Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Williams, John (1582-1650)
WILLIAMS, JOHN (1582–1650), archbishop of York, came of an ancient Welsh family, the elder branch of which is now represented by Sir Richard Henry Williams-Bulkeley, bart., of Penrhyn, Carnarvonshire (Burke, Peerage). He was the second child of Edmund Williams of Conway, and of his wife Mary, daughter of Owen Wynne of Eglws Bach. He is said to have been born on 25 March, and was certainly baptised on 27 March 1582. He was educated at the grammar school at Ruthin (Beedham, Notices of Archbishop Williams, pp. 3, 4), whence he was transferred to St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1598 (Baker, Hist. of the College of St. John the Evangelist, ed. Mayor, p. 261). Before long he gave offence to the puritans by upholding the discipline and ceremonies of the church, while he gave equal offence to their opponents by attending the sermons of the puritan William Perkins [q. v.] at St. Mary's. This attitude of aloofness from extreme parties was characteristic of him during the whole of his life.
Williams in 1601 took the degree of B.A., and on 14 April 1603 was admitted to a fellowship in his college. He took his degree of M.A. in 1605. He must have been ordained not later than that year, in spite of Hacket's (Hacket, Life of Williams, i. 18) statement that his ordination took place in the twenty-seventh year of his life—that is to say 1608–9—as on 17 Oct. 1605 he was instituted to Honington, a poor living in Suffolk, on the king's presentation (Beedham, pp. 9, 10). James had no doubt been informed of Williams's character, so suitable to his own, and his reputation as a preacher led in 1610 to his being invited to preach before the king. Being in this way brought to the notice of Chancellor Ellesmere, he was offered a chaplaincy in his household. Williams, however, asked that this appointment might be postponed till after he had fulfilled his obligations to his university as proctor in 1611–12, and his request was promptly conceded. Already, in 1610, Archbishop Bancroft had conferred upon him the archdeaconry of Cardigan (Beedham, p. 10), and on 3 Nov. 1611 he obtained the rectory of Grafton Underwood on the king's presentation upon his surrender of Honington. There seems to have been some informality in the grant, as on 10 July 1612 he was presented a second time to the same living by the Earl of Worcester (ib. pp. 11, 17). In the latter year, as soon as his duties as proctor came to an end, he entered Ellesmere's household. The stream of his promotion did not slacken, and on 5 July in that year he became a prebendary of Hereford (ib. p. 11). In 1613 he graduated B.D., and on 10 Oct. he was installed in the prebend of Laffard in Lincoln Cathedral, holding it in addition to that at Hereford. On 29 Dec. 1613 he was installed precentor of Lincoln Cathedral, the prebend of Kilsby being annexed to the office. On the same day, having relinquished the prebend of Laffard, he was also installed in that of Asgarby in the same cathedral (Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. ed. Hardy, ii. 86, 103, 162). On 4 May 1614 he was instituted to the rectory of Walgrave on the presentation of Richard Neile [q. v.], then bishop of Lincoln, holding it in conjunction with his other living of Grafton Underwood. On 15 June 1616 he was instituted to the first prebend in Peterborough Cathedral (Beedham, p. 12).
Not only this accumulation of ecclesiastical benefices but the names of his patrons show that Williams was anything but a puritan. His patrons were sufficiently numerous and powerful to enable him, when Ellesmere died on 17 March 1617, to refuse to continue in the household of the lord keeper as chaplain to his successor. Having taken the degree of D.D. in 1617, he retired for a time to Walgrave, but, having been named chaplain to the king, he was bound to reside at court during part of the year, and accompanied James to Scotland in 1618. His wide reading and readiness of speech soon made him a favourite with a king who was a lover of discursive conversation. On 10 Sept. 1619 he was rewarded with the deanery of Salisbury, retaining, nevertheless, his other preferments.
Williams was aware that if he wished to keep the footing he had gained at court the favour of Buckingham was indispensable. He accordingly took the opportunity in 1620 of assisting the favourite to gain the hand of Lady Catherine Manners, the king having refused to allow the marriage to take place unless she renounced the Roman catholic religion. The lady gave way under the dean's persuasions, though she resumed her earlier creed after her marriage. To Williams himself this progress in court favour brought the deanery of Westminster, to which he was collated on 10 July 1620. He had already asked Buckingham for it on 12 March, when he explained that he preferred Westminster as more suitable, not as more profitable, than Salisbury.
