BRERETON, William (c.1569-1630), of Ashley, Cheshire

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1569, 1st s. of George Brereton of Ashley and Sybil, da. of William Arderne of Timperley, Cheshire. educ. Univ. Oxf. 1584, aged 15.1 m. 1589, Jane (bur. 5 Mar. 1627), da. of Peter Warburton of Arley, Cheshire, 4s. 4da.2 suc. fa. 1587. d. 29 Aug. 1630.3 sig. William Brereton.

Offices Held

J.p. Cheshire by 1601,4 sheriff 1608-9,5 commr. subsidy, 1621-2, 1624.6


The Breretons of Ashley were descended from Richard, the younger son of Sir William Brereton of Brereton Hall and lord chief marshal of Ireland to Henry VIII. Richard established a cadet branch of the sprawling Brereton family by marrying the heiress of George Ashley of Ashley.7 Brereton himself served as sheriff of Cheshire in 1608-9, and was unanimously elected junior knight of the shire in 1624 after being recommended to the assembled voters by Sir Richard Grosvenor*.8

Brereton made no recorded speeches in the Commons, and most of his committee appointments concerned private measures for individuals: Wolferstone (14 Apr.), Fisher (19 Apr.), Goathland manor (20 Apr.), Scudamore (21 Apr.), Somervyle (26 Apr.), Poyntz (30 Apr.), Morgan (1 May) and Darcy (7 May).9 No direct connection has been found between Brereton and any of these bills. Brereton was also appointed to public measures concerning supersedeas (9 Mar.) and the sealing of original writs (30 Apr.), as well as to the bill to incorporate the London Apothecaries (22 April).10 In addition, he was named to joint conferences to investigate abuses in the Exchequer (30 Apr.) and to prepare charges against the bishop of Norwich, Samuel Harsnett (15 May).11

When Brereton died in 1630, apparently intestate, his entire estate was located in Cheshire and included the manors of Ashley, Ley and Wimbosley, 1,300 acres of pasture, meadow and heath and 44 messuages spread around the county.12 A monument to Brereton and his wife survives in Bowden church.13 No member of his immediate family subsequently sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. Al. Ox.
  • 2. Vis. Cheshire ed. G.J. Armytage (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lviii), 36.
  • 3. Cheshire and Lancs. Fun. Certs. ed. J.P. Rylands (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. vi), 36-8; G. Ormerod, Hist. Cheshire, i. 556.
  • 4. C66/1549.
  • 5. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 18.
  • 6. C212/22/20, 21, 23.
  • 7. F. Dwarris, ‘Mem. of Brereton Fam.’ (Cheshire Archives, transcript), 18; Vis. Cheshire ed. J.P. Rylands (Harl. Soc. xviii), 45.
  • 8. Pprs. of Sir Richard Grosvenor ed. R. Cust (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. cxxxiv), 1-7; R. Cust and P. Lake, ‘Sir Richard Grosvenor’, BIHR, liv. 40-53.
  • 9. CJ, i. 766a, 770a, 771b, 772a, 775a, 694v, 696a, 785b.
  • 10. Ibid. 680b, 772a, 695a.
  • 11. Ibid. 695a, 705a.
  • 12. Cheshire Inquisitions (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxiv), 74-5.
  • 13. Dwarris, 18.