PRATT, William.

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

Offices Held


It has not proved possible to identify this Member, whose election for Southwark, in the absence of an original return, rests upon the authority of a Crown Office list. The Southwark MP was presumably the Mr. Prat who was put in charge of a bill about taverns, 19 Feb. 1589, which points to his being a local man, as were most of the Southwark Members in this period. There was a family of leathersellers, Charles, Christopher and Ralph Pratt, but their wills disclose no relation named William, and no pedigrees of the family are known.1

A number of isolated references to men called William Pratt occur elsewhere in the records, and the possibility that one or more of them allude to the Member cannot be ruled out. In 1586, for example, a William Pratt, presumably a family servant, organized the solemn progress which brought the body of Sir Henry Sidney from Worcester to Penshurst. In 1589 Walsingham wrote to the deputy lieutenants of Surrey claiming exemption from military service in that county for William Pratt, his auditor. In 1599 someone of this name married Joan Hardinge in London, and the following year a William Pratt was released on bail from the Gatehouse prison. A final possibility is the son of a Londoner, a servant of Sir Gilbert Gerard, but he may have been too young to have been returned in 1589.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. D’Ewes, 435; PCC 19 Martyn, 32 Leicester, 39 Fenner; VCH Surr. ii. 329 seq.; Surr. Musters, pt. ii (Surr. Rec. Soc. x), p. 203.
  • 2. Lansd. 50, ff. 191 seq.; HMC 7th Rep. 646a; Lond. Mar. Lic. (Brit. Rec. Soc. Index Lib.), i. 1597-1648, p. 4; APC, xxx. 501; PCC 49 Spencer.