REVELL, Thomas (b.c.1540), of Forest, Cilgerran, Pemb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1540, 1st s. of John Revell of Forest by Anne (or Agnes), da. of Thomas Walter of Carmarthen; ?bro. of William. m. (1) Ellen (or Elliw), da. of Rhys Lloyd of Cardiganshire, ?s.p.; (2) Joan, wid. of one Mercer. At least 1s. illegit.

Offices Held

Escheator, Pemb. 1571; commr. musters, Card. 1574; j.p. Pemb., Card. from c.1575; sheriff, Pemb. 1578-9, Card. 1582-3, 1592-3; dep. lt. Pemb. 1594-1600.


The Revells of Forest were a branch of the Derbyshire Revells, founded by this MP’s great-great-grandfather John Revell, who migrated to Pembrokeshire in the time of Edward IV. Thomas’s father, another John Revell, held from the Crown extensive lands in Pembrokeshire. He died in 1547 leaving his seven year-old son Thomas a royal ward, whereupon his widow married Thomas Phaer, who secured the wardship and with it the enjoyment of the Revell estates until the heir attained his majority. Phaer died without male heirs a few years later, and his estates, as well as those descending from John Revell, eventually passed to Thomas Revell, whose wife brought him further lands in Cardiganshire. These possessions, and others he acquired later, involved him in many lawsuits, some of them no doubt occasioned by the long minority.

In 1576 his stepfather’s lease of the demesne lands of Cilgerran, with the herbage of the royal forest, was renewed in Revell’s favour. This led to innumerable quarrels, culminating in an Exchequer suit of 1602. In 1578 he had been a litigant in the same court over the disputed ownership of a former grange of Talley abbey, Carmarthenshire, with its appurtenant tithes. But his most troublesome dispute was over the weir at Cilgerran and the fisheries of the Teifi. This dragged on for 12 years (1583-95), and involved him in four Exchequer suits, as well as a Star Chamber action in which he accused some of the witnesses in the former court of perjury. In one of his Exchequer suits he challenged 15 alleged infringers of his fishery rights. His most determined opponent was David Price ap William of Rhydodyn, Carmarthenshire. The only mark left by Revell on the records of his two Parliaments is his membership of the committee to receive the Queen’s thanks for the granting of the subsidy, 18 Mar. 1587. As a county Member he could have attended this subsidy committee 22 Feb. 1587, and the previous one, 24 Feb. 1585.

Apart from his illegitimate son Edward, Revell left no children, and the family declined after his death. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow, 1 Oct. 1607.

Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 155-6; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 126, 140, 213; Lansd. 35. f. 139; APC, xxv. 18; xxviii. 287; xxxii. 25; Wards 7/3/90; CPR, 1555-7, p. 74; 1557-8, p. 363; Exchequer, ed. E. G. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv), 86, 115-16, 297, 302, 304, 309; Star Chamber, ed. Edwards (same ser. i), 134; D’Ewes, 409, 416; Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f 171; J. R. Phillips, Hist. Cilgerran (1867), 102-3; PCC admon. act bk. 1607, f. 90.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.