LAMBERT, Thomas (c.1638-92), of Boyton, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1638, o.s. of Edmund Lambert of Keevil by Elizabeth, da. of Robert Cole of Willingale Doe, Essex. educ. Pembroke, Camb. adm. 9 Apr. 1656, aged 18. m. lic. 6 Dec. 1664, Eleanor, da. of Edward Topp of Stockton, Wilts., 3s. 4da. suc. fa. 1643.1
Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1661-80, Wilts. and Salisbury 1689-90; capt. of militia ft. Wilts. by 1661, col. by 1685-?June 1688, j.p. 1669-June 1688, Oct. 1688-d., dep. lt. 1683-June 1688, Oct. 1688-d., commr. for rebels’ estates 1686.2
Lambert was head of a minor gentry family, not akin to the Lamberts of Maiden Bradley. They had held land in Wiltshire since 1560, when his great-great-grandfather, a London alderman, purchased Boyton. His grandfather sat for Hindon, some five miles away, in 1625 and 1626. His father was probably a Royalist, as he was appointed j.p. under a commission issued at Oxford in April 1643, but he died too soon to take any active part in the Civil War. Lambert was undoubtedly an Anglican; his uncle and namesake became archdeacon of Salisbury after the Restoration, and he himself, as a militia officer, was reported to be active against Anabaptists and separatists in 1661. Returned for Hindon in February 1679, he was noted as ‘doubtful’ by Shaftesbury, but on Huntingdon’s list he is marked as an opponent of the Court. An inactive Member, he was named to three committees of no political importance, and voted against exclusion. With Robert Hyde and two other justices of the peace, he was ordered to be publicly commended at the assizes in 1680 for zeal in seeking out Papists. He regained his seat in 1685 but left no trace on the records of James II’s Parliament. On the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he replied to Lord Yarmouth (William Paston) that:
Since his Majesty has been pleased to give a toleration for liberty of conscience, [he] is for securing it by law as his Majesty and his great council shall think fit. For the test, he has not so well considered of it, yet is doubtful.
This answer was construed unfavourably by the regulators, and he was removed from local office. Yarmouth considered Lambert to have great interest at Hindon, but prevailed on him not to stand, and he declared himself ‘incapacitated’ to help in the election of Members supporting the Government’s policy. Apparently he kept his word to the lord lieutenant and did not contest the 1689 election. He died in 1692. His son Edmund sat for Hindon from 1708 to 1713 and for Salisbury from 1715 to 1722 as a Tory.3