William Spring of Lavenham

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Sir William Spring
Died3 February 1599
Spouse(s)Anne Kitson
Susan Jermyn
ChildrenJohn Spring
Margaret Spring
Anne Spring
Dorothy Spring
Parent(s)Sir John Spring, Dorothy Waldegrave

Sir William Spring of Lavenham (died 3 February 1599) was an English politician and landowner.


Spring was the son of Sir John Spring and Dorothy, the daughter of Sir William Waldegrave. His father died while he was a minor, so he was made a ward of Edmund Wright Esq. of Bradfield.

Spring was MP for Suffolk in 1570. He was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1578/9 and oversaw Elizabeth I's visit to the county in 1578.[1] He greeted the Queen on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk county border between the towns of Linton and Haverhill, accompanied by two hundred members of the gentry dressed in white velvet. She proceeded to stay with Spring's relations, Sir William Cordell and Sir William Drury. He was knighted by the Queen upon becoming High Sheriff.

Whilst patron of Cockfield Church, Spring allowed it to be used for Puritan religious meetings, starting the Spring family's association with Puritanism that would last until the Restoration. In 1579, Spring invited John Knewstub to be the priest at Cockfield and the village became a centre of Puritan doctrine. In May 1582, Spring organised an assembly of about 60 clergymen from Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire who met in Cockfield Church, to confer about the Prayer Book, clerical dress and customs.[2]

The Close Rolls contains record of a recognizance in the amount of £2000 acknowledged by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford to Sir William Spring on 19 February 1583 in connection with an indenture. A fine was levied regarding the sale of the manor of Earls Hall in Cockfield, Suffolk by Sir William Spring against Oxford in 1583. The Earl later swore before the Queen to pay the money.[3]

Sir William first married Anne, the daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson and Margaret, Countess of Bath. Upon her death he married second Susan, the daughter of Sir Ambrose Jermyn. He had one son and four daughters.[4][5]

He was succeeded by his son John Spring, who died shortly after him. John's grandson was made a baronet by Charles I.[6]


  1. ^ Excursions in the county of Suffolk, Thomas Cromwell, p. 168.
  2. ^ Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (1982)
  3. ^ "THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES C 54/1171, Part 25 : Sir William Spring" (PDF). Oxford-shakespeare.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  4. ^ Collins, Arthur (19 March 2019). "The English Baronetage: Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of All the English Baronets, Now Existing: Their Descents, Marriages, and Issues; Memorable Actions, Both in War, and Peace; Religious and Charitable Donations; Deaths, Places of Burial and Monumental Iiscriptions [sic]". Tho. Wotton, at the Three Daggers and Queen's-Head, against St. Dunstan's-Church, in Fleet-Street. Retrieved 19 March 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Burke & Burke 1838, p. 501.
  6. ^ A Concise Description of Bury Saint Edmund’s and Its Environs, London, Longman and Co., 1827, p. 262, Retrieved 26 April 2013.


Political offices
Preceded by
High Sheriff of Suffolk
1578 and 1579
Succeeded by
Sir Nicholas Bacon