LAKE, Sir Thomas II (c.1595-1653), of Canons, Little Stanmore, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1628 - 26 Mar. 1628

Family and Education

b. c.1595, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Lake I*; bro. of Sir Arthur*. educ. M. Temple 1610; New Coll. Oxf. 1610, aged 15, BA Hart Hall 1613;1 travelled abroad (Germany, Spanish Neths.) 1613-?16.2 m. (1) settlement 22 Feb. 1633 (with £3,000), Dorothy (d.1643), da. of (Sir) George Manners† of Haddon Hall, Derbys. and Uffington, Lincs., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 1648, Frances Dymock Doubleday, s.p.3 suc. fa. 1630; kntd. 8 June 1617.4 bur. 13 May 1653.5 sig. Tho. Lake.

Offices Held

Clerk for writing leases for the Gt. Seal, Chancery by 1611; clerk of the PC (extraordinary) 1616-?19.6

Commr. to compound with landowners concerning rights of free warren, 1614.7

J.p. Mdx. 1638-?1640,8 commr. array 1642.9


Unlike his influential father, Lake enjoyed a privileged education. Admitted to the Middle Temple in January 1610 with his younger brother, Arthur, he was subsequently sent to New College, Oxford, from where he transferred to Hart Hall. While still a student he was apparently found a clerkship in Chancery by his father; it was also rumoured that he was violently beaten by his mother.10 He graduated in February 1613, and soon after was placed in the train of the Prince and Princess Palatine, with whom he travelled to Heidelberg. His father directed that he journey home via the Spanish Netherlands.11 On returning to England he was licensed to travel abroad for three years, but in October 1614 he was appointed to serve on a minor government commission. In April 1615 he was issued with a second travel permit, but again he seems to have remained at home, for in June 1616 he was sworn a clerk of the Privy Council in extraordinary, his father having now become secretary of state. In the following year he and his father accompanied the king to Scotland, where he was knighted.

Lake probably forfeited his clerkship on the disgrace and imprisonment of his father. In 1625 the borough of Wells returned him to Parliament as its junior burgess, doubtless through the intervention of his uncle, Arthur Lake, bishop of Bath and Wells, but he played no recorded part in the business of the Commons. The same borough returned him again in 1626, when his father also sat. Most, if not all, of the references to Sir Thomas Lake in the records of the 1626 Parliament are probably to the latter. The death of Bishop Lake in May 1626 left Lake without an obvious parliamentary patron, and in 1628 he was found a seat by William Copley, who claimed to be the sole elector at Gatton. However, on 26 Mar. Lake’s return was declared invalid by the Commons, which preferred a rival indenture submitted by the borough’s remaining freeholders.

Following the death of his father in 1630, Lake sought a wife. He initially contemplated marrying a daughter of (Sir) John Coke†, but negotiations with Coke foundered on the size of the dowry demanded by Lake.12 His choice eventually settled on Dorothy, daughter of Lady Grace Manners, who offered a portion of £3,000. Dorothy was almost certainly bred a Catholic, as her mother was the daughter of a well-known Elizabethan recusant, Sir Henry Pierrepont†. Her religious leanings are likely to have met with Lake’s approval, as both his father and brother were Catholics, and his own commitment to Protestantism was questionable, as his association with William Copley indicates. Copley’s father had spent much of Elizabeth’s reign in exile on account of his Catholicism, while Copley himself had engineered the return for Gatton (subsequently quashed) of the crypto-Catholic Sir Henry Britton in 1620.

Lake’s principal property was the Middlesex manor of Little Stanmore, but he also owned the neighbouring manor of Great Stanmore. Before 1638 this was leased to another man, but in that year Lake bought out the tenant’s widow and took full possession himself.13 He could ill afford to do so, as he was in considerable financial difficulty. Obliged to find large settlements for his two sisters, he had also been forced to shoulder the cost of legal actions brought against him by both his mother and brother, Lancelot†. These lawsuits were not ended by the death of his mother in February 1642, as Lancelot obtained the administration of her estate and attempted unsuccessfully to remove her personal property from Lake’s mansion house at Little Stanmore known as Canons. Both sides subsequently appealed to the House of Lords.14

On the outbreak of Civil War, Lake was appointed a commissioner of array for Middlesex, but he did not join the king and indeed took no known part in the conflict. Bureaucratic confusion led him to be rated twice by the parliamentary assessment commissioners. He naturally refused to pay the second assessment, thereby prompting the commissioners to order the seizure and sale of his estates, but as he was subsequently able to demonstrate that he had already paid the earlier demand in full the commissioners rescinded their order.15 At around this same time, Lake’s brother Lancelot seized possession of Great Stanmore manor which, according to Lake, was worth £800 per annum. Ejecting Lancelot from the premises proved difficult, for since 1633 the manor had technically been in the hands of trustees, who held it as security for the provision of Lake’s children by his (now deceased) wife. It was necessary for the surviving trustee, Lady Grace Manners, to sign a lease of ejectment, but she refused to do this, fearing that she might thereby prejudice the rights of her grandchildren.16

Lake remarried in 1648. He died intestate five years later, and was buried at Little Stanmore. His 12-year-old son and heir, Thomas, was cared for by two of his uncles, one of whom, Lancelot Lake, represented Middlesex at the Restoration.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 2. HMC Downshire, iv. 132; SO3/5, unfol. Nov. 1613.
  • 3. C7/426/73; J.C. Cox, Notes on Derbys. Churches, ii. 26-7; HMC Rutland, ii. 9.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 163.
  • 5. D. Lysons, Environs of London, iii. 413.
  • 6. HEHL, EL2942; APC, 1615-16, p. 633.
  • 7. CD 1621, vii. 466.
  • 8. C231/5, f. 307; C193/13/2;
  • 9. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 10. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 368.
  • 11. HMC Downshire, iv. 132.
  • 12. HMC Cowper, i. 428, 430.
  • 13. VCH Mdx. v. 97.
  • 14. HMC 4th Rep. 90; HMC 5th Rep. 9; Index to Admons. in PCC VI: 1631-48 ed. M. Fitch (Brit. Rec. Soc. c), 245.
  • 15. CCAM, 253-4.
  • 16. C2/Chas.I/L10/46.