LEIGH, Sir Thomas (1616-62), of Hamstall Ridware, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 15 July 1616, 2nd s. of Thomas Leigh† (d.1672), 1st Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh, by Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Egerton of Dodleston, Cheshire. educ. Camb. m. (1) settlement 9 July 1642, with £6,000, Anne (d. bef. 1 June 1647), da. of Richard Brigham of Lambeth, Surr. 1da.; (2) by 1652, Jane, da. of Patrick Fitzmaurice, 18th Baron of Kerry [I], 1s. 3da. Kntd. 22 Aug. 1642.1
J.p. Staffs. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d.; surveyor of woods, honour of Tutbury Sept. 1660-d.2
Leigh was descended from a lord mayor of London who obtained a grant of the Cistercian abbey of Stoneleigh from Queen Elizabeth. His father, who sat for Warwickshire in 1628, was an active commissioner of array, rewarded with a peerage in 1643. But Leigh, on whom the Staffordshire estate, valued at £423 13s.4d. p.a., was settled at his marriage, was only a passive Royalist. However, by leaving his home to live in the Cavalier garrison at Lichfield, he incurred the penalties of delinquency. The joint fines of father and son were fixed at £5,642 in April 1647. Although his father was arrested as a precautionary measure during Booth’s rising, Leigh himself was not disturbed.3
Under the Long Parliament ordinance Leigh was forbidden to stand at the general election of 1660, but he was returned for Staffordshire in the following year. In his committee record there is the possibility of some confusion with Thomas Lee I, but he was probably an active Member in his one session of the Cavalier Parliament, with 73 committees. He was appointed to those for the corporations and uniformity bills and the bills of pains and penalties, and on 22 Nov. 1661 he was one of the delegation sent to ask the King to make John Lambert and Sir Henry Vane available to stand trial. He died on 5 Apr. 1662, and the Leigh interest in Staffordshire died with him. He was said to have contracted sundry debts in the King’s service, but a private bill for the sale of Hamstall Ridware met so much opposition that it was dropped. However the family never resided there again. His grandson Charles came in for Warwick as a Tory under Queen Anne.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 81; (lxii), 11; HMC 5th Rep. 182.
- 2. Sir Robert Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Official Lists, 166.
- 3. VCH Warws. vi. 234; Shaw, Staffs. i. 155*-158*; HMC 5th Rep. 47-48, 182; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1134-6; SP23/200/777, 793, 799, 800; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 1304; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 306.
- 4. HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 150; Dugdale, Diary, 109; Shaw, i. 156*; PC2/59/14-15.