Sir William BRERETON

(Lord Chief Justice of Ireland)

Born: 1473

Died: 4 Feb 1541

Father: Andrew BRERETON of Brereton (Sir)

Mother: Agnes LEIGH

Married 1: Alice SAVAGE ABT 1488, Clifton, Cheshire, England


1. William BRERETON (Sir)

2. John BRERETON (Sir)

Married 2: Eleanor BRERETON


3. Catherine BRERETON

4. Margaret BRERETON




8. Richard BRERETON of the Lea (Esq.)

William was knighted by 14 May 1515. A signed bill, dated 14 May 1515, recorded Sir William Brereton was to have the ward-ship and marriage of Edward, son and heir of Robert Foulshurst of Nantwich, with custody of his lands.

Between 1518 and 1529, John, son of Randolph Egerton, and grandson and heir of Hugh Egerton, sued William Brereton, knight, and Eleanor, his wife, late the wife of John Egerton, for detention of deeds relating to properties in Staffordshire and Cheshire: the manors of Wrinehill, Cheddleton, [Heselwall], Caldy, Smallwood, Newbold, and Astbury, the advowsons of Wistaston and Heswall, three wich-houses in Nantwich, and messuages, burgages, land, rent, and mills there and in Balterley, Betley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Butterton, Audley, Chesterton, Bignall, Sidway, Spurstow, Haughton, Audlem, Checkley, Wrineford, Calcot, Farndon, Pickmere, and Crewe by Malpas.

Between 1518 and 1529, a writ of Certiorari was issued in Cheshire; the plaintiffs were Richard Cardyff and Richard Lee; the defendant was Randle Brereton, knight, chamberlain of the county palatine of Chester; the subject was action brought in Cheshire by William Brereton, knight, husband of Eleanor, executrix and late the wife of John Egerton, and daughter of the said chamberlain, on a bond made by complainants with others to the said John at Wrinchill in Staffordshire.

He was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. On 24 Sep 1534, Sir William Brereton was in Chester awaiting ships to transport him to Ireland. Sir William was welcomed by the citizens of Dublin on 17 Oct. On 26 Mar 1535, he was in Ireland during the rebellion of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, commanding forces with Lord Deputy Sir William SkeffyngtonSir William led the storming party which captured Maynooth Castle. After Skeffington's death in 1535, Brereton returned to England where he was made deputy chamberlain of Chester.

An indenture made on 20 Jan 1538/9, detailed a settlement by Sir Peter Warburton and his wife Elizabeth to Sir William Brereton of lands in Malpas, Duckington, Barton, Tilston, Caldecott, Shocklach, and Cuddington, Cheshire, on the marriages of William Brereton, aged 18, grandson and heir apparent of Sir William Brereton, and Jane Warburton, aged 12, daughter of Sir Peter Warburton and his wife Elizabeth; and of John Warburton, aged 15, son and heir of Sir Peter Warburton and his wife Elizabeth, and Mary Brereton, aged 18, daughter of Sir William Brereton. Sir William's daughter, Mary was therefore the same age as his grandson and heir, William Brereton.

On 2 Oct 1539, Sir William sailed for Ireland with a broken leg and two hundred and fifty archers. In Ireland he was made marshal of the army in Ireland and a member of the Irish privy council. He participated in the fighting against Desmond in Munster, despite his broken leg.

Lord Deputy Leonard Grey wrote to King Henry VIII from Drogheda on 14 Mar 1540, urging his suit for a furlough, and this was not his first request. On 1 Apr, the King replied to Grey and Sir William Brereton, that he was temporarily recalling Grey and Brereton was to act as Lord Justice.

On 17 Mar 1540, Sir Robert Needham, Sir Alexander Radcliffe and Dame Eleanor Brereton wrote to Cromwell, asking him to write to the King's general surveyors and the treasurer of the Chamber to respite till after Easter the payment of 350l 7s 7źd due from Sir Wm. Brereton, deputy chamberlain of Chester, who was now serving the King in Ireland. His setting forward had been so chargeable to him that he cannot pay it now, and, further, the wind did not now serve to hear from him. On 8 May 1540, J Alen and Brabazon wrote to Essex that Sir William Brereton was elected and sworn Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. Lord Justice Brereton wrote to Essex on 17 May from Trim that there was "Peace with O'Neill. O'Conor burns Kildare, No security with Desmond". On 12 Jun, The Council in England wrote to William that Grey was committed to the Tower and his property was taken in charge. On 7 Jul 1540, Sir Anthony St. Leger was appointed lord deputy and on his arrived in Ireland on 12 Aug, Sir William was relieved of his post of lord justice. Sir William fought at Odrone in the autumn of 1540.

Sir William died at Kilkenny on 4 Feb 1540/1, and is believed to be buried in St Canice church there.

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