Who’s Who in William and Silvester Petyt

Brief details of people connected with
William and Silvester Petyt
(Yorkshire and London – mid-17th to early 18th centuries)


Costume of the nobility and gentry in the time of William and Mary (1689-1702)
From Old England, A Pictorial Museum of National Antiquities (1844)


Attwood, William.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring valued 20 shillings.

Letter from William Attwood to William Petyt esq., at his chamber in the Inner Temple, London (1681). ‘By your help I think I have baffled the vulgar error in that tenants in capite made our full representative till 29 Henry III, for which I first take Sir William Dugdale to task in his Origines Judidicales and him and whoever else scandalised the memory of the great Sir Henry Spelman by affixing to him those crude conjectures under the word Parliament. The difference between the Parliament and the Curia Regis which you first gave the world and me in your learned appendix, I heartily thank you for, and if ever my collections see the light I shall publish to all men that though you waved the particular proof of everything in your appendix it being enough that you overthrew the contrary suppositions yet like a master you gave those rules which will interpret and reconcile all the records and all authentic historians’. Difference between servita and auxilia. 2ff.

Inner Temple Manuscripts, page 776.


Anstis, John.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Named as a Trustee in the Will of Silvester Petyt.

Son and heir of of John Anstis of St. Neots, Cornwall.

Born 28 September 1669; educated at Exeter College, Oxford, Admitted to the Middle Temple 31 January 1689-90; called 19 May 1699; M.P. for St. Mawes 1711 and Launcestone 1714; Garter King of Arms 1718; Bencher of Middle Temple 8 June 1722; Reader Lent 1723; Treasurer 1730; died at Mortlake 1744 and buried at Duloe in Cornwall.

Middle Temple Bench Book, page 159.


Atkinson, Thomas.

Witnessed Silvester Petyt’s will.


Atterbury, Francis.

Born 1662 son of Lewis Atterbury, educated at Westmister and Christ College, Oxford. Bishop of Rochester and dean of Westminster 1713. Imprisoned in the Tower for alleged connection with an attempt to restore the Stuarts 1720. Deprived of his offices and banished, went to Brussels 1723 and thence to France: entered the service of James II son, the old Pretender: died in France: was buried privately in Westminster Abbey.

Letter to William Petyt at Chelsea, 20 July 1704.

Sir, I return the papers with my hearty thanks for the liberty you have given me to peruse them. They contain an account of things very valuable and useful in order to a true knowledge of the state of affairs at that time and consist of particulars which have not been dwelt upon so much as they ought to be by our historians. The importance of such accounts and the authentic and dispassionate manner in which they are exhibited will sufficiently recommend them to the world, whenever you are pleased to publish them. Sir, I am your obliged and humble servant, Fr. Atterbury

InnerTemple Manuscripts.

Book by Francis Atterbury in the Petyt Library at Skipton.

The rights, powers and privileges, of an English convocation, stated and vindicated. In answer to a late book of Dr. Wake’s, entitled, The authority of Christian princes over their ecclesiastic synods asserted…London printed for Tho. Bennet at the Half-Moon in St. Paul’s Churchyard, 1700.


Barlow, Thomas.

Bishop of Lincoln.

Son of Richard Barlow and born 1607 at Long-gill in the parish of Orton in Westmoreland. Entered Queen’s College, Oxford taking his degree of B.A. in 1630 and M.A. in 1633. Librarian at the Bodlean 1642. Archdeacon of Oxford 1661. Bishop of Lincoln 1675. Died 1691. May have been related to Christopher Petyt of Orton Hall, Westmoreland by marriage.

See N.D.B.

Letter from Thomas Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln to his cousin, William Petyt from Buckden, 11 December 1679, promising to do what he can for the young man he recommends. In a postscript he asks Petyt to thank the Earl of Essex for the kindness he has done the Bishop. Signed, Thomas Lincolnie.

Letter from Thomas Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln to his cousin, William Petyt Esq., at is chambers in the Inner Temple from Buckden, 26 October 1679, thanking him for his book (Commons Rights) sent. Signed Thomas Lincolnie.

Inner Temple Manuscripts.


Baillif, Thomas.

Of the Six Clerks Office.

Named as a Trustee in the Will of Silvester Petyt.


