BYRNAND, William (d.1582), of Knaresborough and York.

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

2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Byrnand (d.c.1569) of Knaresborough. m. Grace, da. of Sir William Ingleby of Ripley, 1da.

Offices Held

Of counsel to York June 1568, freeman 1568, recorder 1573-d.


The Byrnands were a Catholic family of Knaresborough, the name surviving today in Byrnand’s Cross, on the site of their town house. Byrnand was one of two York councillors reprimanded in 1577 for slackness in prosecuting recusants, but he conformed enough to sit on the bench during the drive against recusants in 1580-1. His brothers-in-law were David Sampson and John Ingleby, whom the puritan 3rd Earl of Huntingdon regarded as the most dangerous Catholic laymen in the north. Byrnand’s daughter married a Sir Ralph Babthorpe and after his death became a nun at Louvain.

It is not clear why William Byrnand rather than his father or his elder brother Robert sat for Knaresborough in 1559, though it was obviously local family influence that gained him the seat. This brother married the daughter of Richard Norton, who was attainted for his part in the rising of 1569. Byrnand himself died at York in 1582.

Knaresborough Wills (Surtees Soc. civ), 81-2, 135, 177-82; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 172; C142/199/60; C218/21/60; Walker, Yorks. Peds. (Harl. Soc. xciv), 90; Wheater, Knaresborough and its Rulers, 222; Genealogist, n.s. xvi. 184; Glover, Vis. Yorks.103; J. C. H. Aveling, Catholic Recusancy in York (Cath. Rec. Soc.), 342.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: Irene Cassidy / Alan Davidson