Thomas Vavasour (knight marshal)

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Thomas Vavasour
Ham House, London.jpg
Ham House, London
Member of Parliament
for Wootton Bassett
In office
Member of Parliament
for Wootton Bassett
In office
Member of Parliament
for Malmesbury
In office
Personal details
Spouse(s)Mary Dodge
Children4 sons, 2 daughters
Residence Ham House (1610–1620)
Alma mater Caius College, Cambridge
Occupation Knight Marshal
Military service
Years of service1584–1591
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Arnhem 1585,
Netherlands 1587

Thomas Vavasour (1560–1620) was an English soldier, courtier and Member of Parliament.

He came from a family long established in Yorkshire. His grandfather was William Vavasour and his father was Henry Vavasour (died 1584) of Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire. His mother, Margaret, was the daughter of Sir Henry Knyvet (died 1547) of Charlton, Wiltshire. Thomas was educated at Eton and Caius College, Cambridge where he was a fellow commoner.

William Vavasour English politician

Sir William Vavasour (1514–1566), of Hazlewood, Yorkshire was an English politician.

Copmanthorpe village in United Kingdom

Copmanthorpe is a village and civil parish in the City of York in the English county of North Yorkshire, 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of York, west of Bishopthorpe and close to Acaster Malbis, Askham Bryan and Askham Richard. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 4,262, reducing to 4,173 at the 2011 Census. Until 1996 it had been part of the Selby district. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the village is part of the York Outer constituency.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is a 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

In 1576 he married Mary, daughter and heiress of John Dodge of Copes[ where? ], Suffolk, widow of Peter Houghton, alderman of London. They had four sons and two daughters.

He became involved in court scandal and rivalry through the actions of his elder sister, Anne.

Anne Vavasour Mistress to English Earl

Anne Vavasour was a Maid of Honour (1580–81) to Queen Elizabeth I of England, and the mistress of two aristocratic men. Her first lover was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, by whom she had an illegitimate son – Edward. For that offence, both she and the earl were sent to the Tower of London by the orders of the Queen. She later became the mistress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, by whom she had another illegitimate son.

He was Member of Elizabethan Parliaments for Wootton Bassett in the 1584 and 1586 parliaments, and member for Malmesbury in the 1589 parliament.

Elizabeth I of England Queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until 24 March 1603

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

Wootton Bassett was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1447 until 1832, when the rotten borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.

Malmesbury was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1275 until 1832, and then one member from 1832 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.

In August 1585 he fought in the Netherlands as captain of also foot from Yorkshire, retaining this command until 1591. He distinguished himself on two occasions, once in an attack on a sconce near Arnhem in October 1585, and again in 1587 with Lord Willoughby to fight the Marques del Guasto.

Siege of IJsseloord

The Siege of IJsseloord or the Capture of Arnhem was a siege that took place between the 6 and 15 October 1585 at Arnhem during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The Dutch and English were victorious when the sconce of IJsseloord after seven days capitulated and Arnhem fell into their hands.

Sconce (fortification) type of fortification

A sconce is a small protective fortification, such as an earthwork, often placed on a mound as a defensive work for artillery. It was used primarily in Northern Europe from the late Middle Ages until the 19th century. This type of fortification was common during the English Civil War, and the remains of one such structure can be seen on Fort Royal Hill in Worcester, England. During the Eighty Years' War for Dutch independence, the sconces were often used to defend strategic places, but were used also during sieges and in circumvallations. Several more or less intact sconces remain in the Netherlands. The Zaanse Schans, one of the top tourist locations in the Netherlands, derived its name from its original function as a sconce. Sconces played a major part in the Serbian Revolution, countering the numerical superiority of the Turkish army.

Arnhem City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Arnhem is a city and municipality situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located on both banks of the rivers Nederrijn and Sint-Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem had a population of 156,600 in 2017 and is one of the larger cities of the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the Arnhem–Nijmegen metropolitan area which has a combined 736,500 inhabitants.

He is thought to have been knighted before August 1595, though the record is unclear.

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.

Following military service he was a gentleman pensioner until the death of the Queen at Richmond Palace in March 1603. Following the accession of James I, Vavasour was made Butler of the port of London, earning him £1,000 compensation. In 1604 he was appointed Knight Marshal of the Household, a role confirmed to him for life in 1612 but, according to John Chamberlain, he sold the right for £3,000, in 1618, two years before his death.

He returned to parliament in 1609 to represent Boroughbridge after the death in office of Sir John Ferne and was re-elected in 1614 to represent Horsham.

In October 1618 he sold the office of Knight Marshall to Sir Edward Zouch for £3000. [1]

Vavasour's wealth and connection to the court allowed the construction of Ham House in 1610 on land belonging to the Crown. After his death in 1620 the lease passed to John Ramsay, 1st Earl of Holderness, a favourite of the King. [2]

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  1. Norman Egbert McClure, Letters of John Chamberlain, vol. 2 (Philadelphia, 1939), p. 173.
  2. Bindoff, S. T. (1981). "VAVASOUR, Thomas (1560–1620), of Skellingthorpe, Lincs. and Ham, Surr.". In Hasler, P.W. (ed.). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558–1603. TSO. ISBN   9780118875011.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Henry Knyvet
Edmund Dunch
Member of Parliament for Wootton Bassett
With: John Hungerford
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Knyvet
John Hungerford
Preceded by
Sir Henry Knyvet
Henry Bayly
Member of Parliament for Malmesbury
With: Henry Bayly
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Knyvet
Thomas Lake
Preceded by
Sir John Ferne
Henry Jenkins
Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge
With: Henry Jenkins
Succeeded by
Sir Ferdinando Fairfax
George Marshall
Preceded by
John Doddridge
Sir Michael Hicks
Member of Parliament for Horsham
With: John Middleton
Succeeded by
Thomas Cornwallis
John Middleton