BLOUNT, Walter II (by 1506-61), of Glasshampton in Astley, Worcs.
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Family and Education
J.p. Worcs. 1539-43, 1554-d., commr. musters 1539, relief 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553, sewers, Worcs. and Glos. 1554, survey lands of bprics. 1560; receiver, bpric. of Worcester 1539-40; keeper, Bewdley park 1557-?d; escheator, Worcs. 1558-9.2
Walter Blount, who belonged to one of the chief lines of this prolific family in the west midlands, had a contemporary namesake in the Staffordshire branch who sat for the borough of Stafford in 1542. The two are liable to be confused until the Staffordshire man’s disappearance from the public scene in 1543.
Unlike his elder brother Sir John, the father of Henry VIII’s mistress, Walter Blount of Astley held no office at court and seems to have moved only in local circles. The Walter Blount found at the Inner Temple in 1521 was probably his Staffordshire namesake but it is more likely to have been the Worcestershire man who took a 21-year lease of agistment in Elmley Lovett park in 1525, and certainly he was appointed to hold an inquisition post mortem in 1532 with Thomas Acton, his kinsman by marriage: when, six years later, the Actons acquired an estate in Glasshampton he was already a tenant there. In November 1543 he was appointed with a civilian and a canonist to receive the resignation of John Bell, bishop of Worcester, at Hartlebury castle, this being the only pointer to his identity with the graduate in canon law at Oxford, and in 1545 he was one of the 13 Worcestershire gentlemen who signed a letter to the Privy Council about the forces ordered to proceed towards Plymouth.3
It is likely that his family connexions helped Blount to sit in two Parliaments as knight for Worcestershire. Between 1542 and 1558 no less than 11 men bearing his surname, most of them his kinsmen, were elected, two of them sitting with him in March 1553 and one in November 1554. His own return on the first occasion may have owed something to the Duke of Northumberland who in that month granted him the manor of Wichenford, some five miles north-west of Worcester. He was, however, domiciled at Astley when he sued out pardons in November 1553 and June 1554. His keepership of Bewdley park, where he was assaulted by members of the Acton family in June 1558, was held under his nephew Sir George Blount as chief officer of the Queen’s game there. He was not numbered among those who withdrew without permission from the Parliament of November 1554.4
Blount died on 3 Oct. 1561 and the will he had made four years earlier was proved on the following 18 Nov. by his wife Isabel and son-in-law Richard Hall. He left a farm called Whitstones in North Claines by Worcester jointly between his wife and his heir Robert. In accordance with Robert Blount’s own will of 1573 two table tombs with effigies for his father and himself were subsequently erected in Astley church, where they are still to be seen.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: M. K. Dale
- 1. Date of birth estimated from younger brother’s. Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 18-19; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 52-53; VCH Worcs. iv. 236; Nash, Worcs. i. 40; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 53.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xvi, xvii, xx; CPR, 1550-3, p. 396; 1553, pp. 359, 415; 1553-4, pp. 26, 37; 1554-5, p. 107; 1558-60, p. 422; Worcs. RO, 009:1 BA 2636/178 92517 ex inf. C. Dyer; St.Ch.4/4/54.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, iv, v, xiii, xviii, xx.
- 4. CPR, 1553, p. 273; 1553-4, pp. 416, 443; St.Ch.4/4/54.
- 5. Worcs. RO, 008.7/118/1561; PCC 22 Peter; E. A. B. Barnard, New Links with Shakespeare, 100-4; A. Croke, Croke Fam. ii. 158.