BOWYER, William I (d.1602), of Knypersley, Staffs.

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 John Bowyer of Knypersley by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of John Bucknall of Sidway. m. Anne, da. and coh. of William Heywood of Stonylowe, 6s. inc. John 5da.1

Offices Held


The Bowyers had held Knypersley since the reign of Edward III. By the middle of the sixteenth century they were in the first rank of the county gentry. Bowyer himself bought land throughout his life: for example, in 1587 he paid £95 for 268 acres in Biddulph and in 1602 he bought the manor of Podmore for £200. He also had interests in local coal and ironstone workings upon which the fortunes of the family were to be founded in future generations. For some unascertained reason (it was not because of his religious views), he held no local office and appears only once in an official capacity, when he was appointed a commissioner to take an inquisition post mortem on the death of William Bassett in 1563. Though later in the reign the Bowyers were influential at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Bowyer himself came in for Stafford, probably owing his seat to Sir Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford.2

Bowyer made his will in 1598, and died in December 1602. He left money for the repair of Seighford church and bequeathed a copy of the Paraphrases of Erasmus to be kept in the church, as the canons enjoined. One of the overseers of his will was William Overton, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. Bowyer left all his lands to his eldest son John, and sums ranging from £10 to £200 to his five younger sons. The three eldest sons and a son-in-law were appointed executors.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii(2), pp. 53-5; v(2), pp. 47-51.
  • 2. Erdeswick’s Surv. Staffs. 10-12; VCH Staffs. viii. 103; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xv. 174; xvi. 127, 170, 212; William Chetwynd, Hist. Pirehill Hundred (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. n.s. xii), 45-6, 242; CPR, 1563-6, p. 198; Hatfield ms 278.
  • 3. VCH Staffs. viii. 42; PCC 10 Stonard, 4 Dixy; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), ii. 21n, 72-4; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xvi. 121; PCC 39 Bolein.