Hussey, William (DNB00)

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HUSSEY or HUSE, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1495), chief justice, was probably a son of the Sir Henry Huse who received a grant of free warren in the manor of Herting in Sussex in the eighth year of Henry VI. Campbell, however, describes him as belonging to a Lincolnshire family of small means. He was a member of Gray's Inn, and on 16 June 1471 was appointed attorney-general, with full power of deputing clerks and officers under him in courts of record. As attorney-general he conducted the impeachment of the Duke of Clarence for treason. In Trinity term of 1478 he attained the degree of serjeant-at-law, and on 7 May 1481 was appointed chief justice of the king's bench, in succession to Sir Thomas Billing, at a salary of 140 marks a year. This appointment was renewed at the accession of each of the next three kings, and under Henry VII he was also a commissioner to decide the claims made to fill various offices at the coronation (Rutland Papers, p.8).

In the first year of this reign he successfully protested against the king's practice of consulting the judges beforehand upon crown cases which they were subsequently to try (Year-book, 1 Hen. VII, p. 26). In June 1492 he was a commissioner to treat with the ambassadors of the king of France. He seems to have died late of l495, as on 24 Nov. of that year Sir John Fineux [q.v.] succeeded him as chief justice. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Berkeley of Wymondham, and had two sons, John, lord Hussey of Sleaford [q.v.] and Robert, from whom descend the Husseys family of Honnington, Leicestershire.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 309; Burke's Extinct Baronetage, p.275; Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 481; Coke's Institutes, iii. 29; Gal. Rot. Pat. pp. 39, 276, 316, 326; Campbell's Lives of the Chief Justices.]

J. A. H.