LOVELL, Sir Thomas II (by 1528-67), of Barton Bendish and East Harling, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1528, 1st s. of Sir Francis Lovell of Barton Bendish and East Harling by Anne, da. of George Ashby of Herts. m. 1538, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Philip Paris of Little Linton, Cambs., 7s. 4da. suc. fa. 20 Jan. 1552. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.1
J.p. Norf. 1554, 1561, 1564; commr. loan 1557.2
The eminent Sir Thomas Lovell Idied in 1524, leaving the greater part of his extensive property in Cambridge, Kent, Middlesex and Norfolk to his ‘cousin’ Sir Francis Lovell. This accession of wealth and standing encouraged Thomas Lovell’s father to seek a match for him with Viscount Lisle’s daughter Elizabeth Plantagenet, but a negotiation to this end in 1534 came to nothing and four years later Lovell married the daughter of a Cambridgeshire knight. The Dissolution enabled his father to augment the Lovell inheritance, and it was to ‘goodly possessions of great profit’ that he succeeded in January 1552.3
As a Catholic Lovell could be expected to support Mary’s succession, and it was for his service in July 1553 that he was knighted at her coronation, three days before the opening of her first Parliament, to which he had been returned for Midhurst: his knighthood, like that of Thomas Palmer, one of the Members for Arundel, had been anticipated on the indenture. Midhurst was controlled by (Sir) Anthony Browne I, who usually nominated his own relatives or servants. He and Lovell had their religion in common but no known personal link, so that Browne must be presumed to have acted on a recommendation, probably from the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, newly released from the Tower and engaged in rebuilding his parliamentary interest: Lovell was a tenant of the Howards and would later be a client of the 4th Duke. Predictably, he was not among the Members of this Parliament who opposed the initial measures of Catholic restoration.4
Lovell was to make little mark in public life, especially after Elizabeth’s accession rendered his faith suspect. In 1591 Lady Lovell bequeathed to her daughter-in-law household stuff ‘that was delivered to her before my going to prison’. Lovell himself had died in 1567. By his will of 1 Dec. 1566 he left to his wife during her lifetime all his lands at Attleborough, Buckingham and West Dereham in Norfolk, at Burwell, Upware and Wilbraham in Cambridgeshire, and in Rutland and Kent; on her death they were to pass to his heir Thomas. He gave £300 each to his sons Philip and Thomas the younger, and 500 marks to each of his four daughters. He named two of his friends, Sir Thomas Cornwallis and (Sir) John Sulyard, overseers of the will, which was proved on 27 Mar. 1567, four days after his death.5