The chief advantage of Westminster to Williams was its proximity to Whitehall. In 1621 he took advantage of this to give political counsel to Buckingham, advising him to throw over the monopolists, who were assailed by parliament, and to divert attention from his own part in the monopolies by putting himself at the head of the movement for their revocation (Hacket, p. 50; see Gardiner, Hist. of Engl. iv. 52). Such advice reveals the worldly wisdom of the man who gave it. It pointed to a career of influence in the government of the state, and James selected him for the lord-keepership after Bacon's fall. In times when the court of chancery demanded the shrewdness which would qualify a judge to administer equity upon general principles, it would probably have been difficult to make a better choice; and though it was nearly seventy years since a clergyman had held the office, the feeling of the day did not rebel against the appointment. One difficulty, indeed, presented itself. After Bacon's disgrace [see Bacon, Francis] there must be no more taking of bribes, or even of fees which would bear the appearance of bribes, and the profits of the place would therefore be considerably curtailed. James made up the deficiency by appointing Williams to the bishopric of Lincoln, to which he was elected on 3 Aug. 1621. On 16 July, after the congé d'élire had been issued, the great seal was placed in his hands. To avoid critical remarks, especially from the lawyers, it was given out, on his own request, that he held the post only on probation, and that some of the common-law judges would sit with him as assistants (Cabala, p. 260). As no charge was ever brought against him in connection with his proceedings in chancery, it is to be presumed that he acquitted himself well on the bench.
There is a story which may have a kernel of truth in it, that Williams gave his support to Laud's appointment to the bishopric of St. David's against the king's wish, and it has been suggested by Dr. Bliss, in his notes to Laud's ‘Diary,’ that Williams was interested in the matter, because he wanted to keep the deanery of Westminster in commendam, and feared lest Laud should receive the appointment (the story is discussed in Gardiner's Hist. of England, iv. 138). However this may have been, Williams was allowed to keep the deanery and also his prebend at Lincoln. He was not consecrated as bishop till 11 Nov., having refused to be consecrated by Archbishop Abbot, who had accidentally killed a keeper when shooting [see Abbot, George 1562–1633]. Williams based his refusal on the objection which might be taken to his own position if he had been consecrated by one tainted with blood.
On 21 Nov. the new bishop was employed to open the proceedings of parliament which had met after the summer adjournment. In the subsequent dispute his voice was given on the side of moderation. James having claimed that parliamentary privileges were held by grant from his ancestors, Williams recommended him to add that they were now inherent in the persons of the members (Cabala, p. 263). In 1623 he showed the same anxiety to avoid risk in a letter in which he warned Prince Charles against the dangers attending his projected journey to Madrid, at the same time pointing out to Buckingham the loss of popularity to which he would be exposed if any harm happened to the prince (Hacket, p. 116). When Charles had been driven, after his arrival in Spain, into an engagement to relieve the Roman catholics from the operation of the penal laws, it was Williams who argued away James's conscientious objections to confirm by his signature the articles in which this promise was embodied (Gardiner, Hist. of England, v. 66). Williams, however, stood in the way of a proposal of the Spanish ambassadors that the king should restrain the judges from allowing the institution of proceedings against Roman catholics, urging that though he could dispense with the execution of the law, he could not order it to be permanently disregarded. He so far prevailed as to get the question postponed, and, though the pardon and dispensation were got ready, the ambassadors were told that they could not be made public till after the marriage had taken place. Williams's object in inducing the king to sign the articles, and in subsequently inducing him not to give effect to them at once, was probably merely to get the prince home from Spain, with the question of performance still open.
No such scheming could avail Williams when, after the prince's return, his vote as a commissioner for Spanish affairs was given against a war with Spain, thereby pleasing the king, but offending Buckingham and Charles. The vote, however, was one which, whether politic or not, must have been a conscientious one. Williams had no more wish to promote war abroad than he had to promote quarrels at home. It did not follow that Williams would let any chance escape him of regaining Buckingham's favour. On 23 March 1624 James having at the instance of a new parliament declared the treaties with Spain at an end, the Spanish ambassadors did all in their power to draw him back from the path on which he was entering. They induced him to give a private audience on 1 April to Carondelet, the archdeacon of Cambrai, who assured James that he was now a mere tool in Buckingham's hands. Williams saw his opportunity, and informed the prince of Carondelet's audience, of which he had obtained knowledge through Carondelet's mistress, who acted as one of his spies. ‘In my studies of divinity,’ he told Charles, ‘I have gleaned up this maxim, it is lawful to make use of the sin of another. Though the devil make her a sinner, I may make good use of her sin.’ ‘Yea,’ answered Charles, ‘do you deal in such ware?’ ‘In good faith,’ replied the bishop, ‘I never saw her face.’ Further information was derived from Carondelet himself. Williams ordered the arrest of a priest in whom Carondelet was interested, and the archdeacon, coming to him to beg for his release, blurted out his belief, derived from James himself, that parliament would soon be dissolved. Williams was thus able to supply Buckingham with a complete story of the intrigue.
