WALCOT, Thomas (1629-85), of Bitterley Court, Salop and the Middle Temple.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Aug. 1629, 2nd s. of Humphrey Walcot of Walcot, Salop; bro. of John Walcot. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1646; M. Temple 1647, called 1653. m. 10 Dec. 1663, Mary (bur. 1 Dec. 1695), da. of Sir Adam Littleton, 1st Bt., of Stoke St. Milborough, Salop, 1s. d.v.p. Kntd. 21 Nov. 1681.1
Jp. Salop July 1660-d., Denb. and Mont. 1662-d; commr. for assessment, Salop 1661-80, corporations 1662-3; attorney-gen. Denb. and Mont. 1662-80; freeman, Ludlow 1662; bencher, M. Temple 1671, reader 1677; recorder, Bewdley 1671-d.; second justice, N. Wales circuit 1676-81, c.j. 1681-3; member, council in the marches of Wales 1676-83.2
Serjeant-at-law 1680-3; j.K.b. 22 Oct. 1683-d.
Walcot, a professional lawyer, inherited Bitterley, an estate five miles from Ludlow, but sold it in 1672 to his elder brother John for £2,000 on condition that he should continue to reside there for life. He practised in the court of the marches at Ludlow, where as trustee of a local charity he built a workhouse to employ the poor in making woollen cloth; but he is said to have impoverished himself in the process. He was made a Welsh judge in 1676, after Danby had satisfied himself that he did not share the principles of his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Littleton, 2nd Bt. He was returned for Ludlow at the second general election of 1679 as a court supporter, but in the second Exclusion Parliament he was appointed only to a committee for a private bill. Described by Danby in 1683 as ‘much at the devotion’ of the Duke of York, he was promoted to the King’s bench, presiding over the trials of Algernon Sidney, Sir Thomas Armstrong, and Titus Oates. He died on 6 Sept. 1685 and was buried at Bitterley. When Lady Armstrong petitioned for compensation for her husband’s death after the Revolution it appeared that Walcot had died insolvent and intestate.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. J. R. Burton, Walcot Fam. 61-62.
- 2. Bodl. Ch. Salop 146; W. R. Williams, Gt. Sessions in Wales, 105-6; Burton, 62; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 275; 1679-80, p. 472; 1683-4, p. 65; 1685, p. 138; Univ. Birmingham Hist. Jnl. i. 102.
- 3. Burton, 60-63; Eg. 3329, f. 83v; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 439; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), v. 336; CJ, x. 344.