SKIPWITH, William I (d.c.1595), of St. Peter's Street, St. Albans, Herts.

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

1st s. of Thomas Skipwith of St. Albans by Joan, da. of Ralph Rowlet, sis. and coh. of Sir Ralph Rowlet. m. Frances, da. of William Nicholson of Mdx., 2s. 7da. suc. fa. 1558.

Offices Held


There is no record of any activity by Skipwith during his one appearance in the Commons. As well as his father’s property in St. Albans, he inherited from his uncle, Sir Ralph Rowlet, in July 1571, the manor of Radwell and land in Newnham and elsewhere in the county, but by 1580 he had sold much of this and several complicated Chancery cases arose between him and his brothers. In 1562 Skipwith released to his sister Alice and her husband, Robert Austin, all his rights in the manor of Somertons, Oxfordshire. Maybe he did some moneylending on the side. About 1566, one Ralph Johnson of Gray’s Inn brought a Chancery suit against him for extortion. He had lent Johnson £100 on the security of lands in Kent, and, according to the bill of complaint, demanded that the plaintiff should buy for 20 marks a jewel ‘not worth 26s.8d.’, insisted on a recognizance of £300, found flaws in the mortgage and brought an action for the amount of the bond, though Johnson was ready to repay the original £100. The only other document surviving in the case is Skipwith’s demurrer, objecting to the bill on technical grounds. Skipwith died before 27 June 1595, when letters of administration were granted to his son Stephen.

Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 20-1; J. E. Cussans, Inventory of Parish Churches of Herts. 25-6; Trans. St. Albans Archit. and Arch. Soc. 1893-4, p. 13; 1898, p. 135; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 13; Newcome, St. Albans, 481; VCH Herts. ii. 272; iii. 246; PCC 13 Welles, 33 Holney, 30 Martyn; C3/103/70, 160/3-9; 250/21; Requests 2/89/47; CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, pp. 547-8; PCC admon. act bk. 1592-8, f. 137.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge