Scrope, William (c.1350–1399), earl of Wiltshire , justiciar, eldest son of Richard, Lord Scrope of Bolton, and his wife Blanche, daughter of Sir William de la Pole, became associated with Ireland in the latter years of the reign of Richard II (qv). Scrope had served the king in France from 1369, holding a variety of influential positions. He purchased the lordship of Man from the earl of Salisbury, with the right to wear the crown, in 1392. Scrope became vice-chamberlain of the king's household in 1392, emerged as one of his closest advisers in the early 1390s, and accompanied Richard to Ireland in October 1394, where he received a further set of grants from the king.
He was made the chamberlain of Ireland and granted custody of Dublin castle in October 1394, and in March 1395 he was granted the custody of the lordship of Louth and the city of Drogheda. When the king left Ireland he took the step of dividing the power of the office of chief governor between Roger Mortimer (qv), earl of March, and William Scrope. Scrope, who was described as justiciar to Mortimer's lieutenant, was to have the governance of Munster, Leinster, and Louth from 25 April 1395. While William Scrope was the official justiciar and also had duties in England, he was unable to confine his attentions to Ireland and left much of his work to his brother Stephen (qv), who served as his unofficial deputy.
Scrope was to serve with a retinue of 200 men-at-arms and 800 archers, which he garrisoned around his region of responsibility in order to preserve the settlements agreed to by the king during his visit to Ireland. This deployment of forces broke down in the face of increasing unrest and was removed by April 1397, when Scrope's commission as justiciar ended. By this time Scrope himself had returned to England, where he served as a commissioner to treat for the marriage of Isabella of France, and then as ambassador to France in 1397. He was rewarded for his support of the king with the earldom of Wiltshire (29 September 1397) and given extensive grants of forfeited lands. He served as treasurer of England from September 1398 and remained in England when Richard made his second expedition to Ireland in the summer of 30 July 1399.
Wiltshire quickly submitted to Henry Bolingbroke, but escaped and went to Bristol to meet the king. He was captured by Lancastrian supporters on 28 July 1399 and executed two days later. His title died with him; but as he predeceased his father, his family's lands were not subject to forfeiture, and his younger brother Stephen was able to gain the confidence of the new king.