BOTELER, William (c.1540-1602), of Biddenham, 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

b. c.1540, 1st s. of William Boteler of Biddenham by Anne, da. of Thomas Peacock. educ. ?Queens’, Camb. 1555; G. Inn 1559. m. (1) Dorothy, da. of Robert Sarger of Molesey, Surr., s.p.; (2) by 1585, Ursula (d.1621), da. of Thomas Smythe I of Westenhanger, Kent, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1555.

Offices Held

Escheator, Beds. and Bucks. 1576-8; j.p. Beds. from c.1584, sheriff 1587-8, 1599-1600.


An Edward Boteler sat for Bedfordshire in 1378, by which time the family had been settled at Biddenham for over half a century. Boteler’s father bought Newnham priory and Boteler himself bought further property in and around Bedford. There need be no doubt that it was the Biddenham country gentleman who sat for Bedford in 1586, but his identification as the Lyme Regis 1563 Member is no more than probable, being based upon the likelihood of his being nominated there by the 2nd Earl of Bedford. The name is spelled Butler on the Lyme Regis return, however, whereas the Biddenham family had more or less stabilised the spelling as Boteler. No record has been found of any parliamentary activity for either the 1563 or 1586 MP. The Biddenham man died 17 Feb. 1602 and was buried in the parish church, where a monument was erected to him and his second wife. The heir was his son Thomas, aged nearly 16. No will has been traced.

CPR, 1560-3, p. 121; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 6-7; VCH Beds. iii. 37, 39; C142/268/153; Beds. RO, DDTW 4/2/5; APC, xxii. 239, 270.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler