WYNN, Ellis (bef.1559-1623), and St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London and Everdon, Northants.

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. bef. 1559, 3rd s. of Maurice Wynn of Gwydir by his 1st w. Jane (Siân), and bro. of John. educ. Westminster sch. m. Anne, da. of Alderman Gage, ?s.p.

Offices Held

Gent. harbinger by 1596; clerk of the petty bag in Chancery 1603.


Younger brother of the John Wynn who dominated the life of Caernarvonshire for more than 40 years, Ellis Wynn entered the household of Robert Cecil, who by 1596 had secured for him a lucrative court place as gentleman harbinger, with the duty of allocating lodgings to courtiers. This office, which he seems to have executed both arbitrarily and offensively, enabled him to watch over his brother’s interests in London, and much of their correspondence was concerned with John Wynn’s lawsuits. But tactlessness and arrogance characterized his actions here, too, as when he told Hatton, the lord chancellor, that he did not consider Lord Grey (which one is not clear) a competent judge of a petition presented on behalf of his brother John.

When the election writs for the 1597 Parliament went out Cecil and lord keeper Thomas Egerton wrote jointly—and ineffectively—to the electors of Caernarvonshire recommending Wynn as knight of the shire, but instead Wynn came in for Saltash, presumably on Cecil’s recommendation. He made another unsuccessful bid for Caernarvonshire in 1604, when his court connexions failed to supply him with another seat, and he appears to have made no further attempt to enter Parliament.

Wynn died 27 Sept. 1623 from an operation for the removal of gall stones. Two days previously he had made his will. He bequeathed his soul

to Christ with a sure hope, trust and confidence to be saved by the merits of His most bitter death and passion and innocent bloodshedding on the cross for me and all mankind; renouncing all merits and deserts of mine own as a most vile and unworthy sinner who without these manifold mercies of my Saviour deserve nothing but death and damnation.

To his wife he left a life interest in his house and household goods, bequeathing her the linen, jewels and money in her possession absolutely. His lands, including property in Staffordshire and Worcestershire, were to be held by the executors for the payment of debts and legacies. The bishop of Lincoln was to have £100, and tokens of friendship and remembrance were left to several people including the master of the rolls. The will concluded:

I do give Almighty God most humble thanks upon the knees of my heart for suffering me to live this present hour, for all His blessings and benefits bestowed upon me and for this gentle and fatherly correction wherewith He hath visited me. Not doubting whensoever His good pleasure shall be to call me hence to enjoy with Him life everlasting. And so I bid this wretched world adieu.

He was buried as he had wished in Westminster abbey.

DNB (Wynn, John); Cal. Wynn Pprs. 18, 24, 25, 36, 39, 41, 45, 49, 71, 76-7, 183; HMC Hatfield, vi. 455; Neale, Commons, 297-8; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 304; PCC 102 Swann.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy