William Elwyn

Citing this biography: Boyd, Michelle, "William Elwyn," article, Olive and Eliza, last accessed [current date]."

William Elwyn was the son of Peter Elwyn and Lucy —.

According to Richard L. Bush, it is likely that William was the father of the William Elwyn the younger mentioned in Peter's will and that William the younger was the William Elwyn who married Alice and was the father of Thomas Elwyn. While addition of "the younger" to a man's name would seem to imply that that man's father had the same name as his son, this may not always be true. Sometimes, in that era, "the elder" and "the younger" was used to distinguish between two cousins or other kinsfolk of the same name (and even, on very rare occasions, was to distinguish two brothers who were given the same name).

G. Andrews Moriarty believed that Peter was referring to two different grandsons William (William, son of William and William the younger). However, Richard L. Bush asserts that John Elwyn, son of Peter, mentions all his nieces and nephews but only names one William, a son of William. Therefore, according to Bush, it is likely that William Elwyn (husband of Alice and father of Thomas) was the son of William (son of Peter and Lucy). Clifford L. Stott refuted this by showing that Bush's assumption that John Elwyn mentioned all his nieces and nephews in his will may not be accurate.

William’s children are:

1 Agnes Elwyn (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.), married — Miller.

Husband: — Miller.
Rose Elwyn (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.).

William’s children (if Richard L. Bush's theory is correct but this is not certain) are:

3 William Elwyn, married Alice —, resided in Heigham, Norfolk, England, a churchwarden and apparently owner of a tannery in Norwich, Norfolk, England (see NEHGR 166:36-37), buried 3 Feb 1611-12 in Heigham, Norfolk, England.

Wife: Alice —, bur. 13 Feb 1602-3 in Heigham, Norfolk, England.
4 Richard Elwyn, married Agnes —, resided in North Walsham, Norfolk, England, cordwainer (a shoemaker who made new shoes, as opposed to a cobbler who repaired old shoes), will dated 10 Aug 1583, proved 2 Sep 1584.

Wife: Agnes —.
5 Alice Elwyn (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.), married — Goodwin (her brother Richard left bequests to Joan and Alice "Goodins," his sister's daughter in his will - the name of his sister is not given in the will).

Husband: — Goodwin.
6 John Elwyn, married Margery —, resided in Heigham, Norfolk, England, tanner (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.), will dated 31 Dec 1598, proved Oct 1600, died 15 Sep 1600 in Heigham, Norfolk, England.

Wife: Margery —, m. 1) — Ray, d. in 1605, will dated 4 Jul 1604.
7 Luce Elwyn (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.), buried 10 Mar 1572/3 in Heigham, Norfolk, England.
8 Sarah Elwyn (according to pedigree in Misc. Gen. and Her.), married John Buttries 25 Nov 1583 in Heigham, Norfolk, England.

Husband: John Buttries.

Summary of Sources

  1. Moriarty, G. Andrews, "The Elwyns of Norfolk," Miscellanea Genelogica et Heraldica, 5th series, Vol. 6, London: Mitchell Hughes and Clarke, 1926-28, pgs. 17-32.

Records related to William Elwyn but not copied below due to copyright considerations:

  1. Bush, Richard L., "The English Ancestry of Michael and Sarah (Elwyn) Metcalf of Dedham, Massachusetts," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 166 (Jan 2012), pgs. 28-39.
  2. Stott, Clifford L., "The Elwyn Family Revisited," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 169 (Winter 2015), pgs. 51-56.

Source Materials

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Miscellanea Genelogica et Heraldica

Will of Peter Elwyn of Wooddalling, Norfolk.
My soul to God and All the Saints. Body to be buried in the Church. To the High Altar for forgotten titht s 6s. 8d. To the reparation of the church 26s. 8d. " An altar to be made of lyme and stone in the Ladie Chapell of Wooddalling whereat Jhesus Marie was wont to be songe." To Peter Bulwer the elder, my godson, to his exhibition if he will be a priest £6 13s. Ad. To William Bulwer, my daughter's son, 20s. To Thomas Bulwer, my daughter's son, 20s. To Alys Bulwer my niece (i.e., granddaughter) 66s. 8d. at 21. A like bequest to Dorothy Bulwer my niece (i.e., granddaughter) at 21. To William Elwyn my neve (i.e., grandson), son of William, 100 shillings at 20. To Rose Elwyn my niece (granddaughter) 66s. 8d. at 20. To Agnes Miller my niece (granddaughter) 40s. To my servant Margaret Wigot a feather bed, sheets, etc., and five ewes. To William Elwyn the younger, my neve (grandson), 20s. To William my son the house and lands I dwell in called Clarke's for life, then to William his son and his heirs male. To John Elwyn, clerk, my eldest son, my house and lands in Guestwick, Foulsham and Norton, called Merialls and Norton Close. To William Elwyn my son my house in Thurning that was old William Wigott's. For four years after my decease a barrel of herrings to be given to the poor in Wooddalling. A dirge and masses to be kept for me and my wife Lucy and for my father John Elwyn and Katherine my mother. All my unbequeathed household stuff to be divided between my children and Johane Lemon to have the best part. To Peter Elwyn my godson a milch cow. Residue to the disposition of my sons and executors John Elwyn, clerk, and William Elwyn. Witnesses: Peter Elwyn, Peter Bulwer, clerk, John Heggelton and Thomas Harte. Dated 16 June 1556; proved by the executors 27 Sept. 1557. (Norwich Consist. Court, Register 1557, fol. 151.)