Bateman, Christopher.

Witnessed Silvester Petyt’s will.


Baxter, William.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Named as a Trustee in the Will of Silvester Petyt.

Son and heir of John Baxter of Lanllucan, Montgomery, gent., deceased, admitted to the Middle Temple 27 January 1676-77.

Middle Temple Admission Register, vol. 1, page 195.


Bovile, Henry.

Witnessed Silvester Petyt’s will.


Browne, William.

Of Lombard Street, London, Left a ring of the value of 20 shillings in the Will of Silvester Petyt


Busfield, William.

Of Rishworth Hall, Yorkshire. Named in the Will of Silvester Petyt as a person who could advise his Executors and Trustees in the purchase of land and property.

Born in 1674 the son of William Busfield, merchant of Leeds and Mayor of Leeds in 1673 and a daughter of Hugh Currer of Kildwick. He married Elizabeth Fothergill daughter of Abraham Fothergill of Chancery Lane, London and sister of Margaret Fothergill first wife of Henry Currer of Kildwick. William died in 1675 and his widow later married in 1685 Robert Ferrand of Harden Grange, Bingley, by whom she had an only son, Robert Ferrand, who died unmarried in 1742. William Busfield, senior bought, Ryshworth Hall in 1672. William Busfield, junior, was educated at Skipton Grammar School and was a member of the Inner Temple.

William Busfield and Henry Currer did meet at Keighley in 1723 to discuss how they could assist Silvester Petyt’s Trustees in the investment of money in land and property. They produced a report which was sent to the Trustees in London but its recommendations were not acted upon. The Trustees presented William Busfield with a silver punch bowl which later found its way into the hands of the Coulthurst family of Gargrave Hall. This punch bowl was given to Skipton Council by Mrs.Blossom Coulthurst in 1964.

See, Old Bingley by H. Speight, 1898.

Ancient Bingley by J. Horsfall Turner, 1897.

History of Skipton Grammar School by A.M. Gibbon, 1947.


William Busfield was a generous donor to the Petyt Library in Skipton where there is a portrait of him. He married Elizabeth Fothergill (1671-1726) and died 21 March 1729.


Butts, Flora.

Widow, left £200 in the Will of William Petyt….’for the great care she has had of me’. Also £20 to buy mourning.


Butts, John.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Capel, Arthur.

Earl of Essex.

Born January 1631, eldest on of Arthur, Lord Cappel of Hadham , who was executed in 1649 and Elizabeth Morrison. Died 1693.

See D.N.B. The Essex Papers are in the British Museum.

William Petyt was legal advisor to the Earl of Essex and the steward of the Earl’s estates. He dedicated his book ‘The Anctient Right of the Commons of England Asserted’ published in 1680 to the Earl.

‘To the Right Honourable Arthur Earl of Essex, Viscount Maldon, Baron Capell of Hadham, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Hertford, one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy-Council, and First Lord Commissioner of his Majesties Treasury.

My Lord, There have been authors of modern times, who have in their writings, concerning the Government of this Kingdom, published to the World, that the Commons of England (as now phrased) were no part of the anctient Commune Councilium, or Parliament of this Nation, before the forty ninth Year of H.3. and then introduced by rebellion.

A position when seriously weighed, equally wounds the Peerage of England, since the same authors say, that there is no formal summons of the Lords to Parliament, found upon Record before that time.

After I had often considered so great a point, and having often read of the freedom of this Nation, that no Englishman could lose his right or property but by Law, the Life and Soul of this so famous and so excellently constituted Government, the best polity upon Earth (which when united in all its parts by prudent Councils, made always the people happy at home in Peace, and the Crown ever Victorious abroad in War) I did resolve to take pains to search, if matters thus represented to the highest disadvantage and prejudice of the people of England, were true or false; which I have industriously and impartially endeavoured, and hope with that clearness, that will evidence to all unbiased judgements, the unsoundness of those opinions.

