William II Canynges (c. 1399–1474) was an English merchant and shipper from Bristol, one of the wealthiest private citizens of his day and an occasional royal financier. He served as Mayor of Bristol five times and as MP for Bristol thrice. He was a generous patron of the arts in Bristol, particularly concerning the church of St Mary Redcliffe in Bristol, "The crown of Bristol architecture". Following the death of his wife Joan in 1467, he renounced civic and commercial life and was ordained a priest in 1468, in which capacity he remained until his death six years later. His tomb effigy in St Mary's later inspired the boy poet Thomas Chatterton(d.1770) to write the romantic poem "The Storie of William Canynge"
Read more about William II Canynges: Background, Marriage, Mercantile Career, Political Career, Interaction With Royalty, Patron of Arts, Takes Holy Orders, Death & Burial, Descendants, Sources, Further Reading