GYES (GEYS, GUYES), William (c.1521-58), of the Strand Inn and the Middle Temple, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1521, s. of Hugh Gyes of Long Clawson, Leics. educ. Strand Inn. m. by 1547, Christian, da. of (?William) Gent, ?of Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, wid. of Richard Yeomans, 2s.1

Offices Held

Coroner, Mdx. 1547-Dec. 1554 or later.2


The son of a moderately prosperous Leicestershire yeoman who died in 1532, William Gyes went to London to study law. In 1545 he was still at Strand Inn, and he did not enter an inn of court until May 1553, when he was specially admitted to the Middle Temple. As he had been coroner of Middlesex since 1547 he probably sought admission to the Temple for social rather than professional advantage, and his choice of the Middle Temple may have owed something to Robert Catlyn, another Leicestershire man who was already a reader there and who was later to oversee Gyes’s will, or even to the young Thomas Gent, almost certainly his wife’s nephew.3

Between 1545 and 1548 Gyes bought a considerable amount of property, most of it former monastic or chantry land. In August 1548 he and John Beaumont paid £543 for lands in Leicester, which Beaumont retained, and two messuages in the parish of St. Clement Danes, which Beaumont quitclaimed to Gyes. In the same month Gyes and a Leicestershire gentleman paid £747 for property in several counties which they afterwards divided between them, Gyes’s share including the chantry of Harrow-on-the-Hill and a capital messuage in the Strand. Earlier in 1548 William Gyes sold an inn called the Goat, by Strand Cross, which he had bought in 1547, to the Protector Somerset.4

In the next decade Gyes was three times to be elected to Parliament for Westminster; he also signed the Westminster election indentures in 1555 and 1558 and was present at the election of the knights of the shire four times between 1553 and 1555, signing the indenture on the last occasion. All that is known of his part in the House is that he was not among those Members who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism, in Mary’s first Parliament and that he was apparently present for the call taken towards the end of her third. By his will of 7 Aug. 1558 all his lands in London and Middlesex were to go to his wife and after her death to be divided between his two sons, Michael and Erasmus. He named as overseers his brother-in-law William Gent and Serjeant Catlyn. He must have died shortly after making the will, which was proved on the following 10 Sept.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: S. M. Thorpe / Helen Miller


  • 1. Aged 37 ‘or thereabouts’ in 1558, Req.2/31/57. CPR, 1548-9, p. 146; PCC 44 Noodes; C142/139/133; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiv), 661.
  • 2. CPR, 1547-8, pp. 335; 1548-9, pp. 3, 369; 1549-51, pp. 62, 323; 1550-3, pp. 64, 169, 276; 1554-5, p. 241.
  • 3. Leicester archdeaconry ct. wills, 1515-26, ff. 214, 289; PRO T/S, ‘Cal. Deeds enrolled in CP, 1547-55’, p. 65.
  • 4. PRO T/S, ‘Cal. Deeds enrolled in! CP 1547-55’, pp. 7, 43, 46, 65; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 222, 299-301; Cal. Feet of Fines, London and Mdx. ed. Hardy and Page, ii. 68, 77.
  • 5. C142/139/133; 219/20/79, 21/98, 22/48, 24/103, 104, 25/71; PCC 44 Noodes.