With the king Williams had ever been a persona grata, and it was from the hands of the episcopal lord keeper that on 24 March 1625 James received the communion on his deathbed. With the new king Williams was not likely to remain long in favour. Charles was unable to appreciate his merits as a councillor of moderation, while Williams's defects of character were certain to revolt him. On 10 July he advised the king against the adjournment of parliament to Oxford, having no belief that the project of driving the House of Commons to grant a supply which they had practically refused already would meet with anything but failure. To argue thus was to offend not only Charles but Buckingham, who wanted supply to enable him to send the fleet to Cadiz. ‘Public necessity,’ said the duke, ‘must sway more than one man's jealousy.’ Later on, when a dissolution had been resolved on, he gave fresh offence to Charles by arguing against it. Williams, in short, had played the part of a candid critic, and neither Buckingham nor Charles was inclined to put up with an adviser who refused to accept their projects for more than they were really worth. If it be true that the lord keeper boasted of his own popularity as enabling him to hold his own against the favourite, there was more than enough in his conduct to exasperate Buckingham. The only question which remained was how he was to be got rid of. In the end some one remembered that James had assigned him three years of probation in the lord keeper's office. The three years were more than expired, and, without any further explanation, Williams ceased to be lord keeper on 25 Oct. With him the last chance of a compromise between king and parliament disappeared from the counsels of Charles.
Williams is next heard of in public life, when at the opening of the parliament of 1628 he, together with four other members of the House of Lords, was found absent from his place, doubtless by the king's orders, but was recalled to his seat by the determination of the house to which he belonged. In the dispute which ensued over the ‘petition of right’ he characteristically played a mediatory part. On 22 April he pronounced against the king's claim to imprison without showing cause; but on 16 May, when the petition itself was before the lords, he proposed to amend it by a new clause ‘that no freeman be—for not lending money, or for any other cause contrary to Magna Carta and the other statutes insisted upon, and the true intention of the same, to be declared by your Majesty's judges in any such matter as is before mentioned—imprisoned or detained (Harl. MS. 6800, fol. 274). The intention of such a clause is easily to be discerned, but it was lacking in clearness of expression, probably because neither Williams nor any one else could, without giving offence to one side or the other, express clearly what was in the minds of many—namely, that the king should retain the power of imprisoning offenders actually dangerous to the state, while abandoning the power of imprisoning those whom he only fancied to be dangerous. The House of Lords itself, in spite of its sympathy with Williams's effort, passed his clause over in favour of one proposed by Richard Weston (afterwards first Earl of Portland) [q. v.], in which the intention of parliament to leave sovereign power to the king was indicated without ambiguity. This clause, in turn, was criticised by Williams, who, after it had been rejected by the commons, refused to support it unless he could be convinced that it ‘did not reflect nor any way operate upon the petition.’ Later on when, on the instance of the commons, the petition had been presented to the king without amendment and had received an unsatisfactory answer, Williams on 7 June supported a proposal for a better reply. In 1628, as in 1625, he ranged himself on the side of the commons, but not till he had exhausted all the resources of diplomacy to avert a rupture.
The stress of conflict had convinced Buckingham that it was worth his while to win back the man whom he had discarded. Before the end of May there had been an interview between Williams and the mother of the duke, followed by one with the favourite himself, in which the dismissed lord keeper urged the adoption of a more conciliatory policy towards the puritans. At some later date he appears to have suggested a reconciliation with Eliot, and a compromise on the dispute which had sprung up (after the king's assent had been given to the ‘petition of right’) on the question of tonnage and poundage. Williams also, with that love of intrigue which dogged the steps of his statesmanship, recommended that his own restoration to favour should be kept secret in order that in the next session of parliament he might advocate this compromise with more authority as an independent member (Hacket, ii. 80, 83). Buckingham's murder, however, put an end to Williams's chance of rehabilitation at court.
