ROUS, Sir Thomas, 1st Bt. (1608-76), of Rous Lench, Worcs.
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Family and Education
b. 27 Mar. 1608, 1st s. of Sir John Rous of Rous Lench; bro. of John Rous II. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1626, BA (Corpus) 1628; M. Temple 1628. m. (1) by 1634, Jane (d. 1656), da. of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth Castle, Staffs., 1s., 2da.; (2) 24 May 1659, Frances (d. 20 June 1667), da. and coh. of David Murray, tailor, of St. Clement Danes, Mdx., 2s. 1da.; (3) 28 Apr. 1670, Anne, da. of Michael Biddulph of Lichfield, Staffs., wid. of Peter Birkinhead, merchant, of Stoke, Warws., s.p. cr. Bt. 23 July 1641; suc. fa. 1645.1
Member of county committee, Worcs. 1645; commr. for assessment, Worcs. 1647-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-1, 1664 9, Warws. 1661-3, militia, Worcs. 1648, 1659, Mar. 1660; sheriff, Worcs. Apr.-Nov. 1648, Warws. 1667-8; j.p. Worcs. by 1650-?d., for scandalous ministers 1654, custos rot. 1655-Mar. 1660, commr. for recusants 1675.2
Rous’s ancestors had been of consequence in the West Midlands since the 14th century, first representing Worcestershire in 1332. His father, a ship-money sheriff, was a royalist commissioner of array; but Rous himself, whose first wife was a devout Presbyterian, was on succeeding to the estate appointed to the county committee at the same time as John Egioke and played an active part in the siege of Worcester. He rallied to the Protectorate, sat for the county in two Parliaments, and became an unpopular chairman of the Worcestershire bench.3
At the general election of 1660 Rous stood for Evesham, six miles from Rous Lench, together with Egioke, and was successful in a contested election. Lord Wharton marked him as a friend to be managed by Thomas Foley I. An inactive Member of the Convention, his only committee was to consider the petition of the former serjeant-at-arms. Probably an opponent of the Court, he is unlikely to have stood again. He died on 27 May 1676, aged 68, and was buried at Rous Lench. His epitaph describes him as a servant to God, his country and his family, and a practical example to the people of piety, hospitality and humanity. No later member of the family entered Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Edward Rowlands
- 1. W. K. W. Chafy, Hist. Rous Lench, 43-47; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 18; PCC 161 Brent; Soc. of Genealogists, Coventry St. Michael bishops’ transcripts; C10/181/45.
- 2. CJ, iv. 55.
- 3. Dugdale, Warws. 853; VCH Worcs. iii. 498; Diary of Henry Townshend (Worcs. Hist. Soc.) i. 31, 197; ii. 108; M. Sylvester, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 58.
- 4. Nash, Worcs. ii. 86.