When I had so done, being unwilling my labours should be to myself alone and not to those who searched after knowledge in these matters, to disabuse and prevent others from building upon such mistaken and dangerous Foundations, I thought it not unreasonable to publish this Discourse, wherein there is no Record cited, but (in my opinion) equally asserts the right of the Peers of this Kingdom, as well as of the Commons, and therefore have taken the boldness to send it into the World under your Lordships Protection, whom I know to be a great Lover of Truth, To which all mankind ought to pay Allegiance. I should have had great satisfaction, if before it had been put to the Press, it might have received your Lordships judicious corrections and approbation, whose knowledge and industry in venerable Antiquity, and all other useful Learning, is well known unto the World.

But this happiness I could not reasonably expect, your Lordships time being so much taken up in the service of the Crown, whereof your Lordship is so eminent, and so great a Pillar, as your Honourable Employments both at home and abroad, do sufficiently demonstrate. I most humbly beg your Lordships Pardon for my presumption in this Dedication, which fault I hope may be extenuated by the relationship I have to your Lordship in my Profession, and being deprived of other means, publicly to show my humble gratitude for the many favours your Lordship has been pleased to confer upon, My Lord, Your Lordships most humble, most faithful, and most obedient Servant, W. Petyt.

Letter from Arthur, Earl of Essex to William Petyt, 2 May 1680. Lord Chesterfield as put in a Bill in Chancery against him and Sir Charles Bickerstaff, as executors of the Duke of Richmond. The claim is a debt of £300 which the writer believes is a just debt but they are not safe in the payment of it without a decree. Confer with Sir Charles and put in an answer. Signed, Essex.

Inner Temple Manuscripts.


Catterson, Stephen.

Son of Francis and Isabella Catterson and nephew of William and Silvester. He was an Attorney at Law and Church Warden at Skipton. He was born at Skipton in 1667 and died there in 1741. He married Grace Howarth and they had twelve children. Silvester Petyt left him £300, half of all his plate and rings, all his lands and tenements in Skipton, Stirton, Hetton and elsewhere in the West Riding of Yorkshire and one messuage in the city of York. He also left him the portraits of himself and his brother William and a long swing clock from his house in Belle Sauvage Yard in London. He asked that these items should be placed in the library in Skipton church. When Stephen died in 1741 the portraits were still in his possession and he bequeathed them to his son Silvester Catterson.


Chambelayne, John.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Coleraine, Lord.

Henry Hare, second Lord Coleraine, 1636- 1708.

Antiquary. Had estates at Tottenham, Middlesex. He was married three times, first to Constantia ( died 1680), daughter of Sir Richard Lucy, bart., of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire by whom he had Hugh (1668-1707) and other children, secondly to Sarah, duchess dowager of Somerset (died 1692); and thirdly, in 1696 to Elizabeth Portman (died 1732), widow of Robert Reade of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

Some of his papers are in the Bodlean Library. See N.D.B.

William Petyt was legal advisor and Steward to the Earl of Coleraine. In October 1690, William Petyt was giving evidence to a Committee of the Commons, on the 6th October he informed the Committee that ‘ on Monday he is to go out of town to keep the Lord Coleraine’s Court and cannot return until Wednesday, so prays that he may not attend until after that time’.



Cooke, Edward.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Cotton, Sir John.

Born 1621, died 1701, succeeded as third baronet, 1662, offered the Cottonian Library to the nation ,1700…. The library was given to the nation in 1702….N.D.B.

Copy of a letter from William Petyt to Sir John Cotton, bart, from Inner Temple, St. Jude’s Day (13 December) 1676 on ‘ some observations by me collected out of records and other monuments of antiquity, and after disposed in method, in order to answer a dangerous position which certain modern authos have too hastily asserted, for some of whom I have a great value. I mean Mr. Dugdale’. On dorse; on origin of Commons, 49 Henry III………..Inner Temple Manuscripts.


Craven, Sir William.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Currer, Henry.

Of Kildwick in Yorkshire, named in the Will of Silvester Petyt as a friend who would be able to advise his Executors and Trustees in the purchase of land and property.

Admissions Register of the Middle Temple….14 December 1683, Henry Currer (admitted to Grays Inn, 6 December 1669), son and heir of Hugo Currer of Kildwick, Yorkshire.

