HASTINGS, Sir Thomas (c.1515-58), of Stoke Poges, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1515;, 2nd s. of George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, by Anne, da. of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham; bro. of Edward. m. Winifred, da. of Henry Pole, Lord Montagu, s.p. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.1
J.p. Leics. 1554; sheriff, Warws. and Leics. 1554-5.2
Thomas Hastings and his elder brother Francis married two sisters, daughters and coheirs of Henry Pole, Lord Montagu. This was a brilliant but dangerous alliance, for through Montagu’s mother Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, they had a claim to vast lands and even to the throne itself, and the fall of the Poles in 1538 led to some depression in the family fortunes. Under Edward VI Hastings followed a different line from that taken by his elder brother, since 1544 Earl of Huntingdon, who attached himself to the Duke of Northumberland and supported Jane Grey in the succession crisis following the King’s death. A Catholic, Hastings played no part in the high politics of the reign and little in the affairs of his county. What, if any, contact he had with the Princess Mary is not known, but he was one of those who joined her at Framlingham, a gage of loyalty for which he was given an annuity of £20. While the earl was briefly a prisoner in the Tower, Hastings reaped the reward of his own orthodoxy. It included, besides a knighthood at the coronation, the knighthood of the shire in the first three Marian Parliaments and a progression from the junior to the senior place. Nothing is known of his activity in the House, although on his first appearance there he doubtless concerned himself with the Act (1 Mary st. 2, no. 31) for his wife’s restoration in blood. He might well have sat again in 1555 if he had not been sheriff at the time of the election. It was in this capacity that the Privy Council exhorted him in February 1555 to see to it that his under sheriffs were not corrupted and that he himself pursued the 2nd Earl of Rutland for payment of a debt to the crown outstanding since the 1st Earl’s death in 1543; the Council also employed him to oversee the property of newly-attainted rebels.3
Hastings’s private affairs do not appear to have enjoyed a similar recovery. In 1557 the Queen granted him the fee simple of his wife’s property, of which he had previously held only the reversion, so that he could alienate some of it to pay their debts. He died shortly afterwards, perhaps a victim of the widespread epidemic of the years 1557-8. By a will made on 28 Mar. 1558 and proved on 11 May he left bequests to three of the refounded religious houses and asked to be buried at Stoke Poges. His wife, who later married Sir Thomas Barrington†, was executrix and Cardinal Pole overseer.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Date of birth estimated from younger brother Edward’s and their both being under age in 1534, HMC Hastings, i. 312. Nichols, Leics. iii(2), 567.
- 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 21.
- 3. CPR, 1550-3, p. 142; 1553-4, pp. 147-8, 187; Lansd. 156, f. 94; APC, iv. 312, 425; v. 100; HMC Rutland, i. 65.
- 4. CPR, 1557-8, pp. 118-19, 325; PCC 20 Noodes; Nichols, iii(2), 577.