FLEETWOOD, William III (d. aft.1610), of Ealing, Mdx. afterwards of Cranford, Mdx. and Cardington, 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

1st s. of Thomas Fleetwood of The Vache by his 1st w., and half-bro. of George and Henry Fleetwood. educ. prob. L. Inn sp. adm. 1570. m. c.1571, Jane, da. of William Clifton of Barrington, Som., wid. of Hugh Coplestone, at least 5s. 1da. suc. fa. 1570. Kntd. 1603.1

Offices Held

J.p. Mdx. from c.1580, Beds. from c.1601, commr. musters, receiver, ct. of wards 1594-1609.


At the time of his father’s death, Fleetwood, who was considerably older than his half-brothers, probably acquired properties belonging to his mother, as well as benefiting under a settlement of lands, the details of which are not known, made by his father in June 1564. According to the will, he was also devised certain manors in Lancashire (which, by 1571, appear to have come into the possession of his uncle John Fleetwood), and a 12-year annuity of 40 marks to facilitate his studies. Fleetwood may well have been helped on by his cousin, the recorder of London, who wrote to Burghley in 1577, mentioning that Fleetwood was living at Ealing parsonage, ‘once your lordship’s’. A marriage alliance with the Cliftons must also have done him good. The marriage of his half-brother George even gave him a distant relationship with the Russells. In 1594 the Countess of Warwick, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Bedford, asked Burghley to help Fleetwood in a small matter. Thus, by 1586 he was of sufficient status to be elected knight of the shire, but he is not known to have contributed to the work of the House either then or in 1589. His appointment as receiver of the court of wards was, according to Walter Hickman, a gentleman usher, ‘not of Lord Burghley’s choice, but of her Majesty’s nominating’, though how he came to the Queen’s attention is not clear. His accounts gradually fell into arrears, and he was suspended in 1609, being permitted, however, to hand his office over to his son Sir Miles. He died soon after 1610.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Fleetwood Fam. Recs. ed. Buss, 11; Genealogist, n.s. xxiv. 217-18, 236; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. iii. 227; D. Lysons, Mdx. Parishes, 20, 22. The pedigrees err in giving Thomas Fleetwood’s 2nd w. as this Member’s mother.
  • 2. PCC 10 Holney; Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 370; Wright, Elizabeth, ii. 69; HMC Hatfield, iv. 514, 531, 537; APC, xvi. 144, 202; xvii. 108; xxv. 22, 156, 437; xxvi. 386; Lansd. 66, f. 245; H. E. Bell, Ct. of Wards, 17, 25, 37; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 289.