RIDLEY, Thomas (by 1509-80), of Caughley, Willey and The Bold, nr. Kinlet, Salop.
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Family and Education
Bailiff, Much Wenlock 1554-5; escheator, Salop 1559-60.2
There were two families of this name in Shropshire but Thomas Ridley is not to be found in the pedigree of either the Ridleys of Bouldon (which includes a namesake who settled at Ely and was probably the father of Thomas Ridley†) or those of Alkington. His association with Reginald Ridley, probably the younger son of Owen Ridley of Alkington, suggests that he came from that family: in 1541 the two shared in a lease of an iron smithy at Much Wenlock. Thomas Ridley, who had been admitted to the freedom of Much Wenlock in 1530, was then living at nearby Caughley, where in 1542 he acted as feoffee for John Mounslowe. He moved to Willey on his marriage to Agnes Blount and seems to have remained there until his stepson Roland Lacon† came of age. It was doubtless to this alliance with two leading families that he owed his advancement in the borough and his return while bailiff to Mary’s fourth Parliament with his brother-in-law Sir George Blount. The fact that Ridley, like Blount, opposed one of the government’s bills suggests that it was not he but a namesake who shortly afterwards was in receipt of a crown annuity of £40.3
Ridley served as escheator early in the reign of Elizabeth but although he survived until 1580 he made no further mark either in the shire or the borough. He made his will on 12 Aug. 1580 as of The Bold and asked his wife and executrix, Sir George Blount and his cousin Robert Wollaston to see to its safe transfer to his daughter Cecily. He left small sums of money to the daughters of his brother William Ridley and his cousin Wollaston. He was buried at Stottesdon on the following 1 Sept.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Harding
- 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), vi. 110, 124; (ser. 3), ii. 313-14; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 54.
- 2. Much Wenlock min. bk. f. 239; C219/23/110, 24/132.
- 3. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 417, 419-20; LP Hen. VIII, xvii; CPR, 1554-5, pp. 21-22; 1557-8, pp. 378-9; Much Wenlock min. bk. f. 79; C219/24/132; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; E405/121, mm. 21, 82; Lansd. 156(28), f. 96.
- 4. NLW Hereford consist. ct. wills, box 10; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), ii. 314.