BEECHER, William (d.1640), of Fotheringay, Northants.; later of Howbury, Renhold, Beds.

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

1st s. of Henry Beecher of London and Fotheringay by Judith, da. of John Ritche of London and Deptford, Kent. educ. Camb. (?Peterhouse) c.1592; I. Temple 1597. m. bef. 1601, Elizabeth, da. of Oliver, 3rd Baron St. John of Bletso, 8s. 5da. Kntd. 29 July 1619.

Offices Held


Beecher, whose grandfather was a London alderman, was returned for Huntingdon to the first Parliament after his marriage by his father-in-law, the lord lieutenant of the county, who probably intended this as a compliment. Beecher is not named in the journals of the Parliament, but as one of the burgesses for Huntingdon he was appointed to a committee for draining the fens, 28 Nov. 1601. He did not sit again, nor, as far as is known, did he attain the commission of the peace, though he spent the remainder of his life as a country gentleman. His eldest son matriculated at Cambridge in 1615. Beecher acquired Howbury in about 1624 and was buried at Renhold 22 Dec. 1640. He had made his will 1 Nov. 1640, and it was proved 2 Apr. following. He thought his ‘original and actual sin’ would cause his damnation were it not for the ‘meritorious and all satisfactory death and passion of Jesus Christ’. His ‘very loving wife’ Elizabeth was executrix.1

A namesake of Putney, Surrey,2 was returned for various boroughs in the Stuart period, and was clerk of the Privy Council from 1623 until his resignation in February 1641.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: John. P. Ferris / P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Bridges, Northants. ii. 458; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 81; VCH Beds. iii. 215; G. A. Blaydes, Gen. Bed. 237; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix), 15-16; London Inquisitions (Index Lib. xxvi), 150-3; (xxxvi), 197; PCC 41 Evelyn.
  • 2. Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 1059-60.