Sir Thomas Wode (died 31 August 1502), KS, of Childrey in Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire), was Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 1500 and in 1478 was elected a Member of Parliament for Wallingford.
His early life and career are unknown, leading to him being described as 'perhaps the most obscure Chief Justice of the Tudor period'.
His Inn of Court, through process of elimination, was the Middle Temple (as the Middle Temple records for that period are missing, while the records of the other three Inns do not include him), and his first appointment was as a Justice of the Peace for Berkshire in 1478, the same year being returned for Parliament representing Wallingford. He was made a Serjeant-at-law in 1486, and in 1488 a King's Serjeant; it is supposed he then became a member of Serjeant's Inn after this. On 24 November 1495 he was made a Puisne Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and on 28 October 1500 he was made Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. His presidency of the Court of Common Pleas was short as he died in office on 31 August 1502.
The name of his wife is unknown, but his daughter and heiress Anne Wode is known to have become the wife of Sir Thomas Stucley (1473-1542) lord of the manor of Affeton in Devon and Sheriff of Devon in 1521.The Stucley family quartered the canting arms of "Wood of Binley", in Devon, given by Sir William Pole (d.1635) as Gules crusily or, three demi-woodmen with clubs or, as visible on the 16th century mural monument in St Branock's Church, Braunton, Devon, to Richard Bellew of Ash, Braunton and his wife Margaret St Leger.
He died on 31 August 1502 and was buried at Reading Abbey in accordance with his will. He bequeathed a gold ring and two books to Thomas Frowyk, who succeeded him as Lord Chief Justice.
The Barons of the Exchequer, or barones scaccarii, were the judges of the English court known as the Exchequer of Pleas. The Barons consisted of a Chief Baron of the Exchequer and several puisne (inferior) barons. When Robert Shute was appointed second baron in June 1579 the patent declared "he shall be reputed and be of the same order, rank, estimation, dignity and pre-eminence to all intents and purposes as any puisne judge of either of the two other courts." The rise of commercial trade in Elizabethan England occasioned fraudulent application of the Quo minus writ. More taxation demanded staff at the exchequer to sift an increase in the case load causing more widespread litigation cases to come to the court. From the 1580s onwards the Barons of Exchequer were no longer held in such low regard, and more likely to be Serjeants-at-law before qualification. The Inns of Courts began to exclude solicitors, and held posts for judges and barons open equally to barristers. In 1591, Regulations reflected a case in which the Lord Keeper Egerton banned solicitors from seeking cases in the Exchequer.
Sir John Holt was an English lawyer who served as Lord Chief Justice of England from 17 April 1689 to his death. He is frequently credited with playing a major role in ending the prosecution of witches in English law.
Sir William Peryam of Little Fulford, near Crediton in Devon, was an English judge who rose to the position of Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1593, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.
Sir Edward Saunders was an English judge and Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench.
Sir Thomas Frowyk KS was an English justice.
William Danvers of Chamberhouse Castle in Thatcham, Berkshire, was a British judge. He was a Serjeant-at-Law and a Justice of the Peace.
Sir John Doddridge (1555–1628) was an English lawyer, appointed Justice of the King's Bench in 1612 and served as Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1589 and for Horsham in 1604. He was also an antiquarian and writer. He acquired the nickname "the sleeping judge" from his habit of shutting his eyes while listening intently to a case. As a lawyer he was influenced by humanist ideas, and was familiar with the ideas of Aristotle, and the debates of the period between his followers and the Ramists. He was a believer in both the rationality of the English common law and in its connection with custom. He was one of the Worthies of Devon of the biographer John Prince (d.1723).
Sir William Hankford KB of Annery in Devon, was an English lawyer, and Chief Justice of the King's Bench from 1413 until 1423.
Sir John St Leger, of Annery in the parish of Monkleigh, Devon, was an English landowner who served in local and national government.
Sir Thomas Holt was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1654 and 1656.
Sir Nicholas Wadham was an English high sheriff, Royal Navy administrator and Member of Parliament. He was the grandfather of Wadham College, Oxford posthumous co-founder Nicholas Wadham (1531–1609).
Sir John Hele of Wembury in Devon, serjeant-at-law, was a Member of Parliament for Exeter and was Recorder of Exeter (1592–1605). He was one of Prince's Worthies of Devon (1701). He built at Wembury one of the grandest manor houses ever seen in Devon, called by his near contemporary Risdon : "A magnificent house, equalling, if not exceeding, all other in these western parts, for uniform building; a sightly seat for shew; for receipt spacious; for cost sumptuous; for sight salubrious". It was already a ruin by about 1700, and was finally demolished in 1803. He founded a boys' hospital in Plymouth. His monument and effigy survives in Wembury Church.
Sir Edward Harris (1575–1636) of Cornworthy in Devon, was an English-born judge and politician in seventeenth-century Ireland. He was Chief Justice of Munster in Ireland, and sat as Member of Parliament for Clonakilty 1613–15 in the Irish House of Commons of the Parliament of Ireland. He was the grandfather of the faith healer Valentine Greatrakes.
The Black Assizes is an epithet given to several outbreaks of "gaol fever" which struck various prisons and court-houses in England in the late 16th century and which caused the deaths of not only many prisoners awaiting trial but also the magistrates in the court buildings holding assizes.
Ash in the parish of Braunton in North Devon is a historic estate listed in the Domesday Book. The present mansion, known as The Ash Barton estate is a Grade II* listed building.
Way is a historic estate in the parish of St Giles in the Wood, Devon. It is situated about 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of the village of St Giles in the Wood and about 4 miles (6.4 km) north-east of the town of Great Torrington. It was described by Hoskins (1959) as "the fons et origo of the mighty tribe of Pollard" and had been acquired by them from the de la Way family at some time before 1242.
The manor of Wadham in the parish of Knowstone in north Devon and the nearby manors of Chenudestane and Chenuestan are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086:
Sir Hugh Stucley (1496–1559) was the lord of Affeton in Devon, and Sheriff of Devon in 1545. His third son was Thomas Stukley, known as "The Lusty Stucley".
John Fortescue, of Shepham in the parish of Modbury in Devon, was an English landowner and administrator. He is said in most ancient sources to have been appointed in 1422 by King Henry V as Captain of the captured Castle of Meaux, 25 miles (40 km) north-east of Paris, following the Siege of Meaux during the Hundred Years' War, although this appointment is questioned by Ives (2005).