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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sir Walter Pye 1571 - Dec. 26 1635 Attorney of the Court of Wards and Liveries

Walter Pye was born at The Mynde, Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire, the oldest 
son of Roger Pye and Bridget Kyrle, of Walford, Herefordshire. He was 
baptised Oct 1 1571. He was educated at Middle Temple and called to the bar 
in 1597. He was a lawyer and a politician. He married Joan Rudhall, Jul 22 
1602, the daughter of William Rudhall of Rudhall, Herefordshire. They had a 
large family of 7 sons and 8 daughters. Three of the sons and one of the 
daughters died without issue (dvp).  Joan died and was buried on Sep 10 
1625. Thereafter he married Hester Ireland, a widow, Oct 31 1628, the 
daughter of John Ireland of London. Hester was the widow of Ellis Crisp, an 
alderman of London. There was no issue from this marriage.

Walter held many offices throughout his life. He held several different 
Commissioners positions in Herefordshire, Brecon, Monmouthsire, 
Glouscestershire, Wales and others until about 1631. He was the Attorney of 
the Wards from 1621 till his death, a member of Prince Charles's Council by 
1625 and a member of the Council of the duchy of Cornwall.

Walter's ancestors were of Welsh extraction and had been in possession of 
property in Herefordshire by 1433. Although Walter was heir to The Mynde, he
was a practicing barrister and spent much of his time in London. He also 
seems to have enjoyed the patronage of Charles Howard, 1st earl of 
Nottingham. It appears he was highly successful and, for about 20 years, 
added  land and buildings to his estate. One of his purchases was the manor of 
Kilpeck, near the Mynde, which he acquired in 1610.

Walter was closely associated and related to the powerful Scudamore family, 
providing legal advice and London news to Sir John Scudamore. He also 
acted as a trustee for William, 2nd Lord Compton, from whom Roger Pye 
(Walter's father) had leased land in Wiltshire. Other notable connections it is 
said he had include George Villiers, the duke of Buckingham, Robert Devereux, 3rd earl of Essex and the earl of Somerset. 

Pye became the Attorney of the Wards on Feb 2 1620 and was dubbed a 
knight soon thereafter. It's important to distinguish Walter from his brother 
Robert who also sat in the same Parliament. Another caveat is to remember
there were two Sir Walters, the other being his son. The elder Sir Walter died
Christmas morning 1635 at his home in Greyfriars. 

Pye's career was filled with political appointments, giving him access to some 
contracts, deals or other negotiations which were considered less than honest.
After his death, his corruption was long remembered. Sir Richard Hutton paid 
tribute to his ingenuity, ability and learning, although he condemned his greed 
and corruption.  His nephew, John Beale, wrote that he was famous for his 
memory, being able to recite every English gentleman, his ancestors, his 
pedigree, coats of arms, chief mansions and other revenues.


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