Officials: Wilmesley, George


First chancellor of the diocese of Chester.


Chancellor of the diocese of Chester (being both official principal and vicar-general); commissary general; registrar

Qualifications: Bachelor of Civil Law 1526-28; Bachelor of Canon Law 1528 (Oxford)

Career: university lawyer at Oxford 1527-1535 then held a number of ecclesiastical preferments including (probably) prebendary of Beckingham (Southwell) following his father’s death in about 1536; vicar-general to the bishop of Rochester 1535-1539? According to Christopher Haigh he was probably not beneficed while Chancellor of the diocese of Chester.

Further notes: Illegitimate son of George Savage, rector of Davenham; his grandmother was Katherine, sister of the first earl of Derby. One of his half-brothers, also illegitimate, was Edmund Bonner, bishop of London.

It was possibly while he was vicar-general to John Hilsey, bishop of Rochester, that Wilmesley met John Bird, Hilsey’s chaplain, and subsequently his patron as bishop of Chester.


Christopher Haigh, ‘A Mid-Tudor Ecclesiastical Official: the Curious Career of George Wilmesley’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 122 (1970), pp. 1-24.

Rev. G. J. Piccope (ed.), Lancashire and Cheshire Wills and Inventories from the Ecclesiastical Court, Chester, Chetham Society, old series, 33 (1857).