BENCE, William (d.1606), of Aldeburgh, Suff.

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

s. of John Bence of Aldeburgh by Joan, da. of William Wignall. m.1575, Mary, née Blome, wid. of one Wright, 3s. 1da.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Aldeburgh 1575-6.


Bence was an Aldeburgh merchant whose family provided a number of Aldeburgh MPs and town officials. He owned property in the borough and at Rendham, Brampfield and elsewhere in Suffolk. In 1599 he bought the manor of Westleton. When, in 1601, his ship the Lion was commandeered for nearly two months to carry food to Ireland, his claim for over £73 compensation was considered reasonable by the officials concerned. Bence died 2 Sept. 1606, and was buried in Aldeburgh parish church, where there is a brass commemorating him. His will, drawn up on the day of his death and proved in November the same year, gives details of his lands and divided his goods between the widow and her co-executor, their eldest son Robert, the other sons John and Thomas and a daughter, Mary James. He left £30 to the poor of Aldeburgh.

M. Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 447; PCC 14 Daughtry, So Stafforde; E. Suff. RO, Aldeburgh chamberlains’ accts. 1569-93, f. 96; W. A. Copinger, Suff. Manors, vii. 297; APC, xxxi. 232.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.H.