HALL, William (by 1519-58), of Bedford.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. by 1519. m. by 1540, Elizabeth, at least 1da.1
Mayor, Bedford 1547-8, 1554-5; j.p. 1556.2
William Hall claimed gentle birth but his parentage has not been established. By trade he seems to have been a butcher with a house, shop and stall in Butchers’ Row, Bedford, as well as a supplier of cattle and sheep for the London meat market. As he owned a little property near Ampthill he may have been the man of that name made keeper of Beckerings park there in 1546, and confirmed in the appointment with Sir Francis Bryan, the recorder of Bedford, a year later. Almost everything else discovered about Hall relates to his municipal career. His suing out of a general pardon at Mary’s accession probably throws no light on his part in the succession crisis earlier in the year, but it may have been meant to safeguard him from the charges of corruption over the demolition of the church of St. Peter Dunstable at Bedford which were the subject of an exchequer inquiry later in the reign. He had been recently chosen mayor for a second term when elected to Parliament. All that is known about his Membership is that he was not found to be absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555. By a will made on 27 Jan. 1558 and proved eight days later he left his soul to God, the Virgin Mary and all the holy company of heaven and asked to be buried in St. Paul’s church at Bedford, beside ‘the organs before the vestry door’. He provided for his wife, his married daughter Joan Edmonds living at Richmond in Surrey, kinsfolk, godchildren and a maidservant.3