William Gonson

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Vice–Admiral
Sir William Gonson
Born1482
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
Died1544
London, England
Buried
St Dunstan-in-the-East
AllegianceFlag Kingdom of England.gif
Kingdom of England
Service/branchTudor Ensign 1485-1603.svg
Navy Royal
Years of service1513–1544
RankVice-Admiral
Commands heldHMS Mary Grace
Clerk of the King's Ships
Treasurer of Marine Causes
Keeper of the Kings Storehouses
Vice-Admiral of Norfolk
Vice-Admiral of Suffolk

Vice-Admiral Sir William Gonson[1] (1482–1544), was a private Merchant and Shipbuilder and Sailor who later became an important Naval Administrator and Naval Judge of the Navy Royal who served under King Henry VIII. He simultaneously held three of the four Offices of the Clerks of the Kings Marine from 1523 until 1537.

Biography

Naval Career

During the Tudor Period William Gonson's early career was as a private Merchant and Shipbuilder in the Royal Dockyards before he began his naval career.[2] He was given command of the HMS Mary Grace in April 1513 as captain.[3] In 1523 he was appointed to the office of the Clerk of the King's Ships[4] a post he held jointly with Thomas Jermyn until 1533. In 1524 he was then appointed to the Office of the Treasurer of the Marine Causes until 1544.[5]

William was a naval administrator of the English navy for over twenty years, he also held the title of Keeper of the Kings Storehouses located at Erith Dockyard and Deptford Dockyard from 1524 to 1537. [6] In effect he held the posts of three of the later chief officers of the Council of the Marine. He was appointed by Henry VIII to command the Vice-Admiralty of Norfolk and Vice-Admiralty of Suffolk in 1536. William eventually fell from grace and committed suicide in 1544 leaving the navy disorganized.[7] It took two years for Henry VIII to reorganize control and future development of the navy . He was probably along with William of Wrotham, and Sir Robert de Crull one of the three most important administrators of naval affairs of the English Navy prior to 1546.

Personal

William Gonson was born in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire in England he was the son of Christopher Gonson and Elizabeth Gonson (nee: Trussell), and brother of Bartholomew Gonson. He married Bennett Walters and together they had six sons Anthony, Arthur, Benjamin, Christopher, David and Richard. They also had four daughters Avis, Elizabeth, Margaret and Thomasine.

His son Benjamin Gonson, who would go on to hold a career in the English navy and also became Treasurer of the Navy.[8][9]

Appointments

# Offices Held Term Ref
1. Captain HMS Mary Grace 1513 [10]
2. Clerk of the King's Ships 1523–1533 [11]
3. Treasurer of the Marine Causes 1524–1544 [12]
4. Keeper of the Kings Storehouses 1524–1544 [13]
6. Vice–Admiral of Norfolk 1536–1544 [14]
7. Vice–Admiral of Suffolk 1536–1544 [15]

Footnotes

  1. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. p. 263. ISBN 9781848320314.
  2. Williamson, James A. (1965). The Age of Drake. London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. p. 260. ISBN 9780713601817.
  3. Brewer, J. S. (2015). Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII. Cambridge University Press. p. 552. ISBN 9781108062596.
  4. Bindoff, S. T. (1982). The House of Commons, 1509-1558. Woodbridge, England: Boydell & Brewer. p. 5. ISBN 9780436042829.
  5. Miller, Helen Hill (1985). Captains from Devon : the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 33. ISBN 9780912697277.
  6. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Seaforth Publishing. p. 262. ISBN 9781473819924.
  7. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Seaforth Publishing. p. 263. ISBN 9781473819924.
  8. Loades, David (2011). Henry VIII. Amberley Publishing Limited. p. 1551. ISBN 9781445606651.
  9. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. p. 263. ISBN 9781848320314.
  10. Brewer. p.552.
  11. Bindoff. p.5.
  12. Miller. p.33.
  13. Childs. p.262.
  14. Childs. p.263.
  15. Childs. p.263.

Bibliography

  1. Bennell. Jojn. (2004). 'Oxford Dictionary of the National Biography, Gonson. William (d.1544)'. Oxford. OUP.
  2. Bindoff, S. T. (1982). The House of Commons, 1509-1558. Woodbridge, England: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9780436042829.
  3. Brewer, J. S. (2015). Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108062596.
  4. Childs, David (2009). Tudor Sea Power: The Foundation of Greatness. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848320314.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gonson
  6. Loades, David (2011). Henry VIII. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445606651.
  7. Miller, Helen Hill (1985). Captains from Devon : the great Elizabethan seafarers who won the oceans for England. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 97809126972.
  8. Williamson, James A. (1965). The Age of Drake. London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. ISBN 9780713601817.