William Pynson of Wolverhampton

William Pynson of Wolverhampton left a will with probate in 1670. He was an attorney and is connected to a number of the families discussed on this site. His will is particularly interesting as it names so many of his relatives.

He was married on 27 Dec 1627 in St Peter’s Kinver to Elizabeth Jurden, the eldest daughter of Humphrey Jurden of Dunsley. William must have been born about 1602 probably in Wolverhampton, where baptismal records do exist for all his siblings but not for him. The couple had three daughters.

The people he mentions in his will are closely associated with the Parliamentary cause in Staffordshire during the Civil War. His oldest daughter Jane married John Wilmot the eldest son of Robert Wilmot of Hartlebury. Robert Wilmot was the treasurer of the Committee at Stafford from 1642. On that same committee were Thomas Pudsey described as a cousin in his will and also a John Symcox. William had a brother-in-law called John Simcox, married to his wife’s sister Abigail Jurden on 26 Nov 1633, St Peter’s Kinver. The two are probably the same.

There is very little information to go on about the John Symcox, who served on the Committee at Stafford other then that he too came from West Bromwich. Humphrey Jurden already refers to his son-in-law John Simcox in his will of 1640. So despite the absences of any wills or baptismal records one has to presume that it is William’s brother-in-law, who was the one serving on the committee and indeed was the predecessor in the post of Treasurer to his daughter’s father-in-law, Robert Wilmot.  There remains the possibility, however, that there are other John Simcox’s related to the Francis Simcox of West Bromwich who was married to Eleanor Turton and died in 1633.

It is not altogether clear how Thomas Pudsey is a ‘cousin’ but William is generous in his use of the word ‘brother’ not just using for his brothers-in-law but also for the parents of his children-in-law such as Robert Wilmot. Thomas Pudsey’s daughter, Sarah went on to marry Francis Jurden, the son of his wife’s brother Edward Jurden, but this was not until 1681. Further research may show some connection between the respective mothers of Thomas Pudsey and William Pynson (ie Catherine Norman and Alice Garbett)

William’s second daughter Mary was married to John Bradley of the Wood in Sedgley. His daughter Rebecca was married first to William Normansell and then Thomas Warley of Warley Hall, Halesowen.

Williams grandson, Pynson Wilmot married Martha Jellians, daughter of Gilbert Jellians of Dudley and was hence the brother-in-law of Oliver Shaw. It is William’s great grandson another Pynson Wilmot who later became Vicar of Halesowen in the 1720’s.

In Dugdales’s Visitation there is a footnote discussing the detailed will of Edward Gravenor who died in 1654. His mother was Jane Jurden the sister of Humphrey Jurden. Here he lists many of the grandchildren of Humphrey as his cousins. This usefully confirms many of the names above.

Although William Pynson was a close relation and acquaintance of Robert Wilmot, John Simcox and Thomas Pudsey, he is not recorded as taking part in any of the activities of the Commonwealth government. Significantly though, his name does appear on the list of Trustees charged with the advowson of the Rectory of Wombourne. This is part of the bequest of Sir John Wollaston in his will of 1658. Sir John, a former Lord Mayor of London, had a network of family roots in Staffordshire and as a Parliamentarian clearly had a circle of good and trusted members of the local gentry and their heirs to ensure the continued appointment of  ‘a learned and painful preacher’ to the rectorship. The seven names in the list overlap with members of the Committee at Stafford, but all would have been good acquaintances of William Pynson. They were in addition to William Pynson himself:

  • Alexander Wightwick, an Oxford educated lawyer, and father of Margaret Wightwick (b 1615), who was married to Edward Jurden, William Pynson’s wife’s brother.
  • William Bendy (snr) married to a Barnesley and on the Committee at Stafford, brother-in-law to Thomas Pudsey
  • Henry Stone of Walsall another member of the Committee
  • John Birch of Cannock, another member of the Committee
  • Edward Jurden, William’s brother in law.
  • William Hayes an ironmonger of Wolverhampton, another brother-in-law, married to William Pynson’s sister Alice.

An account of William Pynson’s role in St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton and the Puritan drive to appoint Richard Lee as Vicar is recorded in the Wikipedia page.

Under the Restoration in Aug 1664, the Public Assizes at Stafford ‘disclaimed’ William Pynson of any right to bear Arms along with his brother-in-law Edward Jurden and son-in-law John Bradley. A flavour of William’s beliefs and sense of purpose is touchingly shown in the last sentences of his will where he personally addresses his three daughters.

And lastly by all the authority I have as a father and all the duty and love my three said daughters owe to me, I charge and most earnestly beseech them that they continue to always live in fear of Almighty God by their constant care and endeavour to keep a good conscience both before Almighty God and towards all men.

William Pynson was buried at St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton on 13 Sep 1670.


  • Will of William Pynson, Gent of Wolverhampton, Probate 9 Nov 1670, PCC
  • Jeff Wilmot and Peter King: Aspirations to Greatness: the Wilmots of Hartlebury, Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society, Ser 3, 2012.
  • D H Pennington (Ed): The Committee at Stafford 1643-1645, Manchester University Press, 1957
  • Visitation of Staffordshire 1663, Dugdale, Harleian Press
  • A List of persons who were disclaimed as gentlemen of coat-armour by the heralds at the visitations of the various counties of England, Heraldic Visitation, 1888
  • Will of Henry Pynson, Probate 11 Jun 1627, PCC (Father)
  • Will of Humphrey Jurden, Probate 31 May 1641, PCC (Father-in-law)
  • Will of Sir John Wollaston, Lord Mayor of London, Probate 14 May 1658, PCC
    • Sir John had Jurdens and Barnesleys amongst his immediate Staffordshire ancestors


Last updated on 27 February 2020 by JJ Morgan