DUDLEY, Thomas (d.1593), of London.
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Family and Education
Servant of Sir Robert Dudley by 1563; freeman, Warwick by 1572.
Dudley, who inherited no land and little property (though he later acquired some lands in Warwickshire), probably followed his elder brother John into the service of their distant kinsmen, the Duke of Northumberland and his sons, before the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign. The first direct reference to his being a servant of the Earl of Leicester comes in a Chancery case of 1568, but he was certainly acting in this capacity at least as early as 1563, when he was returned to Parliament for Coventry through the influence of Sir Robert Dudley, or his brother, the Earl of Warwick. Dudley secured parliamentary seats also at Wallingford, where Leicester was high steward, and (after being made a freeman) for four Parliaments at Warwick. The Earl of Warwick as lord of that borough, wrote to the corporation 18 Sept. 1586 recommending his ‘very good friend and kinsman Mr. Thomas Dudley (whose sufficiency is so well known unto you as I need not to write thereof)’. Though the corporation had already decided to choose another of the Earl’s servants, Warwick insisted upon Dudley. On Warwick’s death in 1590 Dudley was left without a patron. However, he was brought into the 1593 Parliament for Newtown by Sir George Carey as John Dudley, amended to ‘Thomas Dudley’ on 6 Mar. 1593.2
He made his will 16 Sept. 1593, leaving his non-entailed lands and goods to his nephew Anthony Blencowe (later provost of Oriel College), asserting ‘I have ever loved and esteemed my said nephew above all other my kinsmen and friends’. Blencowe proved the will on 30 Oct.3