ENGLEFIELD, Sir Thomas (1455-1514), of Englefield, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. 1455, o. s. of John Englefield of Englefield by Jane, da. of John Milborne of London. educ. M. Temple. m. (1) by 1487, Margery, da. of Richard Danvers of Prescote, Oxon., 1s. 4da.; (2) Mary, da. of Sir John Fortescue of Ponsbourne, Herts., wid. of John Stonor of Stonor, Oxon. and of Anthony Fettiplace (d. 23 Dec. 1510) of Swinbrook, Oxon., 1da. suc. fa. 1465, gd.-fa. 1473. KB 14 Nov. 1501.1
Bencher, M. Temple by 1500.
J.p. Glos., Herefs., Salop, Worcs. 1493-d., Berks. 1494-d.; commr. array, Wales and the marches 1502, subsidy, Berks. 1503, 1512, 1514, 1515; other commissions 1489-d.; member, council in the marches of Wales 1502; justice of Chester 1505, of assize, N. Wales 1506, S. Wales 1508; Councillor by 1509.2
Speaker of House of Commons 1497, 1510.
Sir Thomas Englefield was one of the experienced men upon whom Henry VIII relied in the early years of his reign. He was an executor of the late King’s will and one of the committee appointed to determine coronation claims. He was thus a natural choice to serve a second term as Speaker in the first Parliament of the reign; the speech of 23 Jan. 1510 in which he made the ritual profession of unworthiness was balanced by another, delivered at the bar of the Lords on 23 Feb., in which he praised Henry VIII’s gifts of nature, fortune and grace. Neither on this occasion nor in 1497 is his constituency known but both times it is likely to have been Berkshire, for which several of his ancestors had sat and in which he was an active administrator.3
Englefield had also inherited land in Buckinghamshire and Shropshire and he acquired further property in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. When the King went to France in the summer of 1513, leaving Queen Catherine as regent, he was one of the four Councillors left in England to assist her. He made his will on 4 Mar. 1514 and died on the following 3 Apr., leaving a son of 26 who was to become a justice of the common pleas.4