REDE, William I (c.1500-58), of Mitton, Worcs. and Tewkesbury, Glos.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. .1500, 2nd s. of William Rede (d.10 Aug. 1508) of Boddington, Glos. by Margaret, da. of Richard Beauchamp, 2nd Baron Beauchamp of Powick. m. by 1530, Catherine, da. of Richard Rowdon of Gloucester, Glos. by Cecily Arnold, 2s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Servant of the Brydges family c.1540; escheator, Glos. 1553-4; j.p. 1554.2


William Rede was connected by descent with a number of the principal families in the Welsh marches and the west midlands, and his own marriage allied him further with those in his native county of Gloucestershire. His father, a servant of the 2nd Baron Beauchamp of Powick, had married one of his master’s younger daughters and thereby gained a small estate in north Gloucestershire and adjoining areas.

It is not certain to which kinsman Rede owed his election to the Parliament of 1529, to his stepfather Thomas, de jure 5th Lord Berkeley, who was to mention both Rede and his wife in his will, or to Sir John Brydges, one of Berkeley’s associates whose service Rede may already have entered. If Rede was, or was related to, the man who in 1548 held the lease of some property in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, four miles from Cricklade, this may have determined his constituency. Presumably he was re-elected in 1536 in compliance with the general directive for the return of the previous Members. It was doubtless Brydges who secured Rede’s return in 1554 as junior knight of the shire to Mary’s third Parliament: he was then styled ‘senior’ on the indenture to distinguish him from his nephew, William Rede, ‘junior’, of Boddington. He was to be informed against in the King’s bench, along with another nephew, John Rede II, for quitting this Parliament prematurely without leave, but as no further process was taken against him he may have cleared himself. In 1556 he was named an executor of Brydges’s will. He, or his nephew and namesake, is probably to be identified with the gentleman pensioner, as several others appointed at the setting up of the company of pensioners were kinsmen or clients of Brydges, and either of the pair may have been the esquire in the household of Anne of Cleves.3

As a younger son Rede did not inherit much property but he appears to have acquired a substantial estate. It was probably he who in July 1544 purchased crown lands valued at £212; in the following September he was granted lands formerly belonging to Tewkesbury abbey, including the abbot’s own house called the Vineyard; and in 1552, with his nephew John, he purchased part of another manor that had belonged to the abbey for £387. On acquiring the ‘Vineyard’ he moved to Tewkesbury from Mitton, where until then he had lived.4

It is not known whether Rede received a grounding in the law, but several of his relatives and friends, including (Sir) David Broke and Thomas Williams II, and his nephew John Rede, were lawyers. He appeared as a litigant in the court of requests and the Star Chamber, and in Edward VI’s reign he was to be accused of abetting his ‘cousin’ (Sir) Edmund Brydges in contempt of the council in the marches.5

Rede made his will on 20 Aug. 1557, asking to be buried in the chancel of Bredon church, near his wife and eldest son. After providing for his daughters and several nieces, he left the ‘Vineyard’ to his nephew John and the bulk of his possessions to his surviving son Giles, whom he made an executor with his nephew and namesake and his ‘good friend’ Arthur Porter. Rede died on 3 Nov. 1558, and in June the following year the wardship and marriage of Giles Rede, then aged 18, was granted to (Sir) Thomas Russell.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Elizabeth McIntyre


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from elder brother’s, E150/344/1. CPR, 1558-60, p. 33; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xiv. 230; J. Smyth, Berkeleys, ii. 180; Duncumb, Herefs. ii. 71; PCC 3 Hogen, 59 Chaynay; C142/118/55.
  • 2. The Gen. n.s. xxx. 101; CPR, 1554-5, p. 19; St.Ch.3/5/21.
  • 3. Cricklade, ed. Thomson, 138; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xiv. 113; xliii. 26; lxxxiv. 137; The Gen. n.s. xxx. 101; Smyth, ii. 229-30; CP, ii. 47, 136-7; xii(2), 686-8; PCC 3 Hogen, 16 Wrastley; CPR, 1547-8 p. 402; KB 27/1176 rex roll r. 16, 29/188; LC2/2, f. 67.
  • 4. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xiv. 230; xlvi. 327; VCH Worcs. iii. 287, 506-7; LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xvi, xix; CPR, 1547-8, p. 402; 1553, p. 152.
  • 5. St.Ch.3/5/21; PCC 59 Chaynay; Req.2/249/25.
  • 6. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. lv. 26; PCC 59 Chaynay; C142/118/55; CPR, 1558-60, p. 33; Req.2/249/25.