HORWOOD (HARWOOD), William (by 1504-57 or later), of Huntingdon, Hunts.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1504, prob. s. of William or Richard Horwood of Huntingdon. m. at least 1s.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Huntingdon 1531-2, 1553-4, chamberlain 1540-1, churchwarden, St. Benedict’s in 1552.3


William Horwood may have been a descendant of John Horwood, coroner of Huntingdon between 1488 and 1497, and he was probably a son or grandson of the William Horwood who in 1501 paid 8d. rent to Ramsey abbey for six butts of land in the town: by 1510 these had passed to Richard Horwood and he was still holding them in 1535. It was doubtless Horwood himself who in 1525 was party to fines relating to three tenements in St. Benedict’s parish, Huntingdon, of which he was later a churchwarden: he was to acquire large properties in Stukeley and elsewhere on the edge of the town in 1529 and 1552.4

A draper whose interests extended to sheep-farming, Horwood had already served as bailiff and chamberlain when on 17 Aug. 1544 he was again elected one of the bailiffs as ‘a man of good honesty, wisdom and substance’, and proven ability to discharge the office. Some weeks later, at a court feet held a few days before Michaelmas, a group which included another draper and several brewers, all of whom had previously agreed to Horwood’s election, replaced him by William Whitehead, an innkeeper. In the following year the matter came before the court of the duchy of Lancaster, which owned the borough, but the case reveals neither why Horwood had been superseded nor whether that action was upheld. He was to serve at least one further term as bailiff.5

Horwood’s election, with Philip Clampe, to Mary’s third Parliament was clearly the result of the letter sent to the sheriff directing him to ensure that the borough returned resident Members. With patronage more or less controlled by local magnates, Huntingdon had been represented by strangers in at least the four previous Parliaments. To a government which believed that resident Members would be more disposed to follow its lead in the House the change must have proved satisfactory, for neither Horwood nor Clampe quitted the Parliament without leave before its dissolution. For both, however, it was to be their only appearance in the Commons.

Horwood disappears from view soon afterwards, the last reference found to him being his appointment as executor of the will of Richard Stayde of Huntingdon on 13 Mar. 1557. Perhaps a victim of the epidemic of that time, he appears to have died intestate.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Hunts. RO, DDM 43a/3.
  • 3. E. Griffith, Huntingdon Recs. 92-94; Hunts. RO, Huntingdon box 1; Edwardian Inventories, Hunts. (Alcuin Club Colls. vii), 26.
  • 4. Add. Ch. 33590; Add. rolls 34587, 34592, 4606; Cal. Feet of Fines, Hunts. ed. Turner, 113, 122-3, 140; Edwardian Inventories, 26; CPR, 1553-4, p. 124.
  • 5. DL1/16/H3; Griffith, 96.
  • 6. PCC 13 Wrastley.