rest on a 17th-century pedigree with later (and sometimes erroneous) annotations. A chancery suit brought against Berkeley during Edward VI’s reign for withholding plate entrusted to him names his wife as Jane, as does the will in which he also mentions his three sons William, Henry and Thomas. The William Berkeley who appears on the pedigree, and who fathered Roland Berkeley, was perhaps the first of these sons.4

Berkeley’s Membership of Parliament was presumably an extension of his civic career but it was also to prove its swansong. He died during the third prorogation and was replaced for the final session by John Warnecombe. He had made his will on 23 Apr. 1551, asking to be buried in Hereford cathedral ‘nigh the chapel of St. George’ and leaving 20s. for the priests officiating at his burial. He bequeathed his own dwelling house in St. Owen’s parish, Hereford, to his eldest son, another house in the city to his second and the lease of some property outside its walls to his third. After remembering his brother Humphrey he divided the residue of his estate between his wife and children and appointed his wife and Thomas Nash as executors and his brother as overseer. The will was not proved in the prerogative court of Canterbury until 15 Oct. 1552, as initially some doubt was expressed whether the court could accept it for probate.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 26 Powell; Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 15.
  • 3. R. Johnson, Anc. Customs, Hereford, 233; Duncumb, Herefs. i. 366.
  • 4. C1/1199/32, 33; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xc), 11; Williams, Herefs. MPs, 84; PCC 26 Powell.
  • 5. PCC 26 Powell.