Paulet, William (1535?-1598) (DNB00)

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PAULET, WILLIAM, third Marquis of Winchester (1535?–1598), son of John Paulet, second marquis, and grandson of William Paulet, first marquis [q. v.], was born before 1536 and knighted before 1559. He served as high sheriff for Hampshire in 1560, as joint commissioner of musters and joint lord-lieutenant for Dorset in 1569–70. Doyle says he became member of parliament for Dorset in 1571; but no parliament was elected or sat in that year, and Paulet's name does not appear in the official returns of the lower house in any other parliament. In 1572 he was summoned to the house of lords as Baron St. John, and on 4 Nov. 1576 he succeeded his father as third Marquis of Winchester. He was not satisfied with his father's will, and complained of the disposal of the family property due to the influence of his grandfather's widow, Winifrid (d. 1586). In 1580 he became lord-lieutenant of Dorset, and in October 1586 was one of the commissioners appointed to try Mary Queen of Scots; he was lord steward for her funeral on 1 Aug. 1587. In 1596 he was lord-lieutenant for Hampshire, and in 1597 first commissioner for ecclesiastical causes in the diocese of Winchester. He died on 24 Nov. 1598, having married, before 1560, Agnes, daughter of William, first lord Howard of Effingham [q. v.]; with her his relations were not entirely harmonious, and on one occasion it was only by the intercession of the queen that a reconciliation was effected (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1547–80, p. 534, &c.) He was succeeded by his eldest son William, fourth marquis, whose son John, fifth marquis, is separately noticed.

Paulet's claim to remembrance rests on a curious little work, entitled ‘The Lord Marques Idlenes: conteining manifold matter of acceptable devise, as sage sentences, prudent precepts, &c.,’ London, Arnold Hatfield, 1586, 4to; prefixed to it is a dedication to the queen and a remarkable acrostic of six Latin verses, which, says Collier, ‘must have cost the writer immense ingenuity in the composition;’ the first letters of the six lines form the word ‘regina,’ the last letters ‘nostra’ and the initials of the words in the last line ‘Angliæ.’ Copies of this edition are in the Bridgewater collection and in the British Museum and Bodleian Libraries, and Collier had heard of a fourth, but they are extremely rare. A second edition appeared in 1587, a copy of which is in the British Museum Library.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–98, passim; Cotton MS. Julius C. iii.; Peerages by Doyle, Brydges, and Collins; Collier's Bibliogr. Acc. of Early Engl. Lit. vol. i. p. xix, vol. ii. p. 132; Bodleian Cat.]

A. F. P.