WILLIAMS, Reginald (d.1612), and Plas y Court, Willaston (now Wollaston), Salop.

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 Williams of Willaston by Blanche, da. of Robert Powell. educ. I. Temple 1561, called 1571. m. (1) Margaret, da. of Gerard Gore of Yorks. and London, 7s. 2da.; (2) Bridget, da. of James Price of Mynachdy, wid. of Walter Baskerville, s.p.; (3) Jane, da. of Humphrey Coningsby I of Hampton Court, Herefs., wid. of William Broughton of Lawford, Warws., s.p.

Offices Held

Escheator, Salop Feb. 1573-Jan. 1574; jt. prothonotary Flints. and Denb. 1579; j.p. Mont. by 1585, sheriff 1593-4; j.p. Salop 1596.


Williams had no known connexion with the duchy of Lancaster or with its chancellor Sir Ralph Sadler, and his return for Preston was probably obtained through the patronage of the 3rd Earl of Derby, who was intervening there at that time. Similarly Williams’s employment in Flintshire may have been gained through the patronage of the 4th Earl of Derby. We are on surer ground when we come to the 1593 Montgomeryshire return. Both Williams’s father and grandfather had been sheriffs of the county, and his seat at Willaston was on the Shropshire border. As a knight of the shire in 1593 he could have attended committees on the subsidy (26 Feb.) and a legal matter (9 Mar.). Williams retained a chamber at the Inner Temple until at least 1599. Some light on his professional integrity is provided by an incident concerning a relative by marriage, Edward Hussey, who trusted him as his ‘kinsman and especial friend’. Hussey’s manor of Nethergorth, Shropshire, was at a distance from his other property, so Williams, who lived nearer, agreed to become Hussey’s ‘tenant’, in order that his ‘skill and experience in the law’ could protect the landlord’s rights. Instead, if Hussey is to be believed, Williams drew up the lease in such a form that he became virtual owner. When sued in Chancery for rent arrears, Williams had the case transferred to the common law courts, where he could exert more influence. He died intestate 5 Jan. 1612.

Wards 7/45/1661; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 507; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 330; Mont. Colls. iii. 378; v. 438-9; D’Ewes, 474, 496; APC, xi. 194; xxiii. 261; C2/225/91; PCC admon. act bk. 1611-14, f. 51.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge