FANE, Thomas (1626-92), of Burston, Hunton, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Commr. for assessment, Kent 1673-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1675-?d., dep. lt. by 1680-d.
Fane’s father, the younger brother of the first Earl of Westmorland, represented Maidstone, five miles from Burston, in four early Stuart Parliaments. None of the family was of age to take part in the Civil War, and Fane entered politics only in 1677, when he signed the protest drafted by his cousin, Sir Vere Fane, against government support for the candidature of Sir John Banks at Winchelsea. He was returned for Maidstone to the second and third Exclusion Parliaments, but he left no trace on their records. He refused to subscribe to the loyal address abhorring the Rye House Plot because ‘it might lessen his influence with the people’. Nevertheless he was reappointed to county office in 1685, though he is not likely to have stood for re-election. In 1688 he gave affirmative answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. James II’s electoral agents noted him as ‘right’, and believed that he would be supported by the mayor and the dissenters. Sunderland, however, preferred to nominate Edwin Wyatt as court candidate for Maidstone. Since Fane’s epitaph records that he was three times returned unanimously ‘against the restless designs of Popery and arbitrary power’, he was presumably successful at an abortive election; but in 1689 the family interest was represented by his cousin, who was defeated by Banks’s son. Fane probably did not stand again himself, but he rallied to the new regime and continued to hold local office. He died on 5 Sept. 1692 and was buried at Hunton. His heir was his cousin, Mildmay Fane†, who was returned for the county as a Whig in 1715.2