SKIPWITH, William II (c.1564-1610), of Cotes, Leics.

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.1564, 1st s. of Henry Skipwith by his w. Jane. educ. Jesus, Camb. c.1579/80. m. (1) Margaret (d.1594), da. of Roger Cave, of Stanford, Northants., 4s. 4da.; (2) Jane (d.1630), da. of John Roberts, wid. of John Markham of Sidebrook, s.p. suc. fa. 1588. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Leics. from c.1592, sheriff 1597-8, commr. musters 1608.


Skipwith was elected second knight of the shire in 1601 against opposition from Sir John Grey, with the support of the 4th Earl of Huntingdon, with whom he was on friendly terms, and with whose religious views he certainly sympathized, since Skipwith was one of those who in James I’s reign petitioned the Crown in favour of the puritan ministers of the shire. All the same, when the case of George Belgrave was argued in the House on 8 Dec. 1601, Skipwith supported Belgrave. There is no record of any other activity by Skipwith in the 1601 Parliament, though, as knight of the shire, he could have attended the main business committee, 3 Nov. and the committee on monopolies, 23 Nov.

Skipwith wrote verses described by Fuller as ‘neither so apparent that every rustic might understand them, nor so obscure that they needed an Oedipus to interpret them’. He died on 3 May 1610 and was buried in Prestwold church, where his widow erected a large monument to his memory on the south side of the altar.

C142/223/66, 317/121; Nichols, Leics. iii(1), 366, 368; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 296; D’Ewes, 624, 649; Fuller, Worthies, ii; PCC 42 Wood; Leicester Recs. iv. 3. 32, 60, 93, 137; APC. xxv. 216; xxxii. 160; HMC Rutland, i. 380; HMC Hatfield, xvii. 8; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xvii. 8.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.