WALDEGRAVE, Thomas (c.1608-77), of Smallbridge, Bures, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. c.1608, 2nd s. of Sir William Waldegrave† (d.1613) of Smallbridge by 2nd w. Jemima, da. of Sir Nicholas Bacon, 1st Bt., of Redgrave, Suff. educ. I. Temple 1628. m. (1) Jane, da. of Sir Robert Kemp, 1st Bt., of Gissing, Norf., 1s. 3da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Sir Arthur Acland of Killerton, Devon, wid. of Sir Anthony Vincent, 2nd Bt., of Stoke D’Abernon, Surr., s.p. suc. bro. 1650.1
J.p. Suff. 1651-d., Essex 1657-d., Sudbury 1664; commr. for assessment, Suff. 1652, 1657, Jan. 1660-d., dep. lt. 1661-d.; commr. for complaints, Bedford level 1663; capt. of militia horse, Suff. by 1664-d.2
Waldegrave’s ancestors had been of knightly rank since the 14th century, one of them representing Lincolnshire in 1335, and another, who sat for Suffolk, acting as Speaker in 1381. Smallbridge descended in the eldest line of the family, but its possessors in the 17th century were overshadowed by their recusant cousins of the Nazeing branch, who received a baronetcy for their conspicuous loyalty in the Civil War. Waldegrave’s brother was nominated to the royalist commission of array in 1642, but apparently succeeded in maintaining neutrality. Nothing is known of Waldegrave himself at this time, but he was probably a parliamentary sympathizer, for he was appointed to the commission of the peace on succeeding to the estate, and continued to hold local office both before and after the Restoration.3
Waldegrave was involved in a double return at Sudbury, seven miles from Smallbridge, at the general election of 1661, and allowed to sit on the merits of the return. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to 25 committees, most of them in the earlier sessions. He was named to the committee for the uniformity bill (as ‘Sir Edward Waldegrave’), and to those to provide remedies against sectaries in 1663 and to consider the conventicles bill in 1664. He was again confused with his Roman Catholic cousin when he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges for the Oxford session. On 26 Feb. 1668 he was ordered to notify Sir Henry Felton of the hearing of his privilege case, and his last committee was on a charity bill on 6 Feb. 1671. He may have been in opposition until the Danby administration, though even then Sir Richard Wiseman listed him as absent from the autumn session of 1675 and queried his reliability. He died on 17 Apr. 1677, the last of this branch of the family to sit in Parliament.4