SHIRLEY, Thomas III (c.1556-1606), of West Grinstead, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. c.1556, 1st s. of Francis Shirley† of West Grinstead by Barbara, da. of Sir Richard Blount of Mapledurham, Oxon. m. (1) Elizabeth, s.p.; (2) Philippa, da. of Sir Edward Caryll of Harting, 2da. suc.fa. 1578.
Shirley was descended from a younger son of Ralph Shirley, esquire of the body to Henry VII. He was returned at Steyning through the influence of his relative, Thomas Shirley I. His will, dated 14 May 1606, six days before his death, has a long religious preamble and leaves a £20 annuity for the relief of ‘such ministers as have been since the King’s reign deprived of their livings within the county of Sussex for not-conformity [sic] to the Church of England’, payable for life or until restoration to the living. His leaving an annuity of £2 for 20 years towards the repair of the roads within two miles of his house makes it tempting to assign to him the committee of a bill for the highways of Surrey, Sussex and Kent reported to the House of Commons 31 Jan. 1598. But this seems insufficient for his only parliamentary activity, and has been given to John Shirley I, who regularly reported bills in this Parliament. He divided his main property between his two daughters, the executrices. The elder, Cicely, received the house at West Grinstead and the parish tithes: the younger, Barbara, received four farms in West Grinstead and lands in Lancing. His uncle Richard Blount II and his cousin Anthony Shirley, were overseers.
Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 7; J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies, Lewes Centre, 260-1; Mousley thesis, 749; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv. 205; xx. 475; Suss. Arch. Colls. v. 11; D’Ewes, 589, 591; PCC 3 Huddleston.