BROUNCKER WILLIAM, (c.1547-96), of Melksham, Erlestoke and Winterbourne, Wilts.

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.1547, 1st s. of Henry Brouncker of Melksham and Erlestoke by his 2nd w. Ursula, da. of [?John] Yate of Lyford, Berks.; bro. of Henry. educ. M. Temple 1566. m. 10 Jan. 1569, Martha, da. of Sir Walter Mildmay, 1s. 4da. suc. fa. 1568. Kntd. 1592.

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. by 1573, sheriff 1581-2; commr. Wilts. hospitals 1592.


Brouncker was a minor at his father’s death, possibly still at the Middle Temple, where he retained a chamber all his life, though no record has been found of his having been called to the bar. Within a year he succeeded to considerable estates near Chippenham and Devizes, and property in Westbury, where he shared the representation with his brother Henry in 1572. He also owned two Berkshire manors, Chaddleworth and Chelway, valued at about £235. He soon married and became a typical country gentleman, serving as justice of the peace and sheriff, and performing various ad hoc duties for the government. He subscribed £25 towards the Armada defence fund.

In Parliament he was an active committeeman from 18 Feb. 1581 when he was named as ‘Mr. William Brunckherde’ to a committee for the preservation of game. He served on the subsidy committees on 22 Feb. 1587, 11 Feb. 1589, 26 Feb. and 1 Mar. 1593. His other committees in 1593 were on rogues and vagabonds (12 Mar.), and cloth (15 Mar.). He is recorded as speaking three times in this Parliament: on the Fitzherbert privilege case (2 Mar.), on the subsidy (3 Mar.) and reporting the spinners and weavers bill (2 Apr.). Brouncker appointed his ‘friend and brother’ Anthony Mildmay as an overseer of his will, which was drawn up 22 Mar. 1596. He died five days afterwards. An inquisition post mortem was taken at Devizes later in the year.

C142/152/166; 251/80; Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 49; Wards 9/140, f. 113; PCC 15 Babington, 70 Drake; M. T. Recs. i. 155, 335, 336; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 319; Hoare, Wilts.Salisbury 314; T. C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 69; D’Ewes, 349, 409, 413, 474, 481, 485-6, 496, 499, 513; Som. Wills (ser. 6), p. 98.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.C.H.