‘Over the first pillar from the east end, on the north side of the choir, is a stone tablet of a very large size, surmounted with a coat of arms (the Currers) and with this inscription: ‘Underneth lieth ye boby of Henry Currer, Esq., who died Jany. ye 19th, 1723, aged 72. He was a great proficient in ye study of ye law, but allured by the charms of a private life retir’d to ye place of his birth, where he chose rather to employ ye skill he had acquired therein to ye benefit of his country in ye dispensation of Justice of ye Bench, than to ye improvement of his own fortune in attendance at ye Bar. He excelled in all ye relations of life and discharged ye several obligations of a loving husband and affectionate father, of a sincere friend, and obliging neighbour, tenderly, discreetly, faithfully, and conscientiously.

By him lieth interred Margaret, his first wife, daughter of Abraham Fothergill of London, Esq., who died June ye 23rd, 1697, aged 32, by whom he had issue three sons and seven daughters.

Haworth Currer, their only surving son, caused this monument to be erected to their ever dear and honoured memories.’

From the History of Kildwick Church by Rev. E.W.Brereton, 1909.

See the entry for Wiliam Busfield.


Dale, Robert.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings. Witness to the Will of William Petyt.

Robert Dale 1666-1722. Clerk to Sir Henry St. George 1684-8, Blanch Lyon 1694, Deputy Register of the College of Arms, Clerk in the Tower Record Office 1704, Suffolk Herald Extraordinary 1717, Richmond Herald 1721.


Denn, William.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Farkman, John.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Gent, William.

Witnessed the Will of William Petyt.



Friend of Silvester Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Sergeant at Law.

Admitted to Gray’s Inn 22 January 1676, admitted to Middle Temple 19 May 1680, son and heir of Henry Hall of Chatwell, Salop, gent., deceased. Called 26 May 1682.

Middle Temple Admission Register, page 200.


Heatherington, Humphrey.

Friend of William Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Son and heir of Geoffrey Hetherington of Clifford’s Inn, London, Gent.

Admitted 19 June 1669; called 5 May 1676; Bencher 27 October 1699; Reader Lent 1700; Treasurer 1709; died 1718 and buried in the Middle Temple vault.


Holmes, George.

Clerk and Deputy to William Petyt, left £200 in his will….he having lived with me above 14 years.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings , also appointed Trustee of Silvester Petyt’s will.

Born in Skipton in 1662…..moved to London and by 1690 was serving William Petyt who had just been elected Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London. He married Elizabeth Marshall the daughter of a noted sword -cutler of Fleet Street. They had one son George who when little more than 20 was granted admission to the Society of Antiquaries. George died at the early age of 25…..Holmes eventually became the Keeper of Records……he published the first 17 volumes of Rymer’s ‘Foedera’. Holmes died 16 February 1749 in his 88th year.

Loose Leaves of Craven History by W.H.Dawson, page 191.

See D.N.B.


Hooper, John.

Clerk to Silvester Petyt, left £15 and £5 to buy mourning.


Horseman, Gilbert.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings also appointed Trustee.


Jackman, Eleanor.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Jenkinson, Thomas.

‘My old clerk’..left £10 by William Petyt.


Joyce-my laundress..

Left £20 by William Petyt.


Jugleby, Sir Charles.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Lamb, Peniston

Friend and business associate of Silvester Petyt. Lamb was appointed a Trustee of Silvester’s will and was also left a mourning ring of the value of twenty shillings. Silvester also bequeathed …..unto my worthy friend Peniston Lamb of Lincoln’s Inn, Gent., my diamond ring which I usually wear set with seven diamonds.

Peniston Lamb was born in Nottinghamshire of humble parents, he moved to London as a young man and studied law at Lincoln’s Inn. He built up an extensive legal practice and a money -lending business. When he died, unmarried, in 1734 he left the enormous sum of £100,000 . His heir, nephew Matthew Lamb, married an heiress, entered the House of Commons and acquired a baronetcy. Matthew’s son Sir Peniston Lamb was raised to the peerage as Ist Baron Melbourne. He married Elizabeth Millbanke and they set up home in the splendid family mansion ‘Melbourne House’ on Piccadilly. Elizabeth was a eighteenth century woman of the world and was unfaithful to her husband with numerous men. There were six children of the marriage but it was said that Lord Melbourne was only doubtfully related to some of them. The first was Peniston who was probably the only one of the children to have been fathered by Lord Melbourne, he was born in 1776 and died in 1805. William was born in 1779 and was said to have been the son of Lord Egremont. He succeeded as 2nd Lord Melbourne in 1829. He was Prime Minister 1834-1840 and is best remembered as the adviser to the young Queen Victoria. He died in 1848. The third son was Frederick 1782-1853; he succeeded his brother as 3rd Lord Melbourne. The fourth son was George 1784-1834; he was said to have been the son of the Prince of Wales. The two youngest children were girls, Emily whose birth in 1787 is shrouded in mystery and Harriet who died in infancy.


