SAMWELL, Sir Thomas, 1st Bt. (c.1654-94), of Upton and Gayton, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1654, 3rd but o. surv. s. of Richard Samwell (d. 1662) of Upton by Frances, da. and coh. of Thomas Wenman†, 2nd Visct. Wenman of Tuam [I]. m. (1) lic. 1 Apr. 1673, aged 19, Elizabeth, da. and h. of George Gooday of Bower Hall, Pentlow, Essex, 2s. d.v.p. 2da.; (2) 7 July 1685, Anne, da. and h. of Sir John Godschalk of Atherstone-on-Stour, Warws., 1s. 1da. d.v.p. suc. gdfa. 1668; cr. Bt. 22 Dec. 1675.1
Commr. inquiry, Whittlewood and Salcey forests 1679; preventing export of wool 1689–92.2
After serving briefly for Northamptonshire in the Convention, Samwell transferred to the county town in the 1690 election where his success alongside Sir William Langham* seems to have been a foregone conclusion. He was identified as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) and in April 1691 by Robert Harley* as a supporter of the Country party. On 31 Dec. the House refused his application for leave to return to his locality. Immediately after a general debate on 16 Feb. 1692 concerning the multiplicity of private bills, Samwell was a teller for those objecting to the passage of one such bill emanating from the Lords. A fortnight’s leave was granted him on 18 Jan. 1693. He served again as a teller on 3 Feb. 1694 in favour of allowing Nathaniel Palmer* leave for the recovery of his health, and on the 14th carried a private bill to the Upper House. Soon afterwards, however, he succumbed to smallpox and was reported dead on 25 Feb. Even before his illness was known to be serious, moves were afoot to replace him at Northampton in the next election. His only surviving son Sir Thomas, 2nd Bt.†, stood for Northampton in 1713, but later withdrew: he successfully contested at Coventry in 1715.3