CARDINALL, William II (c.1535-c.98), of Great Bromley, Essex and Egmanton, Notts.

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. c.1535, 1st s. of William Cardinall I by his 1st w. Joan, da. of John Gurdon. educ. St. John’s, Camb.; G. Inn 1553, called 1555. m. (1) Mary, da. of Henry or William Wentworth of Mountnessing, Essex, 1da; (2) Julian, wid. of one Mason, s.p. suc. fa. August 1568.1

Offices Held

Reader, G. Inn 1574, 1586, treasurer 1578; j.p. Essex from c.1574, Notts. from c.1583; recorder, Colchester 1577-8, Newark 1594-8; member, council in the north from 1582.2


Cardinall was a puritan lawyer, who moved from Essex to Nottinghamshire after being appointed a legal member of the council in the north. Great Bromley and the neighbouring Dedham, where he was born, were centres of the puritan ‘classical’ movement in the 1580s and he was the ‘dearly beloved friend’, and perhaps the brother-in-law of the head of the Dedham ‘classis’, Dr. Edmund Chapman, to whom Cardinall left some property at Great Bromley while Chapman should remain pastor at Dedham, after which it was to support two poor scholars at St. John’s, Cambridge. Cardinall presumably owed his return for Dartmouth in 1572 to the 2nd Earl of Bedford, and is recorded as sitting on committees during this Parliament concerning the continuation of statutes (25 June 1572), the preservation of woods (28 Jan. 1581) and the repair of Dover harbour (4 Mar. 1581). He was presumably also the ‘Mr. Gardiner’ who served on the committee appointed to draw up a petition about ports (13 Feb. 1576). Cardinall’s tenure of office as recorder of Colchester must have come to an end when Sir Francis Walsingham was appointed, but as Walsingham’s post was largely honorary, Cardinall may have continued to exercise the duties of recorder at least until his removal north.3

His will, made 16 Jan. 1596, has a long and pious preamble. Apart from the bequest to Chapman already mentioned, Cardinall left most of his household goods to his wife for life, with reversion to his daughter and heir Anne, wife of Sir Clement Heigham. To his brother Charles he left a number of farms and rents. Most of his lands had already been settled and do not appear in the will, of which he made his wife executrix and his ‘dear and special good friends’, Mr. Justice Clinche, Doctor John Bennet and Cuthbert Pepper, overseers. The will was proved 18 Nov. 1598.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Morant, Essex, i. 442-3; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), i. 33, 172; PCC 97 Lewyn; Wards 7/11/112.
  • 2. CSP Dom. Add. 1580-1625, p. 81; C. Brown, Hist. Newark, ii. 259; Colchester recs. ass. bk. 1576-99, Thursday courts 21 Jan. 1577.
  • 3. HMC Hatfield, v. 395, 506, 508; PCC 97 Lewyn; Presbyterian Movement in Reign of Q. Eliz. ed. Usher (Cam. Soc. ser. 3), viii. p. xxxvii; CJ, i. 102, 105, 120, 131; Collinson thesis, i. 351.
  • 4. PCC 97 Lewyn.