Legge, Ann.

‘My Laundress’--- left two legacies by Silvester Petyt, 20 shillings and the further sum of £10 and he cancelled the debts of Mr. Legge. Between 1729 and 1747 Ann Legge was granted a total of £127-6-0. by the Trustees of Silvester Petyt’s Charity. In the main these payments were to help her as '‘an object of charity'’ but in 1736 there is an entry in the charities accounts which states.…To Ann Legg for the use of a garrettt to keep some of the Testator’s goods in and for her relief…£6-6-0.


Lucy, Kingsmill.

Letter from Kingsmill Lucy to his kinsman William Petyt at his chamber in the Temple, from very near Epsom Durdans, 11 July 1674. Invitation to stay with the attractions of his library.

Inner Temple Manuscripts.



Mill, John.

Born 1645, died 1707. M.A. Queen’s College, Oxford, 1669; D.D., 1681; speaker of the ‘Oratio Panegyrica’ at the opening of the Sheldonoan Theatre, 1669 prebendary of Exeter 1677; rector of Bletchington and chaplain to Charles II, 1681; elected principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 1685; prebendary of Canterbury, 1704; collated all the readings of the principal manuscripts in England and on the continent in his edition of the New Testament in Greek, 1707….N.D.B.

Letter from John Mill to William Petyt, at his lodging in the Cloister in the Inner Temple, London, from the Queen’s College, Oxford, 8 June 1676, thanking him for ‘unfolding the mystery of those rude characters I left in your hands’. Requests him to consult Doomesday Book for he cannot persuade himself that it has something in it of Westmorland and Cumberland… Inner Teple Manuscripts.

Another copy of a letter from William Petyt to John Mill regarding Sir Henry Spelman’s ‘Glossary’ and Mr. Walkers intention to publish a third edition…..Inner Temple Manuscripts.


Mills, Francis

Clerk in the Record Office in the Tower of London.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Offley, Joseph.

Friend of William Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Friend of Silvester Petyt, left ring of the value of 20 shillings.

4th son of John Offley of London, merchant, deceased. Admitted 30 July 1669; called 14 May 1675; Bencher 27 October 1699; Reader Autumn 1701; Treasurer 1710; died 1721.

Middle Temple Bench Book, page 148.


Penn, John.

Witnessed William Petyt’s will.


Petyt, Ann.

Sister of William and Silvester, born at Bolton Abbey about 1624. She married one Robinson and had at least two children. Her children and grandchildren were each left £10 by Silvester Petyt.


Petyt, Christopher.

Son of Christopher Petyt of Orton Hall, Westmoreland and cousin of William and Silvester. Born at Orton in 1692 and died at Ilkley in 1728. Christopher was an Attorney and at the time of his death he was the Steard t Skipton Castle. He also acted as the Yorkshire representative of the Trustees of the Silvester Petyt Charity. His daughter Elizabeth, born at Skipton in 1724, married Sir William Fleming, Bart. oF Rydal Hall, Westmoreland.


Petyt, Elizabeth.

Sister of William and Silvester, born at Bolton Abbey about 1630. She married Richard Mitchell at Hartshead and died there in 1721. She had four children. Silvester left her the yearly sum of £6 and £4 to buy mourning. His Trustees were left £5 to pay her funeral expenses.


Petyt, Henry.

Brother of William and Silvester, born at Storiths in 1738. Moved to London with his brothers but does not seem to have studied law. He does appear to have been involved with William and Silvester’s money lending enterprises. Amongst Silvester’s papers was a bond dated 1667 showing that Henry had lent £40 to Ambrose Pudsey on which no interest appears to have been paid. Henry had at least one child, a daughter Elizabeth who married Richard Wright in 1696. It is not known when Henry died.


