William Wells [Welles]1

M, b. 1566, d. 26 May 1620
     William was born in 1566 in Norwich, County Norfolk, England. William married Elizabeth (?) circa 1602 in England. He made his will 20 May 1620 at Norwich. In his will William gives to his wife Elizabeth "his messuage in St Peter Mancroft" for life and after her death to John Welles, his eldest son and if John left no issue to "his sonne William Welles" to his daughter Susan, " messuage and house in Heigham, Norfolk", rent charge to his wilfe until Susan became of age. His daughter Elizabeth is given other lands when 20 years of age, til then to his wfe Elizabeth. A bequest is also made to a daughter Ann. This will is recorded in six closely written pages (100-105) of the wills proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishopric of Norwich, A. D. 1620. (written in an old legal handwriting similar to that in the will of Shakespeare.) William died Tuesday, 26 May 1620 at Norwich at age 54 years. On 30 May 1620, William was buried in the chancel near the altar at St. Peter Mancroft Church. His tombstone reads: "This Tomb is sacred to the learning, virtue, and memry of that most eloquent and beloved man, Mr. William Welles, Bachlor in Sacred Theology, Rector of this Church and Prebendary of the Cathedral Church; who after 30 years spent in this famous city with the highest praise, in tgreat sanctity of life and suavity of manners, together with notable and unwearied diligence in pastoral work,- full of good report, and beloved by all good men,- prematurely for the Church of God, but happily for himself, fell asleep in the Lord, in the certain hope of resurrection, May 26, A.D. 1620, in the 54th year of his age.

William began his ministry at the Church of St. Peter Mancroft at the age of 24 in 1690. In eight years he had become the Rector of the Parish and remained in this parish for his entire career. The arms displayed on his tomb clearly indentfy him as being of the linage of the Barons of Welles first sommoned to Parliment in 1299. This Barony fell into abeyance in the early 1500's. William' s line is an off shoot, problably branching off in the mid 1400's.


Elizabeth (?)


  1. [S340] Rev. Charles Welles Hayes, William Welles of Louthold and his Descendants A.D. 1638 to 1878., pages 7-16.