STUCLEY, Sir Thomas (1620-63), of Affeton, West Worlington, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. 24 Aug. 1620, 1st s. of John Stucley of Affeton by 1st w. Honor, da. of Richard Hals of Kennedon, Sherford. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1637-9. m. c.1642, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Ralph Sydenham of Youlston, 2s. 4da. suc. fa. 638; kntd. 27 May 1660.1
J.p. Devon 1643-6, June 1660-d, dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-d., corporations 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662.2
Stucley’s ancestors acquired Affeton, about 12 miles west of Tiverton, in the first half of the 15th century. In spite of the notoriety of Sir Thomas Stucley, the Elizabethan adventurer, and of Sir Lewis Stucley, infamous for his betrayal of Ralegh, Stucley was the only member of the family to enter Parliament. He had a distinguished military career in the Civil War, finishing as a colonel at the surrender of Exeter in 1646. In his composition he declared an entailed estate worth under £200 p.a., subject to annuities totalling £ 170, and debts of £657. ‘My personal estate, being a young man and new married, and being much wasted by the wars, having my house often plundered, is grown very inconsiderable.’ He was fined £300 on the Exeter articles. George Monck, his near kinsman, wrote that Stucley ‘received many wounds ... and afterwards suffered decimation and frequent imprisonment, and (to my knowledge) was most affectionate and active for the service of his Majesty upon all occasions’.4
Stucley was knighted at the Restoration, when he petitioned for the place of herdsman of Creslow, forfeited by a regicide. He was among those recommended by the quarter sessions as excise farmers for Devon, but not appointed; nor did he receive the Irish legal post for which he petitioned. His only substantial reward was a temporary commission in the army. Returned for Tiverton at the general election of 1661, he was named to the committee of elections and privileges in the opening sessions of the Cavalier Parliament, and to those to consider the uniformity bill, the bill of pains and penalties, and the petition of the loyal and indigent officers, as well as to those for several private bills affecting the estates of his Devonshire neighbours. Nor did he neglect the economic activities of his constituency, sitting on committees to regulate the manufactures of their Exeter rivals and to consider the petition of the Devon clothiers. A moderately active Member, he was appointed in all to 22 committees. On 16 May 1663 he acted with Sir Courtney Pole as teller for the estate bill promoted by the leading local Cromwellian, John Coplestone. He died on 20 Sept. 1663 and was buried at West Worlington. His sons died young, and his estate ultimately fell to his brother, a nonconformist preacher.5