In his episcopal character Williams showed the hatred of extremes which marked his politics. In 1627 one of the vicars of Grantham attempting to remove the communion table to the east end of the church, the parishioners appealed to Williams as their bishop. Williams decided that, according to the rule of the injunctions and canons referring to such matters, the table ought to stand at the east end, but should be moved further down when the communion was administered, reminding the young vicar that when he had gained more experience he would ‘find no such ceremony equal to Christian charity.’ If Williams had had his way, one of the chief stumbling-blocks to an understanding between the crown and the puritans would have been averted (see, in addition to the references given in Gardiner's Hist. of England, vii. 16–18, the certificate in State Papers, Dom. cccclxx. 83). In 1633 the question of the position of the communion table came up again. By Williams's advice the chancel of a church in Leicester which had been used as a library was restored to its proper use, and in a letter to the mayor (Williams to the mayor of Leicester, 18 Sept., State Papers, Dom. ccxlvi. 42) the bishop gave his reasons at length for following the precedent he had established at Grantham respecting the position of the communion table. It was, however, Laud and not Williams who had influence with the king, and on 3 Nov. Charles issued his decision in the case of St. Gregory's, that the communion table should be permanently fixed at the east end.
Williams's chance of rallying the moderate section of Laud's opponents was reduced to nothing by his own fault. Ever since 1628 a Star-chamber prosecution, in which he was charged with betraying secrets as a privy councillor, had been pending against him. In 1633 the morality of one of his witnesses was assailed, and, in his eagerness to defend him, Williams actually stooped to suborn false evidence in favour of a man whose testimony he needed (State Papers, Dom. ccclvii. 104, ccclxi. 99, ccclxii. 34; see Gardiner, Hist. of England, viii. 252, n. 1). In 1635 a fresh prosecution against him was opened in the Star-chamber for subornation of perjury, but Williams had friends at court who had a quarrel with Laud, and in November he had hopes of a pardon on his consenting to surrender the deanery of Westminster and to give 8,000l. Finding Charles irresolute, Williams offered in 1636 to bribe more courtiers, but in the end Charles refused his consent to the abandonment of the prosecution (‘Letters and Papers of Sir J. Monson,’ Lambeth MSS. mxxx. Nos. 47, 48).
In November 1636, the year in which Williams's hope of a pardon was brought to an end, he published anonymously ‘The Holy Table, Name and Thing,’ a book setting forth his views on the position of the communion table, which was licensed for his own diocese on 30 Nov., and was evidently intended as a reply to Heylyn's ‘Coal from the Altar,’ licensed on 5 May. His ecclesiastical position was damaged by his moral fall. On 11 July 1637 he was sentenced by the Star-chamber for subornation of perjury to a fine of 10,000l. to the king and of 1,000 marks to Sir John Monson, whom he had also wronged. He was also deprived of the profits of all his benefices, and was to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure. The high commission was invited to suspend him from the exercise of his function, an invitation complied with on 24 July (Rushworth, ii. 416; sentence of suspension, State Papers, Dom. cclxiv. 43).
Williams was sent to the Tower, where Laud offered him freedom in the king's name if he would surrender his bishopric for one in Wales or Ireland, and give up his other benefices. He must also acknowledge himself guilty of the charge brought against him, and to have erred in writing ‘The Holy Table, Name and Thing’ (Lambeth MSS. mxxx. fol. 68 b). The terms, dictated—at least in part—by ecclesiastical partisanship, were not accepted, and on 14 Feb. 1639 Williams was again before the Star-chamber on a charge of having in his house at Buckden certain letters written by Osbaldiston in which Laud was styled ‘the little urchin’ and ‘the little meddling hocus-pocus’ [see Osbaldeston, Lambert]. Williams was condemned to pay 5,000l. to the king and 3,000l. to Laud.
When the Short parliament met in 1640 an attempt seems to have been made to come to an understanding with Williams. He is heard of as being at Lambeth on 30 April, and on 2 May ‘The Holy Table, Name and Thing’ was called in, it is said, with Williams's consent (Notes of Intelligence, May 5; Rossingham to Conway, May 12, State Papers, Dom. cccclii. 37, ccccliii. 24). Parliament was, however, dissolved on 5 May, and Williams remained in the Tower. His prospects cannot have been improved by the discovery among Hampden's papers of a letter from Williams asking Hampden to move in the House of Commons that the bishop ought to have his writ to sit in the House of Lords (ib.) When the Long parliament met the government fancied they had found a way out of the difficulty by sending to Williams a writ empowering him to take his seat on condition of his giving bail to surrender himself as a prisoner at the end of the parliament, unless the king had in the meanwhile granted him a pardon. The House of Lords, however, intervened, and on 16 Nov. ordered his unconditional release, upon which the king relieved him from the other consequences of the sentence against him in the Star-chamber. Williams's first use of his recovered authority as dean of Westminster was to permit the removal of the communion table at St. Margaret's to the middle of the church, that it might be used in that position by the House of Commons on the 22nd (Commons' Journal, ii. 32).