Will of John Elwyn, clerk.
My soul to God and my body to be buried where it please God, etc. To Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, £6 13s. Ad. so that the Master and Fellows there do prefer into their College William Elwyn or Peter Elwyn my kinsmen to be skollers there, to be placed at the cost and
charge of their father Peter Elwyn, my neavey, as skollers in the said house. To the Lyberarye in the said College as many of my Lattyn Books as are meate for the same, to be delivered by my executors at the house of John Staller in St. Augustine's parish in Norwich. To the poor in the 'ospital in Norwich 10s. To the sisters of Normans 5s. To reparation of St. Michael Coslany Church 13s. Ad. To John Bulwer my godson four of the last obligations that Barnye do owe me, being 20s. apiece. To John Hall my godson 3s. Ad. To Roger Bulwer my neave 13s. Ad. To Thomas Bulwer my neave 20s. To William Bulwer my neave 20s. To Alice Wigott my niece 13s. Ad. To Thomazine Bulwer my niece 13s. Ad. To Dorothy Bulwer my niece 13s. Ad. To James Bulwer, Edward Bulwer, Robert Bulwer, John Bulwer and William Bulwer, sons of Roger Bulwer, 10s. each at 21. To Francis Bulwer, Elizabeth Bulwer and Brigit Bulwer, daughters of Roger Bulwer, 10s. each at 21. To Ceclye Jenysonne my niece 13s. Ad. To Alice Barker my niece 13s. Ad. To Katherine Barker myr niece 13s. Ad. To Rose Elwyn my niece bedding, etc. To Katherine, Rose and Peter Barker, children of Thomas Barker the elder, 10s. each at 21. To Alice Barker, Mary Barker, Cicely Barker, Elizabeth Barker and John Barker, children of William Barker, 10s. each at 21. To William Elwin, Peter Elwin, Agnes Elwin, Christian Elwin and Tecla Elwin, children of Peter Elwin, 40s.
each at 21. To William, son of Peter Elwin, bedding, etc., "when he goeth to Cambridge." To Peter Elwin my nevey, son of my late brother William Elwin, bedding. To William Elwin my nevey, son of my said late brother William, bedding, etc., 6 silver spoons, etc. To Peter Elwin my neavy, son of my said late brother William, my house, etc., in Guestwick and Foulsham. To Thomas Barker the elder my best jacket, and to William Barker my doublet. Residue to executors, namely, Peter Elwyn my neavy and William Elwin my neavy, brother of the said Peter. "Written by me John Elwyn, parson of St. Michael of Coslany." Witnesses : Matthew Plombe, Edmond Hall, John Showell and Anthony Stewardson. Dated 19 March 1568-9. Proved 13 Sept. 1569 by Peter Elwin, the executor William Elwin renouncing. (Norwich Consistory Court, Register 1568-9, fol. 228.)
Will of Richard Ellwine of North Walsham, cordwainer.
My soul to God, etc. To be buried in the churchyard. To the poor men's box 3s. Ad. To the prisoners in the Castle 16d., and in the Guildhall 8d. All faggot wood in the barn of Nicholas Webster and in my garden to be sold to the poor of North Walsham at 1 1/2 d. the faggot. To the poor of the market of North Walsham 200 billets among them at Christmas next. My executrix to bestow on the poor and those that take payns about my burial 40s. The houses, etc., that I dwell in (except my shop and ware house) to my wife Agnes for life, remainder to John my son, and he is to have the shop and ware house immediately upon my decease. To the said John my houses and lands bought of Roger Buttivant (except part of the garden) when he is 24, he paying my daughter Margaret 40s. a year. To my said wife Agnes part of the garden for life, and then to my son John. To my son John the bedding in the hall chamber, my sword, steel cap, blackbill, best gowne and cloak, pewter, six silver spoons, laden porringer, etc., when 24. To my wife the use of my furniture for life, and then to my son John. To Margaret my daughter 40s., and 40s. a year during my wife's life, two silver spoons, pewter, and napkins. To William Ellwyne my brother 40s. To Joane Goodins my sister's daughter 10s., and to her sister Alice Goodins 2s. 6d. To my nephew Thomas Ellwyne sundry pewter and napkins. To Thomas Ellwyne my godson at 21, 6s. 8d., and to each other godchild 12d. To my nephew Richard Ellwyne 3s. Ad. To my niece Sara Ellwyne 5s. To Elizabeth, daughter of my brother William Ellwyne, 5s. To Christopher Hollie my servant 20d. To Mary my servant 12d. To William Dorant of North Walsham my leather doublet, russett hose, and best shirte (saving two). To Edward Hastings 100 billets. The residue to my wife, the sole executrix. Supervisor my brother John Ellwyne, and he to have 20s. Witnesses : Richard Guye, Robert Bounde, Nicholas Labocke, Richard Labbock, and Walter Harper. Dated 10 August 1583. Proved by the executrix 2 September 1584. (Norwich Consist. Court, Register 1583-4, fol. 126.)

