PELHAM, William (1567-1629), of Brocklesby, Lincs.

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. 10 Apr. 1567, 1st s. of Sir William Pelham (marshal of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands) of Brocklesby by Eleanor, da. of Henry, 5th Earl of Westmorland. educ. New Coll, Oxf. 1582; G. Inn 1588. m. by 1593, Katherine (or Anne), da. of Charles, 2nd Baron Willoughby of Parham, 8s. 1da. suc. fa. 1587. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) from 1584, (Holland, Kesteven) 1584-7; commr. musters, Lincs. 17 May 1601, sheriff 1602-3, dep. lt. 1624.1


Pelham’s father had died in debt to the Crown, and in 1590 Pelham had to surrender the lease of Killingholme rectory, worth £100 a year, in part payment, the Queen allowing him to lease it again at £50 p.a. As the debt was apparently over £9,000, there must presumably have been other payments, but the details are lacking. Many years later, referring to some of his obligations (probably including those inherited from his father) Pelham said it would doubtless be discovered that they had been paid ‘if the records could be found’, and described them as the prey of some ‘caterpillar of the community’. Still, he was of standing enough to be returned as knight of the shire, possibly helped by the influence of the 5th Earl of Rutland, to whom he sometimes sent gifts. The Mr. Pelham in the journals of the 1597 Parliament is probably Edmund, but as a knight of the shire in that year William Pelham could have attended the committees on enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), armour and weapons (8 Nov.), penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.), the subsidy (15 Nov.) and draining the fens (3 Dec.). He was required to contribute a light horse for service in Ireland. While serving as sheriff in 1603 he escorted James I from Newark to Belvoir, where he was knighted. He died in 1629, his will, dated 10 Dec. 1628, being proved on 13 July 1629. His son and successor William was a royalist commander, and a younger son, Henry, a supporter of Parliament.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. C142/217/120; DNB (Pelham, Sir William); Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lii), 765-6; APC, xxxi. 358; CSP Dom. 1623-5, p. 396.
  • 2. Collins, Peerage, viii. 387; C142/217/120; PRO Index 6800; HMC Rutland, i., iv. passim; APC. xxxii. 280; Nichols, Progresses Jas. I, i. 90-1; D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 561, 567; Maddison, Lincs. Wills, 167-8; CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 463; 1623-5, pp. 170, 214; 1625-6, p. 291; Cal. Lincoln Wills (Brit. Rec. Soc. Index Lib. lvii), iv. 141; HMC Bath, i. 12, 13, 16.