Reverand Thomas Willett1,2,3

M, b. 1511, d. 14 April 1598
     Thomas was born in 1511 in Somersetshire, England. Thomas married Elizabeth Stanton before 1545 in England. Thomas began his career as a public notary. Later, he was Subalmoner to King Edward VI (1547-1553). During the reign of the next monarch, Queen Mary, Thomas lost his service and was also forced to hide from persecution as was the Reverend Dr. Richard Cox under whom Thomas had previouly served. During these times, Thomas' wife lived on a farm near Reading, Berkshire. It was probably some time in this period that Thomas took his holy orders. With the coranation of Queen Elizabeth (1558), Dr. Cox was given the post of Bishopric of Ely, and he in turn appointed Thomas to the fifth prebendal stall at the Catheral of Ely in 1560 & on 3 April 1571, he was appointed Rector of Barley, Herts. In 1589, Thomas resigned his post, at which time Queen Elizabeth conferred the post to Thomas' son Andrew.4,5,6,7 Thomas's wife, Elizabeth, died on 15 March 1589 in Barley, Herefordshire, England, leaving him a widower. Thomas departed this life on Tuesday, 14 April 1598 in Barley, Herefordshire, England. On 16 April 1598, Thomas was buried at St. Margaret of Antioch Church, Barley, Herefordshire, England.8


Elizabeth Stanton d. 15 Mar 1589


  1. [S27] Robert Bolton, A History of the County of Westchester, from its first settlement to the present.
  2. [S988] Mrs. Martha J. Lanmb, 1st Mayor of New York, page 241 - The following extract is from the Bartow Genealogy, by the Rev. Evelyn Bartow, page 195. It implies that "Hon. Thomas Willett" was son of Rev. Andrew, and grandson of Rev. Thomas. " X. Rev. Thomas Willet, sub-almoner to Edward VI. He was Rector of Barley, Co. Herts, and Prebend of Ely, Cn. Cambridge, d. 1597. His d. Rebecca, born 1558, m. Rev. Edward Francklin, Rector of Kelshull, Herts, and his son, IX. Rev. Andrew Willet. was b. at Ely, 1562, grad. at Cambridge, 1580, ordained Priest, 1584, Proctor of Cambridge College, 1585, and Prebend of Ely Cathedral, 1597. He was also Vicar of Childerbyand Grantesden, Cambridgeshire, and of Barley, Co. Leicester, Chaplain to Prince Henry, and d. in London, 1621. He m. in 1597, Jane * * *, of Ely, by whom he had (among eleven sons and seven das.) 1. Andrew, Vicar of Reed. 2. Rebecca, d. y. 3. Thomas, d. y. 4. Thomas. 5. James. VIII. Hon. Thomas Willet, First Mayor of New York," etc.
  3. [S993] Cornelius Tyler, Autobiography of William Seymour Tyler and Relared Papers with the Genealogy of the Ancestors of Professor and Mrs. William S. Tyler, page 308 - Rev. Thomas Willett was a subalmoner to Edward VI, and a sufferer during the persecution in Mary's reign; but in that of Elizabeth he was preferred by his patron Bishop Richard Coxe to the rectory of Barley in Hertfordshire, and in 1560 to the fifth prebendal stall in Ely Cathedral. He died in 1598 in his eighty eighth year, He began life as a public notary and officiated as such at the consecration of Archbishop Parker. Later in life he took holy orders.
  4. [S68] Josephine C. Frost, Haviland Genealogy: Ancestors & Descendants of William Haviland of Newport, Rhode Island & Flushing, Long Island, 1653-1688, with special records of the allied families of Field, Hull, Torrey, Willets-Willis, pages 503-507.
  5. [S506] Note: Subalmoner - the one who distributed alms for the king
    Prebend - a stipend alloted from the revenues of a Catheral or Collegiate Church.
  6. [S506] Note: Reverand Dr. Richard Cox was chancellor at the University of Oxford 1547-1552. The university is in the southwest part of England near Sommerset. Thomas served under him. A chancellor is a non-resident title or head of a university.
  7. [S1003] Daniel H. Carpenter, New York's First Mayor, page 193 - On 3 April 1571, he was appointed redtor of St. Margaret's of Barley. He was not a "university nam" but qualified for preaching and had a special license from te Bishop of Ely.
  8. [S1002] Daniel H. Carpenter, Willet Record, St. Margaret's Church Records, Barley - He was buried in his 88th year.