ARMYN, William (1561-1622), of Osgodby, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b.1561, 1st s. of Bartholomew Armyn by his 1st w. Mary, da. of Henry Sutton of Burton by Lincoln, wid. of (1) George Carr of Aswarby, (2) Edward Langford. educ. G. Inn 1577. m. (1) 26 Apr. 1590, Martha (d.1602), da. of William Lord Eure by Margaret, da. of Sir Edward Dymoke, at least 1s., William; (2) Mar. 1607, Anne Prettyman (d.1619), wid. of Christopher Wise of London, ?s.p. suc. fa. 1598. Kntd. 23 Apr. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Lincs. (Kesteven) 1601, sheriff, Lincs. 1603.


Of a family long established at Osgodby, near Grantham, and belonging to the Lincolnshire faction opposed to the 2nd Earl of Lincoln, Armyn presumably owed his return in 1589 to Lord Burghley, who often used his influence at Grantham. The 3rd Earl of Rutland, another interested patron in 1586, had died before the 1588 election. Armyn was evidently on good terms with the Earl’s family: he received his knighthood during James I’s journey from Scotland to London, at Belvoir castle.

Armyn’s father had been concerned in the disputes over fen drainage between George Carleton and a group of Lincolnshire gentlemen, and Armyn himself was interested in some of the later schemes. He presumably also continued his father’s opposition to the Earl of Lincoln in the county. In August 1597, a year before Armyn’s father died, the Earl wrote to Burghley objecting to the growing influence of his ‘ancient enemies known, viz. Dymoke, Ayscough, Armyn and their allies’. Both Bartholomew and William Armyn supported their relative, Sir Edward Dymoke, in his famous Star Chamber case against the Earl. Armyn was, throughout his life, the patron of the puritan Hugh Tuke, presenting him to Lavington and Silk Willoughby, where Tuke was the rector from 1577, and appointing Tuke tutor to one of his sons. In his differences with the authorities, Tuke sought Armyn’s aid, as, for example, in 1612, when he begged Armyn to sign a letter to Bishop Barlow asking that proceedings against Tuke might be dropped.

Armyn died intestate on 22 Jan. 1622, and was buried at Lavington. Administration was granted to his son and heir Sir William, who had married a daughter of Michael Hickes.

C142/258/116; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. I) i. 40; PRO Index 4208, f. 196; Lansd. 84, f. 143; J. W. F. Hill, Tudor and Stuart Lincoln, 113-14; PCC admon. act bk. 1622.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.C.H.