WINDSOR, Thomas (by 1517-c.67), of Bentley, Hants and London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1517, 4th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir Andrew Windsor, 1st Lord Windsor, and bro. of William. m. by 1538, Mary, da. and h. of Thomas Beckingham of London and Buscot, Berks., 5s. 4da.1

Offices Held

?Serjeant-at-arms in 1544; carver to King Philip June 1554.2


Thomas Windsor might have been expected to follow his father and three brothers at the Middle Temple, but although his admission could have been obscured by a gap in the records there is no other indication that he belonged to the inn or practised law; such career as he had lay in the royal household, where he appears to have been for a time a serjeant-at-arms. It was probably his nephew and namesake who accompanied an embassy to France in 1546, but the younger Windsor died in 1552 and it was the uncle who in 1554 was seconded as a carver to the suite of King Philip. A modest beneficiary in lands and goods under his father’s will, Windsor made an advantageous marriage which in 1551 put him in possession of several Berkshire manors and the arrears of income from them for about 16 years; by 1547 he also had a lease of the bishop of Winchester’s manor of Bentley. It was his nephew who two years later leased ex-church property in Darlington, but in 1553 Windsor paid £1,000 for a manor at Iver, Buckinghamshire, and also leased South Mimms, Middlesex, from another nephew. During his later years he seems to have overstretched his resources: when he died he still owed £400 for the last lease and he had mortgaged the Iver property for £1,000.3

At the beginning of Mary’s reign Windsor was granted an annuity of £10 for ‘service at Framlingham’ and his election for Reigate is sufficiently explained by his position at court. The borough was normally controlled by the Howard family, represented there at this time by Lord William Howard, whose cousin Sir George Howard had been appointed with Windsor to Philip’s household. As a Member of this Parliament Windsor is not named among those who opposed one of the government’s bills.4

Windsor died intestate and in December 1567 his widow was given the administration of his property. She herself died in May 1574, and her will and inquisition indicate that she was a woman of some wealth and standing. The heir Andrew was aged 36 and more at his mother’s death. The second son Miles, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was to be described as ‘a tolerable Latin poet, but a better orator’, and his ‘popish affections’ were to lead to his withdrawal from university.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. R. Johnson


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 186; PCC Admins. ed. Glencross, i. 82; PCC 21, 46 Martyn.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xix; CSP Span. 1554, p. 297.
  • 3. PCC 23 Spert; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; VCH Berks. iii. 283, 480; iv. 538; VCH Bucks. iii. 290; VCH Hants, iv. 27-28; Eccles. 2/155888A, 155897; CPR, 1550-3, p. 45; 1563-6, pp. 150-1; C142/146/188, 170/7; Req.2/35/101.
  • 4. Lansd. 156(28), f. 90.
  • 5. PCC Admins. i. 82; PCC 21 Martyn; C3/146/5; 142/146/188, 170/7; Wood, Ath. Ox. ed. Bliss, ii. 358.