WOOD (AWOODE, ATWOODE), Thomas (d. aft.1604), of Cumnor, Berks.
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Family and Education
Though his active life spanned the whole of Elizabeth’s reign, Wood is an obscure figure. He was probably the ‘Thomas Wood of Woodend in Cumnor alias citizen of Oxford, alias Thomas Awoode, alias Atwoode’, who took advantage of the general pardon in 1559. He must be distinguished from the Thomas Atwood who held the office of chamberlain of Oxford in 1583: in the will (dated 1563) of James Atwood, clothier, both Thomas Wood of Cumnor and Thomas Atwood, James’s brother, are named as overseers. A Thomas Wood of Cumnor was admitted to Winchester as a scholar in 1540, aged 13.1
The Thomas Wood who sat in Parliament was probably a lawyer who was of counsel to the corporation of Oxford: in January 1562 a Mr. Wood was commissioned to accompany the mayor to London ‘about the suit of St. Mary college’. He was probably also a client of John Williams†, Lord Williams of Thame, a dominant figure in Oxfordshire and high steward of Oxford for several years before his death in October 1559. Williams, who owned much land in the region of Cumnor, in 1557 alienated several manors in Oxfordshire and Berkshire to ‘Thomas Woode’, and another to the use of himself and his second wife. In January 1559, while Williams was still living, Wood was returned as senior burgess along with an Oxford townsman. Four years later he dropped to second place below a servant of the and Earl of Bedford, Williams’s friend and successor as high steward of Oxford.2
The loss of his patron, who left no sons, may explain Wood’s decline into obscurity. He was still occasionally of use to the Oxford corporation, if he was the Mr. Wood rewarded in 1576 ‘for his friendship to this city in the commission of sewers’ and the Thomas Wood of Cumnor who received 20s. for no stated reason in 1591. Forty years after his second return to Parliament, the council remembered in September 1604 that Thomas Wood had been ‘sometime burgess of the Parliament for this city’ and gave him £5 ‘in respect of his great charges then and of his poverty whereunto he is now fallen’3