WINDSOR, William (by 1499-1558), of Bradenham, Bucks.

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 1499, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Andrew Windsor, 1st Lord Windsor, and bro. of Thomas. educ. ?M. Temple m. (1) by 1527, Margaret, da. of William Sambourne of Fernham in Shrivenham, Berks., at least 5s. inc. Sir Thomas 1da.; (2) by Mar. 1554, Elizabeth, da. of Peter Cowdray of Herriard, Hants, wid. of Richard Paulet (d. by 1515), 1s. 1da. KB 30 May 1533; suc. fa. as 2nd Lord Windsor 30 Mar. 1543.1

Offices Held

Bencher, M. Temple by 1553.

Member, the Household 1520; j.p. Bucks. 1530-d., Mdx. 1544, commr. benevolence, Bucks. 1544/45, musters 1546, relief 1550, loan 1557; other commissions, Bucks. and London 1535-d.; feodary, duchy of Lancaster, Beds. and Bucks. 12 July 1535-45; sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 1537-8.2


William Windsor was probably educated at the Middle Temple, of which his father was a bencher. If so, his admission may have dated from about 1513, the year in which his younger brother Edmund was admitted: 40 years later he held a bencher’s chamber. By 1520, when the death of his elder brother George made him the heir, he was receiving half-yearly wages of £6 13s.4d. as one of the royal household, and in December of that year he was at Enfield with the King when instructed by his father to wait on Wolsey after conveying horses to Calais for Francis I. After serving on local commissions for some years, he was nominated for the sheriffdom of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1536 but was not chosen until the following year: he was by then domiciled at his father’s manor of Bradenham, whence he wrote to Cromwell arguing a point of procedure relating to the office.3

Windsor had undoubtedly owed his election for Chipping Wycombe in 1529 to the influence of his father, who was himself probably the royal nominee with another courtier, Sir John Russell, for the knighthood of the shire. Both Windsor and his fellow-Member Robert Dormer appear on a list, drawn up by Cromwell in the spring of 1533 and believed to be of Members opposed to the bill in restraint of appeals. Presumably he was re-elected in 1536 in compliance with the general directive for the return of the previous Members, and perhaps again three years later when the names of the Wycombe Members are lost.4

In June 1543 Windsor received livery of his inheritance on the death of his father: he also dealt with some accounts for the great wardrobe, presumably as the executor. He was present at the signing of the treaty with Charles V, and in 1544 he served with the rearguard of the army against France, having contributed £1,000 to the loan for the war. At the funeral of Henry VIII he carried the standard of the lion and he was to be a chief mourner at that of Edward VI.5

Windsor signed the device settling the crown on Jane Grey, but soon joined the magnates who proclaimed Queen Mary in Buckinghamshire. On 22 July 1553 he, Sir Edward Hastings and Sir Edmund Peckham were ordered to dismiss their troops and join Mary at Framlingham. Windsor died on 20 Aug. 1558 leaving to his eldest surviving son and heir Sir Edward Windsor, aged 26, a rich inheritance of lands in 14 counties. In his will of 10 Aug. he had asked to be buried according to his ‘degree and estate’ at Bradenham, where he had built a new manor house, or at Hounslow, Middlesex, beside his parents. His London house in Cripplegate called Windsor Place he left to his widow with remainder to his next male heir. He made provision for the education of his son William at Oxford or at one of the inns of court or of chancery, and for Philip and Elizabeth, his children by his second wife: Philip was to receive from Bradenham three christening cups including one given to him by his godfather King Philip. Among the executors and overseers of the will, which was proved on 10 Dec. 1558, were Windsor’s kinsmen by marriage William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester, Lord Chidiock Paulet and Sir George Paulet, as well as William Roper and (Sir) Thomas White II.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/68/28.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, iii-vi, viii, xi, xiv, xvii, xx, xxi; Somerville, Duchy, i. 592; APC, v. 50, 243; vi. 186; CPR, 1547-8, p. 81; 1550-3, p. 141; 1553, p. 351; 1553-4, pp. 17, 28; 1555-7, p. 281.
  • 3. M.T. Bench Bk. 50, 65-66; M.T. Adm. i. 8; M.T. Recs. i. 93; LP Hen. VIII, iii, xi, xiii; VCH Bucks. iii. 36.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, ix. 1077 citing SP1[/99, p. 234.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xix; Strype, Eccles. Memorials, ii(1), 123, 132; Lit. Rems. Edw. VI, pp. ccxl, 491-2; Burnet, Hist. Ref. ii. 168, 176, 250, 321, 324; LJ, i. 411; M. A. R. Graves, ‘The Tudor House of Lords 1547-58’ (Otago Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1974), ii. 366-8.
  • 6. Chron. Q. Jane and Q. Mary (Cam. Soc. xlviii), 8; APC, iv. 301; PCC 12 Welles; C142/115/57; Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xlii), 172.