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PERYAM, Sir WILLIAM (1534–1604), judge, was the eldest son of John Peryam of Exeter, by his wife Elizabeth, a daughter of Robert Hone of Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire (Pole, Collections for Devon, p. 149). He was born at Exeter in 1534, and was a cousin of Sir Thomas Bodley [q. v.] His father, a man of means, was twice mayor of Exeter, and his brother, Sir John, was also an alderman of that town and a benefactor of Exeter College, Oxford. William Peryam was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was elected fellow on 25 April, but resigned on 7 Oct. 1551, and sat for Plymouth from 1562 to 1567. He joined the Middle Temple, where his arms are placed in the hall, was called to the bar in 1565, became a serjeant-at-law in Michaelmas term 1579, and on 13 Feb. 1581 was appointed a judge of the common pleas. Upon Sir Christopher Hatton's death in 1591, he was named one of the commissioners to hear causes in chancery, and he was frequently in commissions for trials of political crimes, particularly those of Mary Queen of Scots, the Earls of Arundel and Essex, and Sir John Perrot. Accordingly in January 1593 he was promoted to be chief baron of the exchequer, and was knighted, and presided in that court for nearly twelve years. On 9 Oct. 1604 he died at his house at Little Fulford, near Crediton, Devonshire, and was buried at Little Fulford church, in which neighbourhood he had bought large estates. He had also built a ‘fayre dwelling house’ (Pole, Collections for Devon, p. 221) at Credy Peitevin or Wiger, which he left to his daughters, and they sold it to his brother John. A picture, supposed to be his portrait, and ascribed to Holbein, is in the National Portrait Gallery, London (Notes and Queries, 5th ser. vi. 88, 135). He was thrice married: first, to Margery, daughter of John Holcot of Berkshire; secondly, to Anne, daughter of John Parker of North Molton, Devonshire; thirdly, to Elizabeth, a daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon [q. v.], lord-keeper; and he left four daughters, of whom the eldest, Mary, was married to Sir William Pole [q. v.] of Colcombe, Devonshire, and Elizabeth to Sir Robert Basset of Heanton-Punchardon, Devonshire; Jane married Thomas Poyntz of Hertfordshire; and Anne, William Williams of Herringstone, Dorset. His widow, in 1620, endowed a fellowship and two scholarships at Balliol College, Oxford, out of lands at Hambledon and Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire.

[Boase's Registrum Coll. Exon. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), pp. 66, 370; Foss's Judges of England; Prince's Worthies; Pole's Collections for Devon; Dugdale's Origines, pp. 48, 225; State Trials, i. 1167, 1251, 1315, 1333; App. 4th Rep. Public Records, 272–96; Walter Yonge's Diary, p. 8; Green's Domestic State Papers, 1591–1603; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Strype's Works, Index; Official Returns of Members of Parliament.]

J. A. H.