William BRERETON of Leighlin

(1st B. Brereton)

Born: 6 Feb 1550, Brereton, Cheshire, England

Died: 1 Oct 1631, Brereton, Cheshire, England

Father: William BRERETON (Sir)

Mother: Jane WARBURTON

Married: Margaret SAVAGE 24 Jan 1561/62 England


1. Mary BRERETON (C. Thomond)

2. John BRERETON (Sir)

3. Elizabeth BRERETON (b. Nov 1581 - d. Mar 1587)

4. Eleanor BRERETON

5. Margaret BRERETON

6. William BRERETON (Sir)

7. Robert BRERETON


The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Sir William Brereton, educ. ?Oxf. BA 1568; L. Inn 1569. Suc. family 1559. Kntd. 1588; cr. Baron Brereton 1624. J.p.q. Cheshire from 1573, sheriff 1581-2; commr. musters 1595, 1596. Brereton succeeded to the extensive family estates at an early age. He married Margaret, dau. of Sir John Savage of Rocksavage, and Elizabeth Manners. In 1586 he built a magnificent house at Brereton similar in design to that of his father-in-law and possibly the work of the same architect. He had apparently been known to the Earl of Leicester, chamberlain of Chester, for some years before accompanying him on the Netherlands expedition. Most references to Brereton show him as a Cheshire county gentleman: being consulted by the Privy Council in the 1590s about arrangements for the transport of troops to and from Ireland, serving as a commissioner for musters, and considered meet for fidelity and soundness in religion to be employed in various measures taken against recusants.

Brereton's family status was doubtless sufficient to secure him a parliamentary seat as knight of the shire. Although he was not named to any committees in 1597-8, as knight for Cheshire he may have attended the following: enclosures (5 Nov), poor law (5 Nov, 22 Nov), armour and weapons (8 Nov), penal laws (8 Nov), monopolies (10 Nov) and the subsidy (15 Nov). He had entailed his lands in 1575, but revoked the settlement in 1599 after the death of his wife and all his children except one son and one daughter. Under the new arrangement, he entailed two-thirds of his lands on his son, with contingent remainders to various kinsmen, and left one-third to trustees to provide 1,000 for his daughter. In his will, made on 20 May 1630, he bequeathed his soul to Almighty God and hoped for the fruition of the eternal glory prepared for his elect and chosen people. He died on 1 Oct 1631, and was buried at Brereton.

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