Friday, April 23, 2010

William Alley

5. WILLIAM4 ALLEY, JR. (WILLIAM3, JOHN2, UNKNOWN1) was born 1510 in Wycombe, England1, and died April 15, 1570 in London, England2. He married SYBIL BODLEIGH. She died 1570 in England.


Biography of William Alley

Lives of the Bishops of Exeter

WILLIAM ALLEY, S.T.P., a native of Wycombe, Bucks, and educated at Eton, but finished his course of studies at Cambridge and Oxford, whilst Prebendary of St. Paul's, London, was fixed on by Queen Elizabeth to succeed the deprived Turberville. On 27th April, 1560, she issued her congé d'élire to our Dean and Chapter. It was delivered to the President, Chancellor Levison, on 5th May, in the absence of the newly elected Dean, Dr. Gregory Dodds: the election took place on 20th that month; but his consecration 14th July that year (Parker's 'Register,' fol. 80). The revenues of the see and of his chapter had of late been lamentably reduced: fortunately the Rectory of Honiton was given to the Bishop towards the better maintenance of his rank; and in its parochial church, and even in the rectory-house, he held several ordinations "in Rectoria - in domo Domini Episcopi apud Honyton," as we learn from his Registers. Owing to the impoverished state of the finances of his Dean and Chapter, with the unanimous consent of its members, and under the Royal authority, he diminished the number of the Canons of the Cathedral from twenty-four to nine. His statute for this purpose is dated 22nd February, 1560-1. Attempts were made at subsequent periods to set aside this ordinance, which conferred the power and emoluments on the favoured nine, to the exclusion of the other fifteen; but it proved useless to combat with a practice, legalised by time and due authority. Hoker, who knew the bishop well, commends his affability of manners, regularity of life, and singular learning; adding that "his library was replenished with all the best sort of writers, which most gladly he would impart, and make open to every good scholar and student, whose company and conference he did most desire and embrace;" but in his MS. 'History,' p. 359, in describing tho Mayor, Robert Midwynter, he says, that "in office he showed himself, as he was, an upright justice, and governed the city in very good order. In nothing was he more stowte, than he was against Bishop Alley, when he brought a commyssion to be a Justice of the Peace within the citie, contrary to the lybertes of the same." After governing the diocese for about nine years and a half, he died, according to his epitaph, on 15th April, 1570, aged 60, and was buried in the choir of his cathedral. He is known to the literary world by his 'Poor Man's Librarie,' printed in folio by John Day, London, 1565, or 'Lectures upon the First Epistle of Saint Peter, red publiquely in the Cathedrall Church of Saint Paule, within the Citye of London, in 1560. Here are adioyned at the ende of euery special treatise, certain fruitful annotacions called miscellanea, because they do entreate of diverse and sundry matters.'

Per Ray Alley, an Alley descendant from Northwood, Middlesex, England, the will of William Alley Bishop of Exeter reads as follows:

The T.N.O.G. Amen 1st day of April AD 1570 I William Alley by Permission of God Bishop of Exon (now Exeter) sick in body but perfect of remembrance make my last will and testament in like manner.

I bequeath my soul to Almighty God. My body to be buried in Christian burial that to my wife and friends she be thought most reverent. Item all my books of divinity to my son Roger Alley Archdeacon of Cornwall. I give to my son-in-law Christopher Bodleighe all my books of philosophy and physic. Item all my books of humanity to my younger sons to be given to them as they shall increase in learning some at one time and some at another as often as need shall require. To his servants John Martin and Robert Cole 10 pence each. The residue once my funeral and all debts discharged to my wife Sybil whom I make my sole executrix. She to see that all my children are goodly brought up and educated and to give them such further maintenance as shall meet and require such children to have.

He then names persons to see his will properly executed.

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