SKEFFINGTON, William (by 1521-71), of Skeffington, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1521, 1st s. of Thomas Skeffington of Skeffington by Margaret, da. and h. of Edmund Stanhope of West Markham, Notts. m. by 1547, Mary, da. of Thomas Cave of Stanford, Northants. 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1543.1

Offices Held

J.p. Leics. 1547-d.; commr. relief 1550; other commissions 1555-d.; sheriff, 1560-1.2


William Skeffington was a grandson of Sir William Skeffington. His father had married an heiress who predeceased him, and had also purchased from the 1st Earl of Rutland seven messuages in Skeffington, so that William Skeffington succeeded to a much augmented estate. He continued the consolidation of the family property, buying small pieces of land in Billesdon and Skeffington, and selling messuages in Foxton and Great Bowden. He also settled the long dispute in which his uncle and his father had engaged over property left to the uncle in Sir William Skeffington’s will.3

Active in local administration, Skeffington was frequently called upon to act as trustee or supervisor for friends and relatives, and in 1551 he was granted the wardship of William Belgrave, one of his Leicestershire neighbours. His single appearance in the Commons, as junior knight of the shire, answered to his position as a man of medium estate. His ties of kinship with the Cave and Stanhope families were apparently not strong enough to procure his re-election in 1558 or under Elizabeth.4

Skeffington died on 22 Sept. 1571 leaving an estate sufficient to give his daughters handsome dowries and to provide for his younger son and his brother Francis, without encroaching on the main body of the property at Skeffington, which descended to his son Thomas. He also left various legacies to kin and servants, amounting in all to nearly £200. He was buried at Skeffington beside his wife.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m. E150/1145/9. Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xvi. 100-1; Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 10.
  • 2. CPR, 1547-8, p. 85; 1553, p. 356; 1553-4, p. 21; 1554-5, p. 106; 1558-60, p. 60; 1560-3, p. 439.
  • 3. C142/161/97; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xvi. 124.
  • 4. CPR, 1550-3, p. 54; Quorndon Recs. ed. Farnham, 259.
  • 5. C142/161/97; PCC 15 Daper; CPR, 1569-72, p. 377.