William Bill
William Bill. Line engraving by R. Grave after G. P. Harding Wellcome V0000549 (crop).jpg
Borncirca 1505
Died15 July 1561
ReligionChurch of England
Senior posting
Period in office1560-1561
PredecessorJohn Feckenham
SuccessorGabriel Goodman

William Bill (c. 1505 – 15 July 1561) was Master of St John's College, Cambridge (1547–1551?), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1548) and twice Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1551–1553, 1558–1561), Provost of Eton College (1558–1561) and Dean of Westminster (1560–1561).

He was born to John and Margaret Bill of Ashwell, Hertfordshire. He had two brothers and two sisters. His brother Thomas became physician to Henry VIII of England. William was educated at St John's College, Cambridge, gaining his BA in 1532.[1] He was elected a Fellow of St John's College in 1535, and gained his MA in 1546. He received a BD degree during the period 1544–1546. In 1547, he was elected Master of St John's College, and also became a Doctor of Divinity. In 1551, he was appointed Master of Trinity College. Following the accession of Mary I in 1553, he lost all his former positions. John Christopherson was appointed in his stead to the Mastership of Trinity. When Elizabeth I of England acceded in 1558, he was appointed Provost of Eton College, and re-appointed as Master of Trinity College. He was Lord High Almoner from 1558 to 1561 and helped revise the liturgy of Edward VI. He was appointed Dean of Westminster on 30 June 1560 but died the following year.

He was buried in St Benedict's Chapel, Westminster Abbey, where his tomb and small brass figure can still be seen.

There are varying reports of whether or not he married.


  1. ^ "Bill, William (BL532W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
Academic offices Preceded byJohn Taylor Master of St John's College, Cambridge 1546–1551 Succeeded byThomas Lever Preceded byJohn Redman Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1551–1553 Succeeded byJohn Christopherson Preceded byJohn Christopherson Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1558–1561 Succeeded byRobert Beaumont