Will of John Elwin of Heigham.
To be buried in Heigham Church. To repairs of the said Church 20s. To the poor 40s. Legacies to lazar houses at Gates and the prisoners in the Castle and Guildhall. To my wife Margery the messuage I bought of Walters in Heigham for her life, then to Sara my daughter, wife of John Winter, for life, and then to my godson John Winter, son of the said John. My heirs to pay John Ellwin, son of my son Thomas Ellwin, £10. To my wife's daughter Elizabeth Norton the house newly builded and the garden, etc., in occupation of John Norton, being part of the premises in Heigham that I bought of Mr. Browne, for her life, and then to be sold by my cousin Peter Barker, Citizen and Alderman of Norwich. My son Thomas may buy the same if he wishes at £5 less than anyone else. To Peter son of my son Richard . . . . To Jane daughter of my son Richard . . . . (rest crumbled away). Witnesses: Peter Barker, Thomas Barker, Stephen Barker. Dated 31 Dec. 1598. Proved . . . . Oct. 1600 by the executrix. (Norfolk Consistory Court, Register 1600, fol. 166.)

Will of Margerie Elwin of Heigham, co. Norwich, widow.
Bequeathes her soul to God, etc. To be buried in Heigham Church. I have caused to be set down by the hands of my sou Thomas Elwin, clerk, in writing, what legacies I would have given, and the same are to be performed by my executor, and as I am bound to have a special care and regard that the sum of £106 13s. Ad. which my late husband (whose executrix I am) wished should be paid to the children of John Buttris, according to an assurance entered into by my late husband, I desire that the said sum be especially regarded and truly paid. I acknowledge all goods and chatties I have were my husband's, and farther I have in my house at this day £20 and more, and owing by Robert Allen and his sister £30, by Ormes £10, by Thomas Ellwin of Heigham £20, besides the interest by my son Thomas £5, by Dawes of Costessey 40s. and more, and by Tilline (? Tillnie) of Bawburgh 47s. or thereabouts. The residue of all my goods and chatties I leave to my executor's discretion, and I appoint the said Thomas Elwin, clerk, my son, my executor. My son John Raie is to have to his own use all such debts as Thomas Bower alias Disse oweth me, being £10 or £11. All final residue to be divided between my son John Raie, my son Thomas Elwin, clerk, my daughter Sara, and my daughter Norton. Witnesses : Peter Barker, Richard Browne and Margaret Pie. A note of such legacies as Margerie Elwin my mother willed me to set down 2 July 1604. Bed in the middle chamber, sealed bed, etc., to son Thomas Elwin. Green carpet to Sara Winter and one neat . . . ., the other to Elizabeth Norton. To Sara Whiter, John Raie, Elizabeth Norton, and Thomas Elwin sundry linen and tables. To Jane Elwin the virginalls. To Elizabeth Norton and Sara Winter cupboards, etc. To Peter and John, sons of Richard Elwin, my deceased son. To Sara Clarke. To Sara Winter. To Thomas Elwin. To Elizabeth Butteris. To Elizabeth Norton. To Elizabeth Brasenet and Elizabeth Butteris. To Margery Dyball. To John Raie. To Sara Winter. To John Ellwin, son of Richard, the cover of a cup when 21. Dated 4 July 1604. On 4 Oct. 1604 Thomas Elwin, clerk, the executor, renounced probate in the presence of Sara Winter alias Elwin, wife of John Winter, and of her said husband; and administration was granted to Sarah. (Norwich Consist. Court, Register 1604, fol. 72.)


1583 Nov. 25 John Buttries and Sara Ellwin.
1572-3 Mar. 10 Luce Ellwin.
1600 Sept. 15 Mr. John Ellwyn.
1602-3 Feb. 13 Alice, wife of William Ellwyn.
1610-11 Feb. 3 William Eluinn.

Feet of Fines, Cities and Towns, Hilary, 37 Elizabeth.
Norwich. Octaves of the Purification, 37 Elizabeth. Margaret Yong, widow, quer., and John Elwyn and wife Margery, deforc. Nine acres in Heigham. Warranty against the heirs of John. Consideration £50.

Source: Moriarty, G. Andrews, "The Elwyns of Norfolk," Miscellanea Genelogica et Heraldica, 5th series, Vol. 6, London: Mitchell Hughes and Clarke, 1926-28, pgs. 17-32.

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Author: Michelle A. Boyd

Last updated 30 October 2021