Petyt, Isabel.

Sister of William and Silvester, born at Bolton Abbey about 1634. She married Francis Catterson at Skipton and died there in 1681. They had twelve children. Francis Catterson was the tennant of the Red Lion Inn at Skipton.


Petyt, Margaret. Sister of William and Silvester, born at Bolton Abbey about 1628. She married Thomas Cookson and died at Skipton in 1659. They had three children.


Petyt, Mary.

Sister of William and Silvester, born at Bolton Abbey about 1624 and died there in 1694. She Married Thomas Battersby and they had four children.


Petyt, Mary.

Born in 1687 and a daughter of Christopher Petyt of Orton Hall in WEstmoreland

Left £5 by William Petyt.

Left £10 by Silvester Petyt.


Petyt, Thomas.

Cousin of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shilling.

Of Colkins in Kent.


Petyt, William.

Cousin of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Of Colkins in Kent.


Philips, Fabian.

Friend of William Petyt. William left legacies to his children and grandchildren. Legal Antiquarian, son and heir of Andrew Philips of Orleton, co. Hereford, who was also a member of the Middle Temple, as his father had been before him. He was born at Prestbury in Gloucestershire on 28 September 1601. He was called to the Bar 12 June 1646, and for some time held the office of Filacer for London, Middlesex, Cambridge and Huntingdonshire. When the Civil War broke out he zealously supported the Royal cause, and two days before the execution of Charles had the audacity to print and publish a protestation against the intended murder. He died in 1690. He published many works of antiquarian scholarship three of which are in the Petyt Library at Skipton.

  1. Monenda: or, the antiquity, legality, reason, duty and necessity of prae-emption, pourveyance: or, compositions for pourveyance, as they were lately used and taken for the provisions of the Kings household, the small chare and burthen thereof to the people….London, printed by Richard Hodgkinson, for the author, and are to be sold by Abel Roper..1663. 4to.
  2. The pretended persective-glass; or some reasons of many more which might be offered, against the proposed registring reformation. London, printed in the year 1669. 4to.

3. Veritas inconcussa, or, a most certain truth asscerted, that King Charles the first was no man of blood, but a martyr for his people. London, printed by Richard Hodgkinson in the year 1649, and reprinted by Thomas Newcomb living in Thames-street, 1660. 8vo.


Pritchard, William.

William Petyt’s clerk, he left him £5.


Ryley, William.

Herald and archivist. Born in Lancashire, the son of William Ryley who held the office of Rouge Rose pursuivant-extraordinary from 1630 till his death about 1634. In 1620 he entered the Tower of London as clerk of the records under Sir John Borough, Garter king of arms, the keeper of those archives. On 4 September 1633 he was appointed Bluemantle pursuivant of arms, and on 11 November 1641 he was appointed Lancaster herald. Appointed keeper in 1644. He was created Norroy king of arms in 1646. He assisted as Norroy at the funeral of Oliver Cromwell and at the installation as Protector of Richard Cromwell who on 25 February 1659 created him Clarenceux king of arms. At the restoration Ryley’s loyalty to the crown ‘returned’ and he was one of the three heralds who proclaimed Charles II at Westminster Hall on 8 May 1660. On the Restoration Ryley was reduced to his former rank as Lancaster herald. He died in 1667.

See D.N.B.

Ryley as Norroy king of arms granted arms to William Petyt in April 1658, to Henry Petyt in August 1658 and to Silvester Petyt in September 1658. Perhaps these grants by Ryley were declared invalid for on 29 May 1690 William and Silvester were granted quite different arms by Sir Thomas St. George, Garter king of arms and Sir Henry St. George, Clarenceux king of arms


Silvester, Thomas.

Clerk of the Temple Church. Left £1-1-6d in the Will of William Petyt.

He died in 1716 and was buried in the Temple churchyard.


Smith, Eleanor.

Left £10 by William Petyt.


Tyrell, James.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.

Born 1642. Historical writer; M.A. Queen’s College, Oxford, 1663; barrister, Inner Temple 1666; J.P. and deputy –lieutenant for Buckinghamshire, but deprived by James II for refusing to support ‘declaration of indulgence’, 1687; intimate friend of Locke; chief work ‘Patriarcha non Monarcha’ 1681 advocating limited monarchy, in reply to Filmers ‘Patriarcha’. Died 1718.

