William Courtenay (died 1630)

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Arms of Sir William Courtenay (1553-1630) of Powderham: Quarterly 1st & 4th, Or, three torteaux gules (Courtenay); 2nd & 3rd: Or, a lion rampant azure (Redvers), as seen impaled by Wrey in Tawstock Church, Devon, on the monument of John Wrey (d.1597) whose son Sir William Wrey, 1st Baronet was the husband of Elizabeth Courtenay, Sir William's daughter

Sir William V Courtenay, Knight, (1553 – 24 June 1630) of Powderham in Devon was a prominent member of the Devonshire gentry. He was Sheriff of Devon in 1579–80 and received the rare honour[1] of having been thrice elected MP for the prestigious county seat (Devon) in 1584, 1589 and 1601.

Origins[edit]

He was the son and heir of Sir William IV Courtenay (c.1529-1557) of Powderham, MP for Plympton Erle in 1555, by his wife Elizabeth Paulet, daughter of John Paulet, 2nd Marquess of Winchester. He was 9th in descent[2] from Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon (1303-1377), of Tiverton Castle, feudal baron of Okehampton and feudal baron of Plympton,[3] one of whose younger sons was Sir Philip I Courtenay (1340–1406) of Powderham, founder of the junior line of Courtenay of Powderham.

Youth & education[edit]

In 1557 at the age of 4 he succeeded his father. He trained as a lawyer in the Middle Temple.

Career[edit]

Sir William was knighted on 25 March 1576, [4] served as Sheriff of Devon for 1579–80 and was also involved in the Munster Plantation in Ireland in the 1580s. Sir William was elected Member of Parliament for Devon in 1584, 1589 and 1601.[5] In 1831 he was recognised by a retrospective decision of the House of Lords as having been de jure 3rd Earl of Devon.[6]

Marriages and progeny[edit]

First marriage[edit]

Arms of Sir William Wrey, 1st Baronet (d.1636), impaling Courtenay of Powderham. His wife was Elizabeth Courtenay, 3rd daughter of Sir William Courtenay (1553-1630) of Powderham. Detail from monument of his father John Wrey (d.1597) in Tawstock Church, Devon

Between 18 January 1572 and 1573, he married as his first wife, Elizabeth Manners, daughter of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, and by her had seven sons and three daughters:[7][8]

  • Sir William Courtenay, (died 1605), his eldest son who died without progeny and predeceased his father.
  • Sir Francis Courtenay, (1576 – 3 Jun 1638), of Powderham, his 2nd son and heir.
  • Thomas Courtenay
  • George Courtenay
  • John Courtenay
  • Alexander Courtenay
  • Edward Courtenay
  • Margaret Courtenay
  • Bridget Courtenay
  • Elizabeth Courtenay, 3rd daughter, who married Sir William Wrey, 1st Baronet[9] of Tawstock in Devon. Her father's arms survive, impaled by Wrey, on the monument of her father-in-law John Wrey (d.1597) in Tawstock Church.

Second marriage[edit]

On 25 Aug 1595 he married as his second wife, Elizabeth Sydenham, daughter of Sir George Sydenham of Combe Sydenham in Somerset and widow of Admiral Sir Francis Drake (d.1596).[7]

Third marriage[edit]

His third wife was Jane Hill, daughter of Robert Hill of Taunton, Somerset.[7]

Death & burial[edit]

He died in London on 24 June 1630 and was buried in Powderham Church, Devon.[5][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959 (first published 1954), p.180
  2. ^ Vivian, 1895, pp.244-247
  3. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.138
  4. ^ Shaw 1906, p. 77)
  5. ^ a b Hasler, P. W. (1981). Hasler, P. W., ed. "COURTENAY, Sir William I (1553-1630), of Powderham, Devon". Members. The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1558–1603. Historyofparliamentonline.org. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sir William Courtenay, de jure 3rd Earl of Devon". Cracroft's Peerage. Cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Sir William Courtenay, 1553-1630". Family Search: Community Trees. Europe: Royal and Noble Houses of Europe. Histfam.familysearch.org. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Colby 1872, p. 76
  9. ^ Vivian (1895), p.247

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
William Courtenay
Earl of Devon
de jure

1557 – 1630
Succeeded by
Francis Courtenay