Sir Thomas GORGES

Born: 1536, Wraxall, Somersetshire, England

Died: 30 Mar 1610, Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, England

Father: Edward GORGES of Wraxall (Sir)

Mother: Mary NEWTON

Married: Helen SNAKENBORG (M. Northampton) (b. ABT 1549 - d. 1 Apr 1635) (dau. of Wolfangus Snakenborg) (w. of William Parr, M. Northampton)(See her Biography)


1. Elizabeth GORGES

2. Francis GORGES

3. Frances GORGES

4. Edward GORGES (1 B. Gorges of Dundalk)

5. Theobald GORGES

6. Bridget GORGES

7. Robert GORGES

8. Thomas GORGES (b. 1589 - d. AFT 1624)

Son of Sir Edward Gorges of Wraxall, possibly by his first wife, Mary Newton (some sources states Mary Poyntz, Edward's second wife, as Thomas' mother). Knighted at Beddington in 1586 and Member of Parliament from Downton in 1587. He was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth (her second cousin). One of the people with whom he worked was Sir Francis Drake.

He married Helen Snakenborg, the widow of William Parr, M. of Northampton,  without first obtaining the permission of the Queen and he was for a short time imprisoned in the Tower of London as a result. About his wife, none genealogists appear to know much about this lady. She is thus noticed by a contemporary,
Bishop Parkhurst, in a letter to Bullinger, dated 10 Aug 1571. "The Marquess of Northampton died about the beginning of Aug. When I was in London, he married a very beautiful German girl, who remained in the queen's court after the departure of the Margrave of Baden and Cecilia his wife from England". (Zurich Letters, vol. i. p. 257. Parker Society). In 1582 Thomas was sent as English envoy to Sweden and met Helen's family members. 

Sir Thomas Gorges was governor of Hurst Castle, when, during the Spanish Armada, one of the Spanish ships was driven aground there. Lady Gorges asked the Queen if she could have the wreck, and the request was granted - the ship was one of the Spanish treasure ships laden with silver.

He was knighted at Beddington in 1586.

The following is quoted from Thorne George, p. 162: "1586, Sept. 10th. A warrant to Sir Thomas Heneage, Knight, Treasurer of Her Majesties Chamber;--'To deliver unto Thomas Gorge, Esquire, one of Her Majesties gromes of her Privy Chamber, for rydinge with expedicion (beinge accompanied with Mr. Stanley and Fourtene others) unto Chartley, whence he was emploied in the remove of the Quene of Scotes, to Fodringhay Castle, and thence retorned backe againe with like expedicion the somme of forty-five poundes'". Mary Stuart was tried in Oct 1586 and beheaded 8 Feb 1587 at Fotheringhay Castle.

In the reign of James I, Sir Thomas Gorges, and Lady Northampton, his wife, were granted the office of Keeper of the palace of West Sheen or Richmond, keeper of the wardrobe, vessels and provisions there, and keeper of the gardens and of Richmond Park; and Letters of Privy Seal granting her an allowance of 245. 5s. p.a.

She survived Sir Thomas for twenty-five years, and died on the 1 Apr 1635, aged 86. In Sir R. C. Hoare's South Wiltshire, Hundred of Cawden, are three beautiful folio plates of her monument, which includes whole-length recumbent effigies of the Countess and Sir Thomas Gorges.

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