HILLERSDEN, Thomas (1653-98), of Elstow, Beds.
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Family and Education
b. 19 Oct. 1653, 1st s. of Thomas Hillersden of Elstow by Elizabeth, da. of John Huxley of Edmonton, Mdx. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1670; I. Temple 1670. m. lic. 12 July 1675, Mary (d. 6 Aug. 1693), da. of John Forth, Brewer, of Hackney, Mdx., 3s. 3da. suc. fa. 1657.1
J.p. Beds. 1675-80, ?1689-d.; commr. for assessment, Beds. 1677-80, Beds. and Bedford 1689-90; dep. lt. Beds. Feb.-June 1688, 1689-?d., capt. of militia horse by 1697-d.2
Though said to be descended from the Devon family, Hillersden’s ancestors were of little consequence until his great-grandfather purchased part of the site of Elstow abbey, just outside Bedford, in 1616. His father was too young to take part in the Civil War, but as a royalist sympathizer was assessed £910 s. for decimation in 1655. Hillersden was connected with the St. Johns of Bletsoe through his step-father Sir William Beecher, and married the daughter of a prominent London nonconformist. Like his step-father he signed the letter inviting the Hon. William Russell to stand for the county at the second general election of 1679, and was removed from the commission of the peace in 1680. Regarded as a possible Whig collaborator, Hillersden was made a deputy lieutenant in February 1688, but was omitted in June. He was returned for the borough in 1689, but in the Convention he served only on the committee for disarming Papists, and he did not vote for the disabling clause. He continued to sit as a Whig under William III and signed the Association in 1696. He was buried at Elstow on 26 Feb. 1698. His son, also a Whig, represented the borough from 1707 to 1710 and the county from 1715 to 1722.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Leonard Naylor / Geoffrey Jaggar
- 1. Beds. Par. Regs. i. (Elstow), 17; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. v. 82-91, 95; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 685.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1687-9, pp. 141, 209; Eg. 1626, f. 4.
- 3. Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. v. 75, 95; VCH Beds. iii. 281; Thurloe, iv. 513; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London, 72; J. Russell, Lord William Russell (1820), ii. 243; Beds. Par. Regs. i. 83.3