Letter from James Tyrell to William Petyt from Oxford, 12 January 1681. If he thinks anything the writer has written in these papers (already communicated) may be of the least use to him, the writer freely offers it ( for as the greatest part of the records he as quoted Petyt may justly challenge them for his own, since he must own himself beholding to him for them .) He has likewise made observations upon all the rest of the treatises of Sir Robert Filmer, which if Petyt intends to answer the whole book, shall be altogether at his service. In a postscript: There has lately come to Oxford a new treatise of Sir Robert Filmer’s called Patriarcha, which he is now considering and he desires Petyt will be pleased to look it over. For the third chapter contains as dangerous an error as are in the Freeholder’s Inquest (though most are the same).

Inner Temple Manuscripts.


Venables, Madame.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of £1-1-6d and £7 to buy mourning.


Venables, Stephen.

A goldsmith of Lombard Street, London, he was to make all the rings given under the Will of Silvester Petyt.


Walker, Obadiah.

Born 1616, died 1699. Oxford Romanist, born Yorkshire; Fellow of University College, Oxford, 1633, ejected by the parliamentary visitors in 1648, M.A., 1638; tutor and bursar of his college; visited Rome, 1648; private tutor in Surrey, 1650; recovered his fellowship, 1660; visited Rome 1661-5; recovered his tutorship, 1665; a delegate of the Oxford University Press, 1667; elected master of University College, Oxford, June 1676; suspected of Romanism, 1678-80; publicly professed Romanism after James II’s accession, January 1686; opened a Romanist chapel in his college, August 1686, and a Romanist press, 1687; left Oxford, November 1688; prisoner in the Tower of London, December 1688-January 1690; excepted from the act of pardon, 1690; withdrew to the continent; lived latterly on private charity in London; published educational works and thoelogical treatses….D.N.B.

Letter from Obidiah Walker, University College, Oxford, to William Petyt in the Inner Temple, 9 November 1676, thanking him for his letter of 7 November and giving the names of such historians as are ready for the press; Walter of Gisburn, Nocholas Trivit, John Ross, Peter of Ickham, John Murimuth, Thomas of Otterburn, Ralph of Chester, the Chronocle of Mailros, the Chronicle of St. Swithens, something of Malmesbury never yet printed. ‘Whether you have any more I cannot tell. I shall also acquaint them with your kind offer of Gervase of Tilbury. When these volumes will be put upon the stocks I cannot inform you…..The History of Oxford is now almost finished…King Alfred’s Life is also going into the press….The oath of the Saxon Kings is very short and plain, at least that copy which I saw but I hear of another which perhaps is longer’. Signature; Obad. Walker. In a postscript the words of the oath are given in Anglo Saxon. Inner Temple Manuscripts.

Letter from Obidiah Walker to William Petyt esq., at Inner Temple, from University College, Oxford, 30 December 1676, sending translation of the oath but entreats Petyt not to make it common, because there is another either copy or oath which is given to the Public Library, but is not yet put into it, so that he has not the conveniency of consulting it yet. Signature: Obad. Walker. In a postscript is given the translation of the oath….Inner Temple Manuscripts.

There are five books by Obidiah Walker in the Petyt Library at Skipton. See catalogue.


Weaver, Edward.

Witnessed William Petyt’s will.


Webb, Richard.

Friend of William Petyt, left a ring of the value of 20 shillings.


Wright, Elizabeth.

Daughter of Henry Petyt and niece of William and Silvester Petyt and wife of Richard Wright, joiner of Rotherhythe, Surrey. Born about 1675 and died in 1730. Left £200 by William Petyt and £300 by Silvester Petyt. Silvester also left her half of all his plate and rings and also £600 to be shared between her children.


Wright, William.

Born in 1697 in London and son of Richard and Elizabeth Wright. Silvester Petyt left him …..all my printed books of Law Presidents and Entries wherein are written or entered Declarations or other Pleadings at Law also all Tables and in manucripts of Declarations and Pleadings. There is no evidence that William Wright entered the legal profession.


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© Anthony Petyt 2001. All rights reserved.