RADCLIFFE, Thomas (d.1586), of Elstow, Beds.
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Family and Education
Steward, manor of Elstow 1566; j.p. Beds. from 1577, q. 1583-d.; gent. pens. 1573/7-d.1
After a possible stab at Bedfordshire in 1584, Radcliffe was brought in for Portsmouth by his cousin Sir Henry Radcliffe. Nothing has been found of any activities by him in this Parliament; indeed there is so little to relate about him that it is perhaps just worth mentioning a dispute in which he was engaged in the same year that he was returned to Parliament. He had borrowed £50 from a London grocer, William Ormeshaw, who complained to the Privy Council that the loan should have been repaid in 1581, but was not. Ormeshaw had judgment for £112 against Radcliffe, who still refused payment. Ormeshaw then appealed to Sir Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon, whereupon
Mr. Radcliffe, showing himself to be very much grieved for that I had complained to my Lord, came to my house in very great anger, and there gave me many ill words, threatening me if I durst cause any execution to be served upon him ... he would make me repent it so long as I lived, and in the end called me knave in mine own house. Upon which words I said his betters would not have called me so, who, answering again, said he knew no betters.
Radcliffe was actually imprisoned for a few days before a settlement was reached by which Ormeshaw was to receive £60. On his release Radcliffe had Ormeshaw summoned before the Council for extortion.
In September 1586 Radcliffe’s name appeared in a list of gentlemen selected to escort Mary Stuart out of Staffordshire; he was to attend her if she passed through Bedfordshire. He died 18 Sept. 1586, as recorded on the pensioners’ roll for that quarter. Administration was granted to William Butler I in November 1586.2