In the House of Lords of the Long parliament Williams's place was marked out in advance as the leader of the party aiming at a compromise between the admirers of the Book of Common Prayer as it stood and the extreme puritans who desired to get rid of it altogether. He was named chairman of a committee appointed on 1 March at the motion of the puritan Lord Saye and Sele to consider ‘all innovations in the church concerning religion’ (Lords' Journal, iv. 174). The committee appointed a sub-committee, which also placed Williams in the chair, and in which broad-minded prelates, such as Ussher, Morton, and Hall, sat with Sanderson, representing the Laudian section of the church, and Burgess and Marshall, whose leanings were distinctly towards presbyterianism (Hacket, ii. 146).
Before the result of these deliberations could appear, Williams was involved in the political whirlpool. When, on 9 May, four bishops were consulted by Charles on the question whether he could conscientiously give his consent to the bill for Strafford's attainder, Williams was the only one who declared in the affirmative. The ground taken by him was that the king's public conscience might be satisfied by the opinions of the judges even if his private conscience were not (Strafford Letters, ii. 432; Hacket, ii, 161). On the other hand he urged Charles to reject the bill taking away his right of dissolving parliament unless with the consent of parliament itself. When the bill had been passed, Williams saw clearly what its consequences would be. ‘Will it be possible,’ he asked Charles, ‘for your truest lieges to do you service any more?’ (ib. ii. 162).
The excitement which prevailed in the parliament and in the country could not fail to have an influence upon Williams's committee. On 24 May Williams, who again aspired to a high political position, spoke against the bishops' exclusion bill in committee in the House of Lords (Parl. Hist. ii. 794). On 1 July he brought in his own bill for the regulation of bishops, proposing that no bishop should abstain from preaching or should be justice of the peace unless he happened, as in his own case, to be dean of Westminster. Bishops, too, were to have twelve assistants for jurisdiction and ordination. In case of an episcopal vacancy the bishops were to present three names to the king, from which he might choose one. The remaining clauses provided for certain reforms good enough in themselves, but not likely to be admitted by those who were crying out for the abolition of episcopacy (Lords' Journals, iv. 296, 298, 308; Fuller, Church History, ed. 1845, vi. 208). The bill was read twice and referred to a committee, from which it never emerged. Williams combined a belief that the church would only be strengthened by a reform of abuses with a keen sense of the importance of personal conciliation, and did not fail to urge Charles to do his best to win over Essex and Manchester to his side (Hacket, ii. 163). Charles, who in his soberer moments desired conciliation in a general way, though he chafed against it when it was translated into detail, resolved to appoint bishops whose names would give satisfaction to his more moderate opponents, and on 4 Dec. translated Williams to the archbishopric of York.
Soon after the last-named event took place Williams's political life came, at least temporarily, to an end. Being, on 27 Dec. 1641, insulted by a mob on his way to the House of Lords, he was sufficiently ill-advised to present to the king on the 29th a protest signed by himself and eleven other bishops, declaring that as they could not attend the house without danger to their lives, all its ‘laws, orders, votes,’ &c., ‘made in their absence were null and void’ (Lords' Journals, iv. 496). On the 30th the commons at once impeached the twelve bishops of high treason, with the object of getting rid of their votes, and Williams, like the rest, was committed to the Tower (ib. iv. 497, 498). On 5 May 1642 he was released on bail on condition that he would ‘not go into Yorkshire during the distractions there’ (ib. v. 44, 45). He preferred, however, forfeiting his bail to carrying out this condition, and, escaping to York, where the king was, was enthroned as archbishop on 27 June 1642 (Beedham, p. 13).
