Sir Thomas BASKERVILLE

Born: BEF 1520

Died: 15 Apr 1572

Father: James BASKERVILLE of Eardisley (Sir)

Mother: Elizabeth BREYNTON

Married 1: Anne UNTON (d. 1567) (dau. of Sir Thomas Unton of Wadley and Elizabeth Hyde) (w. of John Vampage of Wollas Hall) ABT 1553

Married 2: Eleanor ABINGTON (dau. and coh. of Richard Abington of Brockhampton and Joyce Shirley) (w. of John Dansey of Brinsop - m.3 John Gage) ABT 1570

Children:

1. Eleanor BASKERVILLE


The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Third son of Sir James Baskerville of Eardisley, and bro. of James and John. Married first, by 1553, Anne (d. 1567 or later), dau. of Sir Thomas Unton of Wadley, Berks., wid. of John Vampage of Wollas Hall (d. 1548), s.p.; and secondly, by 1570, Eleanor, dau. and coh. of Richard Abington of Brockhampton, Herefs., wid. of John Dansey (d. 1568/9), of Brinsop, 1da. Kntd. 2 Oct 1553.

Commr. sewers, Glos., Worcs. 1554; sheriff, Worcs. 1555-6, 1563-4; j.p. 1558/59-d.

Thomas Baskerville had two contemporary namesakes in Herefordshire with whom he is liable to be confused until he was knighted: they were his uncle, of Aylstone Bridge, who died in 1551, and his cousin, of Netherwood, sometime a servant of Walter Devereux, 3rd Lord Ferrers, who died in 1576. On only one commission is Baskerville distinguished from them by the suffix junior, a commission to take an inquisition post mortem to which he was named with his father in 1541.

Baskervilles first marriage to the widow of a Worcestershire gentleman gave him position and wealth there as well as in Gloucestershire.

Sir Thomas Unton was the son and heir of Hugh Unton, by his wife Anne, daughter and heir of William Fettiplace of Stokenchurch (Buckinghamshire). From Chancery Inquisitiones post mortem, it appears that he married, probably as his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of William Yonge (d. 1487) of Southbury in Hanney (Berkshire), through whom he inherited the manor of Southbury. He subsequently married Elizabeth (d. 1536), fourth daughter of Oliver Hyde (d. 1516) by his wife, Agnes, daughter and heir of Thomas Lovingcott. Sir Thomas Unton was Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire in 1531. He held the lease of the manor of Wadley in Faringdon from Oriel College, Oxford, and also appears to have held land in Minster Lovell and Aston Rowant (Oxfordshire) and at Waddesdon and Fingest (Buckinghamshire) together with the manor of Stalpits in Shrivenham (Berkshire). At the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn, in May 1533, he received the honour of knighthood. By his will, he founded, in the church, a chantry for himself and descendants. By Elizabeth Hyde, Sir Thomas had issue, two sons and two daughters. His heir was Sir Alexander (d. 1547); Thomas, his second son, married Anne Cottysmore, lived at Letcombe Regis (Berkshire), and d.s.p. in 1542. Edith (d. 1562), the elder daughter, married Sir John Russell (d. 1536) of Strensham (Worcestershire); Anne, the younger daughter, married John Vampage of Wollashall in Eckington (Worcestershire) and after his death, Sir Thomas Baskerville. During her lifetime Baskerville occupied two houses in Worcestershire which formed part of her dower, and although after his second marriage he returned to his own county he remained a personage in Worcestershire until his death. His knighthood at the coronation of Mary both reflected and enhanced his new status, and preluded his entry into county administration. A supporter of her regime, he was elected a knight of the shire to her last Parliament with one of her secretaries, Sir John Bourne: to royal favour he could add the support of influential connexions, particularly the Russells of Strensham. Nothing has come to light about his part in the Commons. Although he could not have welcomed the settlement of 1559, being described in 1564 as an adversary of true religion, he served a second term as sheriff and did not lose his place on the bench.

Baskerville died on 15 Apr 1572, having made his will two days earlier. During the nonage of his daughter and heir Eleanor, who was aged 16 months and more, his wife Eleanor was to have his sheep at Bradwell and Naunton in Gloucestershire, his goods at Brinsop, Brockhampton and Little Hereford in Worcestershire, and all his plate and a gold chain. He entrusted his daughter until she was 21 to the care of his wife, his brother John and John Higford of Dixton, Gloucestershire, and made his wife sole executrix and John Adams of Berrington, Gloucestershire, overseer. His widow married John Gage of Wormsley, Herefordshire.

Sources:

Dale, M. K.: BASKERVILLE, Sir Thomas (by 1520-72), of Birlingham and Wollas Hall, Eckington, Worcs. and Brinsop, Herefs.

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