GORGES, Thomas (c.1618-70), of Batcombe, Som. and Heavitree, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1618, 1st s. of Henry Gorges of Batcombe by Barbara, da. of Thomas Baynard of Colerne, Wilts.; bro. of John Gorges. educ. L. Inn 1638, called 1647. m. (1) Mary, da. of Martin Sanford of Nynehead Court, Som., 3s. 1da.; (2) 23 Mar. 1658, Rose (d. 14 Apr. 1671), da. and coh. of Sir Jerome Alexander, j.c.p. [I], of Dublin, wid. of Roger Mallock of Cockington, Devon, 1s. 1da. suc. fa. c.1649.1
Dep. gov. Maine 1640-3; commr. for assessment, Som. 1649-52, Devon and Som. 1657, Som. Jan. 1660; j.p. Som. 1649-53, 1656-July 1660, Devon 1657-July 1660; lt.-col. of militia horse, Som. 1650, commr. for scandalous ministers 1654; recorder, Taunton by 1655-?62; commr. for militia, Som. Mar. 1660.2
Commr. for fraudulent debentures 1656-8.3
Gorges was the eldest of four forceful brothers from an obscure cadet branch of the family. His father played no part in the Civil War, but he himself interrupted his law studies at the behest of his distant cousin Sir Ferdinando Gorges to serve as deputy governor of Maine. He returned to England after a few years and became recorder of Taunton, which he represented throughout the Protectorate. A Presbyterian and a Cromwellian, especially after his brother Robert became secretary to Henry Cromwell in Ireland, Gorges was re-elected in 1660, and included by Lord Wharton among his friends. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges, and those to consider the bill to confirm land purchases and to inquire into the fraudulent conversion of public funds. He was given leave to go into the country on 20 June, and probably received a hint from his cousin Sir Edward Hyde not to return. He settled on his wife’s property near Exeter, and lost his recordership when the Taunton corporation was dissolved by the commissioners. He died on 21 Oct. 1670, lamenting few and ‘evil have been my days’, and was buried at Heavitree. His direct descendants emigrated or fell into obscurity, though his nephew Henry was returned for Herefordshire in 1698.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy
- 1. Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 41; Som. Wills, vi. 57; R. Gorges, Gorges Fam. 197; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 547.
- 2. Province and Court Recs. of Maine (Maine Hist. Soc. i), 36-41; CSP Dom. 1649-50, p. 521; 1655-6, p. 33.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1656-7, p. 15; 1658-9, p. 3.
- 4. Gorges, 183-99; D. Underdown, Som. in the Civil War, 172-3; B. F. Cresswell, Churches of Exeter, 38.