When the civil war broke out Williams fortified his house at Cawood, but on 4 Oct. fled from it at the approach of the younger Hotham (Hacket, ii. 186). Having taken leave of the king, he made for his native Conway, where he did his best to advance the king's cause, fortifying Conway Castle at his own charge and organising the militia (ib. ii. 207–10). On or before 22 Nov. 1643 he opened communications with Ormonde. On 18 Dec. he wrote to Ormonde welcoming the arrival at Mostyn of a portion of the army which had been released from service in Ireland by the cessation with the Irish confederates. On 19 June Williams showed that he had no love for Sir John Mennes [q. v.], appointed governor of three counties in North Wales by Rupert on his way to Marston Moor. On 20 April 1645 he mentions the appointment of Sir John Owen—no friend of his—to the government of Conway (The Unpublished Correspondence between Archbishop Williams and the Marquis of Ormond, ed. Beedham, 1869). Personages hostile to Williams made their influence felt at court. He was summoned to Oxford on 16 Dec. 1644, reaching the city in January 1645, when the royalist parliament was in its second session, though as a bishop he had no longer a seat in it. He is said to have told the king that Cromwell was his most dangerous enemy, and had ‘the properties of all evil beasts’ (Hacket, ii. 212).
After Williams's return to Wales, on 9 May Sir John Owen, on the ground of a letter from the king dated 1 Aug. 1643, seized Conway Castle and took possession of the property which Welshmen had deposited in it, in the belief that it was safe in the hands of Williams (ib. ii. 218). Getting no redress from the king, his countrymen put him forward as their leader after the disaster at Naseby. Williams made terms with the parliamentary commander Mytton, on condition that he would restore the plundered goods to the owners and help him to take the castle, which surrendered on 10 Nov. 1646 (Mytton to Lenthall, 10–11 Nov. in Beedham's Notices of Archbishop Williams, p. 69; see Tanner MS. lix. 575, 580. The dates of 18 Dec. in Gardiner's Great Civil War, iii. 139, and of 18 Nov. under Mytton, Thomas, are both incorrect).
That Williams's action should be regarded as treacherous by royalist tradition (Beedham, p. 69) is only natural, but it is difficult to see that his conduct was other than justifiable at the time when the king was already in the hands of the Scots, and resistance by isolated posts as useless as it was hopeless. Williams himself continued to live in comfort, as he was possessed of a considerable amount of landed property purchased by him in the neighbourhood. He died of a quinsy at Gloddaeth in the parish of Eglws-rhôs, Carnarvonshire, on 25 March 1650, and was buried at Llandegai, where a monumental effigy was erected to his memory (ib. p. 80; Hacket, ii. 228). While lord keeper he had repurchased the family property, which descended to his nephew and heir, Sir Griffith Williams.
Seven portraits of Williams are described in Beedham's ‘Notices’ (pp. 81–5). One ascribed to Van Dyck is at Pengwern, near Rhyl; two, ascribed to Cornelius Janssen, are at Hovingham Hall, near Malton, Yorkshire, and at Penrhyn Castle. Three anonymous portraits are at Bishopthorpe, St. John's College, Cambridge, and Kingstone, near Canterbury; while a fourth anonymous portrait belongs to the dean and chapter of Westminster. There is an engraved portrait in Harding's ‘Deans of Westminster’ (after Janssen), and others by Hollar, R. White, Van der Gucht, and Houbraken.
Williams's benefactions were considerable. Among them was his gift of 2011l. 13s. 4d. for building the library of St. John's, Cambridge (Baker MSS. xii. 66; Harl. MSS. Brit. Mus.; Willis and Clark, Architectural Hist. of the Colleges of Cambr. ii. 270; information communicated by J. W. Clark). He also founded in the same college two fellowships and four scholarships (Baker, Hist. of St. John's, ed. Mayor, p. 338; see also ib. p. 209). In 1633 he bought land of which the rent was to go to the poor at Honington, his first parish. He founded another charity at Walgrave, did much to improve the palace of the bishops of Lincoln at Buckden, and made over a sum of money collected by him for the use of the poor of Lincoln (Beedham, passim). He panelled with cedar the ceiling of Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster, and put new panelling and glass in Lincoln College Chapel, Oxford, where his arms are quartered on the shields of the ceiling.[The main source of information is the garrulous life by Bishop John Hacket, published under the title of Scrinia Reserata, 2 pts. London, 1693, fol. Valuable facts can be obtained from Beedham's Notices of Archbishop Williams, privately printed, London, 1869, and Unpublished Correspondence between Archbishop Williams and the Marquis of Ormonde, also privately printed in 1869; there are copies of both in the British Museum Library. Many of Williams's letters are to be found in Cabala.]