Thomas DACRE

(4th B. Gillesland/ 3rd B. Greystoke)

Born: ABT 1527/1530

Died: 1 Jul 1566, Kirkoswald, Cumberland, England

Buried: 25 Jul 1566, Carlisle Cathedral, England

Father: William DACRE (3º B. Gillesland/ 2º B. Greystoke)

Mother: Elizabeth TALBOT (B. Gillesland)

Married 1: Elizabeth NEVILLE

Married 2: Elizabeth LEYBURNE (B. Dacre / D. Norfolk) (d. 4 Sep. 1567, Kenninghall, Suffolk) (dau. of Sir James Leyburne of Cunswick, Westmoreland and Helen Preston) (m.2 Thomas Howard, 4° D. Norfolk) (See her Biography)


1. Anne DACRE (C. Arundel)

2. George DACRE (5º B. Gillesland / 4º B. Greystoke)

3. Francis DACRE

4. Mary DACRE

5. Elizabeth DACRE

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

Son of William, 3rd Lord Dacre of Gillesland, by Elizabeth, dau. of George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury; brother of Francis and Leonard. Married first Elizabeth, dau. of Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland, s.p.; and by 1556, Elizabeth, dau. of Sir James Leyburn of Cunswick, Westmld., 2s. 3da. His sister were Anne, Countess of Cumberland, Magdalen, Lady Montague, Eleanor, lady Jerningham, Mary, lady Culpepper, and Dorothy, wife of Thomas Windsor. Kntd. Sep 1547; suc. fa. as 4th Lord Dacre 18 Nov 1563. J.p.q. Cumb. 1554-d.; commr. gaol delivery, Carlisle 1554.

Dacre had been knighted at Roxburgh in 1547 and he probably spent most of his life assisting his father in the west marches. He was, however, far less prominent in this activity than either his younger brother Leonard or his uncle Sir Thomas Dacre of Lanercost, who was appointed deputy warden of the west marches in Nov 1552.

Knight of the shire for Cumberland to the Parliament of Oct 1553. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons save for the negative evidence that he was not listed as one of the Members who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism.

He succeeded to the barony in Nov 1563, but was never to take his seat in the Lords. He had licence to enter on his lands on 24 Jun 1564. In the same year the Bishop of Carlisle reported that ‘my Lord Dacre, but especially my lady his wife are to be reformed in religion’, in her case at least a hope which was not fulfilled. After his death it was reported that Dacre had won the hearts of the country by his house-keeping, an achievement which may help to explain his receipt in Jan 1565 of a licence to alienate, during his second wife’s lifetime, lands in Cumberland, Shropshire and Yorkshire, to Thomas Carus, William RosewellThomas Preston and Lawrence Banester.

Dacre died at Kirkoswald, apparently intestate, on 1 Jul 1566. His son Francis, a godson of Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, had died six months earlier, and his heir George was not yet five years old. In Nov 1567 the wardship was granted to Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, who in the previous Jan had married Lady Dacre and whose sons were to marry her daughters Anne, Mary and Elizabeth.

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