BASKERVILLE, Sir Thomas (by 1520-72), of Birlingham and Wollas Hall, Eckington, Worcs. and Brinsop, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. by 1520, 3rd s. of Sir James Baskerville of Eardisley, and bro. of James and John. m. (1) by 1553, Anne (d.1567 or later), da. of Sir Thomas Unton of Wadley, Berks., wid. of John Vampage (d.1548) of Wollas Hall, s.p.; (2) by 1570, Eleanor, da. and coh. of Richard Abington of Brockhampton,Herefs., wid. of John Dansey (d.1568/69), of Brinsop, 1da. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.1
Commr. sewers, Glos., Worcs. 1554; sheriff, Worcs. 1555-6, 1563-4; j.p. 1558/59-d.2
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 1541.3
Baskerville’s first marriage to the widow of a Worcestershire gentleman gave him position and wealth there as well as in Gloucestershire; during her lifetime he 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.4
Baskerville died on 17 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.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: M. K. Dale
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Herefs. ed, Weaver, 7-8, 13, 24; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 13, 63-64, 69-70. 138; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xc), 45; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 11, 221-2; Williams, Herefs. MPs, 33; PCC 24 Populwell, 9 Sheffelde, 24 Daper; C142/151/56, 160/66.
- 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 37; 1554-5, p. 107; 1560-3, p. 444; 1569-72, p. 225.
- 3. E150/445/8; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xvi; PCC 5 Daughtry.
- 4. VCH Glos. vi. 51; VCH Worcs. iii. 26, 73, 565; Req.2/14/16; St.Ch.2/19/381; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 5.
- 5. PCC 24 Daper; C142/160/66; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 63-64; VCH Glos. vi. 56, 79; VCH Worcs. iii. 565.