Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Coningsby, William

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CONINGSBY, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1540?), judge, second son of Sir Humphrey Coningsby (who figures as a pleader in the Yearbooks from 1480, was appointed serjesnt-at-law on 9 Sept. 1495, king's serjeant on 30 Oct. 1500, a puisne judge of the king‘s bench on 21 May 1509, was knighted then or shortly afterwards, and was still living and on the bench in 1527), was born in London and educated at Eton and Kings College, Cambridge, into which he was elected in 1497 and of which he became a fellow, though he left the university without taking a degree, was Lent reader at the Inner Temple in 1519, treasurer of the same inn in 1525-6, reader again in 1526, one of the commissions appointed to hear causes in chancery in relief of Wolsey in 1529, and one of the governors of the Inner Temple in 1533-40, 1536-7, and 1538-9. In 1539-40 he was arraigned in the Starchamber and sent to the Tower for advising Sir John Skelton to make a will upon a secret trust, in contravention of the Statute of Uses (27 Hen. VIII, c. 10). He was released after ten days’ confinement, but lost the offices of prothonotary of the king's bench and attorney of the duels of Lancaster, which he then held. On 5 July of the same year he was appointed to a puisne judgeship in the king’s bench, and was knighted; but as his name is not included in the writ of summons to parliament in the next year, it would seem that he died or retired soon after his appointment. Coningsby was also recorder of Lynn in Norfolk, in which county his seat, Eaton Hell, near Wallington, was situate. His daughter Margret married first, Sir Robert Alyngton of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire, and secondly, Thomas Pledgeor of Bottisham in the some county. Coningsby is said to have been descended from Roger de Coningsby, lord of Coningsby in Lincolnshire in the reign of John.

[Year-books 19 Ed. IV, Hil. term, pl. 11, 19 Hen. VIII, Trin. term, pl. 10; MS. Cole, xiii. 128; Harwood's Alumni Eton.; Dugdale's Chron. ser. pp. 75, 76, 85; Orig. pp. 163, 170, 172; Fiddes's Wolsey, p. 532; Blomefield’s Norfolk, vii. 413; Collect. Cant, p. 33; Hall's Chron. p. 837; Rymer's Fœdera (1st ed.), xiv. 738; Cooper' Athenæ Cantab.; Foss's Lives of the Judges.]

J. M. R.