Wyrley, William

, Rouge-Croix pursuivant, was son of Augustine of Wyrley, of Nether Seile, in the county of Leicester, by Mary his wife, daughter of William Charnells of Snareston, in that county, esq. which Augustine was second son of William Wyrley, of Handsworth, in Staffordshire, esq. of an ancient family in that | county, which of late years expired in an heiress married into the family of Birch, of Birch, in Lancashire, who have since sold their ancient paternal estate in that county, and reside at the Wyrley seat in Staffordshire, having assumed the name and arms of that family. In early life he was noticed by the antiquary Sampson Erdeswick, of Sandon, who took him into his house; t and Wyrley having for many years laboured in the study of heraldry, was, upon the 15th of May, 1604, appointed Rouge-Croix pursuivant of arms, which office he held, without higher promotion, till the beginning of February 1617-18, when he died in the Heralds’ college, and was buried in the burial-place belonging to that corporation in the church of St. Bene’t, Paul’s Wharf, London. In 1592, he published a book, intituled, “The true Use of Armory shewed by History, and plainly proved by example. London,” 4to; but the fame derivable from this work was somewhat injured by Erdeswick, in his dotage, laying claim to the authorship of it. Wyrley also made many collections for a history of his native county of Leicester, which Burton made use of. In 1569 he began to survey the churches there. His original ms. written by himself, containing also many churches in Warwickshire, is now in the library of the Heralds’ college, bearing the mark V. 197. It appears also, that he afterwards accompanied Burton in his survey of the churches there, in the years 1603, 1608, &c. In V. No. 127, in the same library, is a fair and beautiful copy of their labours in this way, with the arms, monuments, and antiquities, well drawn. At the end of his “True Use of Armory” are two dull creeping metrical narratives, one on the life and death of lord Chandos, the other on Sir John de Gralhy, Capitall de Buz; but it seems doubtful whether these were the production of Erdeswick or of Wyrley. It is certain they are not worth contending for. 1

1 Noble’s College of Anns. Phillips’s Theatrum Poetarum, by Sir E, Brydjes.