SWADDON, William (-d.1607), of Calne, Wilts.
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Family and Education
Guild steward, Calne 1561-2, 1566-7, 1576-7, 1588-9, 1601-2.4
A clothier by trade, Swaddon was already a prominent Calne burgess by 1561, the first year in which he is known to have served as guild steward. He subsequently held this office four more times, and in that capacity presided over the borough’s 1588 and 1601 parliamentary elections. In 1568 he travelled to London to secure confirmation of Calne’s charter.5 Assessed for subsidy at £8 in 1587 and £12 in 1600, Swaddon was the town’s wealthiest resident at the turn of the century.6 He was also on good terms with the Duckett family, the borough’s principal patrons, and in 1591 witnessed the will of Stephen Duckett†.7
In 1604 Swaddon was elected to Parliament along with another clothier, John Noyes, probably in response to the king’s request for boroughs to return local men. He is not known to have spoken in the Commons. His solitary committee nomination, on 18 May, concerned a bill for the relief of parishes affected by plague, a problem relevant to Wiltshire at this date.8 Swaddon failed to resume his seat at the start of the 1605 session, and on 9 Nov. the House endorsed the opinion of the committee for privileges that he was ‘not able to serve, by reason of age, and not likely to recover’. Accordingly, a fresh election was ordered, and Sir Edmund Carey was returned in his stead two months later, Swaddon himself signing the borough’s formal minute of this event.9
Contrary to expectations, Swaddon remained active in borough affairs until at least July 1606, and finally died in March 1607.10 He had made his will on 16 Apr. 1602, ‘not doubting through the precious bloodshedding of my saviour Jesus Christ but to be numbered among the elect and chosen flock in the kingdom of heaven’. Swaddon bequeathed 20s. each to Calne church and the parish poor, and left silver spoons to the children of several friends and relatives. His three houses in Calne, together with money and small parcels of land, were distributed among his sons, his heir and executor Philip also receiving his cloth mark. John Noyes* was named as an overseer of the will, which was proved on 16 Apr. 1607.11 Two of Swaddon’s sons served as guild stewards of Calne, while a third son, also named William, became archdeacon of Worcester. However, no other members of this family sat in the Commons.12
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Henry Lancaster / Paul Hunneyball
- 1. Swaddon’s s. William was aged 19 in 1581: Al. Ox.
- 2. PROB 11/109, ff. 245v-6.
- 3. Wilts. RO, Calne par. reg., unfol.
- 4. Guild Stewards’ Bk. of Calne 1561-1688 ed. A. W. Mabbs (Wilts. Rec. Soc. vii), p. xxi.
- 5. PROB 11/109, f. 245v; Guild Stewards’ Bk. pp. xiv, 11-12. Calne’s borough records do not survive prior to 1561.
- 6. E179/259/20; 179/198/333.
- 7. PROB 11/77, f. 266; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 59-60.
- 8. CJ, i. 213b; VCH Wilts. v. 319.
- 9. CJ, i. 257a; Guild Stewards’ Bk. 99.
- 10. Guild Stewards’ Bk. 99.
- 11. PROB 11/109, ff. 245v-6.
- 12. Guild Stewards’ Bk. p. xxii; Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857, vii. comp. J.M. Horn, 113.