NEWENHAM, William (by 1502-46), of Everdon, Northants. and Kirklington, Notts.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1502, 1st s. of Edmund Newenham of Everdon by Elizabeth, da. of William Harpur of Rushall, Staffs. m. (1) settlement 19 May 1520, Audrey, da. of George Catesby of Ashby St. Ledgers, Northants, prob. 3s. 3da.; (2) Benedicta, da. of Sir Godfrey Foljambe, wid, of Sir John Dunham (d.1535) of Kirklington, prob. 2 da. suc. fa. 28 May 1527. Kntd. 1 Nov. 1532.1

Offices Held

J.p. Northants. 1531-d.; sheriff, 1536-7, 1540-1, Lincs. 1538-9; commr. musters, Northants. 1546; other commissions 1535-d.2


William Newenham succeeded as a young man to a fair-sized estate in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. Although his first marriage had also brought him Warwickshire connexions, he appears to have had none with the town of Warwick itself and he may have owed his election there in 1529 to Sir George Throckmorton, senior knight for Warwickshire in the same Parliament: three years later Throckmorton was to recommend Newenham, amongst others, to Cromwell as a suitable replacement for Sir William Spencer of Althorp as sheriff of Northamptonshire. Newenham was also related through his mother to Throckmorton’s fellow-knight Sir Edward Ferrers. Nothing is known of his role in the House but that he enjoyed and no doubt earned the favour of the crown is shown by his knighting at Calais in 1532. (The list of Members as revised earlier in that year had erred in attaching ‘miles’ to his name.) He was probably returned again for Warwick in 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, and perhaps also in 1539 when the names of the Warwick Members are unknown.3

Throckmorton’s recommendations for the shrievalty of Northamptonshire were made against a background of strife within that shire, where Spencer’s widow was attempting to withhold from the crown the valuable wardship of her husband’s heir; a year later Sir William Parr of Horton, who was himself related to Throckmorton, expressed to Cromwell his hope that neither the Knightleys, Edmund and Richard, who were supporting their sister Lady Spencer, nor any of their party, amongst whom he counted Newenham, would obtain the office. The Knightleys were also related to Throckmorton and their seat at Fawsley was, as Leland observed, within a mile of that of Newenham at Everdon. Whatever part Newenham played in these local factions, he was not hopelessly compromised; he did not achieve the shrievalty until 1536, but in October 1534 William Penison wrote to remind Cromwell of his promise to make Newenham sheriff and two years later Richard Cromwell alias Williams* sent advice to his uncle through Newenham. Even Parr praised Newenham to the minister for his exertions in the aftermath of the Lincolnshire rising: he served with Parr on the commission which tried a number of the rebels at Lincoln and was a juror for the trial of northern men. In 1540 he attended the reception of Anne of Cleves and in November 1541 was a juror for the trial of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham. Having by 1542 twice enjoyed the shrievalty of his shire he was probably able to procure his own return as one of its knights that year, while as in 1529 profiting from the favour of Throckmorton and other friends and kin.4

Two years later Newenham served in the French campaign under the command of Sir John Russell, Baron Russell, and took the precaution beforehand, on 1 June 1544, of making his will. In it he styled himself of Kirklington, a Nottinghamshire manor which formed part of his second wife’s dower. This marriage, while considerably extending his sphere of influence, had involved him in a number of lawsuits. Several arose out of the execution of Sir John Dunham’s will and one, a chancery suit by his brother Edmund, over the execution of their father’s will, but he and his wife were also engaged in disputes with her son-in-law John Hasilwood over property rights in Ringesdon, Lincolnshire, and with Edith Marmion over Rippingale in the same county. In the course of the dispute with Edith Marmion the pair used the curious argument that they were strangers in a county of which shortly afterwards Newenham was to be sheriff.5

Newenham returned safely from France and in 1546 was instructed to attend the reception of the Admiral of France, but died on 8 June of that year. The estate which he left to his heir was not greatly enhanced by his own purchases, although he had acquired two granges in Nottinghamshire from the crown. It was worth, at his own valuation, £150 and more a year, and in the will which he had made two years previously he left it, after provision for his younger children and his wife’s life interest, to his eldest son Thomas.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s death, Baker, Northants. i. 293. Bridges, Northants. i. 36; Cat. Anct. Deeds, v. 453; Thoroton, Notts. iii. 97; Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 160; PCC 16 Populwell, ptd. in N. Country Wills, ii (Surtees Soc. cxvi), 195; C1/861/25-28; 142/75/38, 78.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, v, viii, xii, xiii, xvi, xx, xxi.
  • 3. Ibid. v; Chron. Calais (Cam. Soc. xxxv), 123; he is correctly styled in a list of the King’s retinue for Calais in Oct. 1532, HMC Bath, iv. 2.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, v-vii, xi, xii, xiv-xvi; Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, i. 10.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xix; PCC 16 Populwell; Leland, iv. 18; C1/753/33-37, 861/25-28, 862/16-21, 907/5-8, 921/44-47; Northants. RO, Finch-Hatton ms 605.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, xvii, xxi; C142/75/38, 78.