SOUTHCOTE, Thomas (by 1528-1600), of Shillingford St. George and Bovey Tracey, Devon.

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. by 1528, 1st s. of John Southcote by his 1st w. Joanna, da. of Hankford, wid. of one Sydenham; bro. of George Southcote. m. (1) settlement May 1541, Grace (d.1547), da. and h. of John Barnhouse of Devon, 1s. 2da.; (2) Susan, da. of Thomas Kirkham of Blagdon in Paignton, 4s. 6da.; (3) Elizabeth, da. of George Fitzwilliam of Mablethorpe, Lincs., 8s. inc. George and Richard 4da. suc. fa. 14 Sept. 1556.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Devon from 1561; jt. surveyor, Exchequer, Devon and Exeter 1560-98; commr. piracy, Devon 1565, sheriff 1558-9, 1570-1.


Southcote extended the family estates, some of which were derived from the dissolution of the monasteries, buying Hennock and acquiring the manors of Stoke Fleming, Townstall and Clifton upon his second marriage, to a niece of Sir Peter Carew. Townstall and Clifton were part of the borough of Dartmouth, where Southcote also held other property and this may have encouraged him to seek a parliamentary seat there in 1559, no doubt with the approval of the 2nd Earl of Bedford. Southcote never sat again, though he remained active locally for the rest of the century, dying 10 Aug. 1600. In his will, made in October 1593, he divided his principal lands between his eldest son George, who inherited Hennock and Bovey Tracey, and another George, a son of his third marriage, who was bequeathed Shillingford, Withycombe, Townstall and Stoke Fleming, thus founding the line of Southcote of Dartmouth. A younger son received a farm at Bovey Tracey and a grandson Southcote’s Devon tinworks, while two daughters were each left 500 marks. The poor of Bovey Tracey received £20 and £6 13s.4d. was to be distributed at the funeral.

C142/107/14, 291/95; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 697-700; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l.), 357-8; Lansd. 1218, f. 62v; CPR, 1558-60, p. 429; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 65; APC, vii. 283; Trans. Dev. Assoc. xxxii. 503; lxix. 466, 467; W. Pole, Desc. Devon, 147, 172, 204, 217, 254, 265, 266, 267, 268, 275, 285, 286; P. Russell, Dartmouth, 58; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 69; PCC 66 Wallop.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy