Sir Thomas Wroth
|Died||11 July 1672|
|Parent(s)||Thomas Wroth |
Sir Thomas Wroth (1584 – 11 July 1672) was an English gentleman-poet and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1628 and 1660.Active in colonial enterprises in North America, he became a strong republican in the Rump Parliament but stopped short of regicide.
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a person of royalty.
Thomas Wroth was born in London, the eldest son of Thomas Wroth (died 1610) of the Inner Temple and of Blendon Hall, Bexley, Kentand his wife Joanna Bulman, daughter of Thomas Bulman of London. The parents were married at St. Stephen Coleman Street on 23 December 1577 and Thomas was christened there on 5 May 1584. A grandson of Sir Thomas Wroth (1516–1573) and Mary Rich, daughter of Richard, Lord Rich, he was cousin-german to Sir Robert Wroth of Loughton, Essex (1575–1614), who in 1604 married Mary Sidney (Lady Wroth), daughter of Robert Sidney, Baron Sidney of Penshurst, afterwards Lord Viscount Lisle and 1st Earl of Leicester. His father was cousin to Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich (1559–1619), who was created 1st Earl of Warwick in 1618.
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.
Bexley is an area of south-east London, England and part of the London Borough of Bexley. It is sometimes known as Bexley Village to differentiate the area from the wider borough. It is located 13 miles (21 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross and south of Bexleyheath.
Sir Thomas Wroth was an English courtier, landowner and politician, a supporter of the Protestant Reformation and a prominent figure among the Marian exiles.
Thomas matriculated as a commoner at Gloucester Hall, University of Oxford, on 1 July 1600, but was later associated with Broadgates Hall. He left the university without a degree. He was "in good esteem among some persons for his poetry, for his encouragement of poets, and for his love to learning and learned men."His contemporary, the poet Richard Niccols (who entered Magdalen College, Oxford in 1602, and took his B.A. at Magdalen Hall, Oxford in 1606), dedicated his juvenile work 'The Cuckow' to 'his worshipful good friend Master Thomas Wroth, an affecter and favourer of the Muses' in 1607, addressing him as 'dear friend' and 'Patron', and promising better thereafter:
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly referred to as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Richard Niccols (1584–1616) was an English poet and editor.
Magdalen College is one of the wealthiest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, with an estimated financial endowment of £180.8 million as of 2014.
When as my wit with riper fruit shall grow
My muse may speak to thee in sweeter ryme
And for thy worth some graver poem show.
In November 1606 Thomas was entered with his brother Peter Wroth as a student at the Inner Temple.
Thomas Wroth was knighted at Theobalds on 14 October 1613,and, having inherited a considerable portion of his father's wealth, he purchased the Somerset estates of his cousin Sir Robert Wroth when they were sold for the payment of debts. The chief of these were the manors of Newton and Petherton Park, of which his great-grandfather Robert had been appointed Forester by Henry VII, and which his grandfather Sir Thomas had purchased from Edward VI in 1550. Petherton Park became the seat of his branch of the family, and for the rest of his life Wroth was associated with Somerset politics, while conducting his London affairs from Coleman Street.
Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton.
Petherton Park was a Deer park around North Petherton within the English county of Somerset.
In c. 1614Wroth married his widowed cousin Margaret Rich (c. 1580–1635), to whom he became very devoted. She was a daughter of Richard Rich (d. 1598) (acknowledged son of Chancellor Rich) and his wife Jane Machell. In 1598 Margaret and her brother Nathaniel were with their mother at their father's deathbed at Leigh, Essex, attended by William Noyes, then 'minister of this place'. Margaret was first married to Paul Bowdler, citizen and Draper of London (d. 1610), two of whose sisters, Judith and Anne, were the wives of Sir William Calley of Burderop, Chiseldon, Wiltshire, and Sir John Gore of London, respectively. Her daughter Anne Bowdler, who died in her maidenhood in 1629, came of this marriage.
Wroth composed and published The Husband: a poem expressed in a Compleat Man at the time of his marriage:Richard Niccols included an epigram (no. 29) to Dame Margaret, in fourteen lines of rhymed couplets, in his small 1614 collection Vertue's Encomium: 'Margarite', the gem, the pearl and the daisy, is extolled with play on the words 'rich' and 'worth'. Over the next five years Wroth prepared his rhymed English translation of Book 2 of Virgil's Aeneid (with parallel Latin text), as The Destruction of Troy. This was published, with 100 epigrams of his own Abortive of an Idle Hour, in 1620. It was dedicated to Robert Sidney, Lord Viscount Lisle, father of Lady Mary Wroth. Sidney had some part in the poem's genesis, and the epigrams include one (no. 26) dedicated to Captain Nathaniel Butler, Governor of Bermuda. Wroth's Destruction of Troy, in which he resolved into prophecy the words of Creusa's apparition, may be read as a Virginian text for the colonial culture carrying its religion to a new western land, its prophetic mission under the direction of providence.
A marriage of Rich and Wroth families reinforced their interconnected histories of Protestant sympathy and Puritan patronage. Wroth had been a subscriber to the Virginia Company in 1609. His brother-in-law, Margaret's brother, was the colonial pioneer Sir Nathaniel Rich, and like Robert Sidney a most active figure in the Virginia Company. Wroth fully associated himself with them in colonial enterprise. In 1620 he became a member of the Company of the Somers Isles (Bermuda Company), and on 3 November 1620 joined the Plymouth Council for New England, being named in the New England Charter.He became a member of the Virginia Company in 1621, and from 1621 to 1624 was particularly associated with Nathaniel Rich and Robert Sidney in the Warwick party of the Company, when they came into opposition to Sir Edwin Sandys. He voted in favour of the surrender of the original charter in October 1623, and was one of those included in James I's new grant of 15 July 1624. He was also a member of the Eastland Company. Wroth was a J.P. for Somerset from 1624 to 1625. In domestic politics he joined the opposition to King Charles I: in 1628 he was elected Member of Parliament for Bridgwater and sat until 1629, when Charles began to rule without parliament for eleven years.
In September 1635 the government seized a letter which he had written to Dr. John Stoughton in which he lamented the condition of the church and hinted at resistance unto blood.A month later Dame Margaret died of a sudden fever at Petherton. She made a will providing for the education of her niece Frances Grimsditch, her sister Jane's daughter, who was in waiting in the Wroth household. Frances's brother Thomas was then in Providence Island colony. She also established a charity of sermons and gifts to the poor of St. Stephen Coleman Street, where she desired to be buried near to her daughter and the parents of Sir Thomas. John Goodwin was minister there.
Wroth wrote a prose Declaracion of the life sicknes and death of his dearest and most beloved wife dedicated to Sir Nathaniel Rich,and in the four-days' progress to London for her funeral at Coleman Street he composed a poetic Encomium for her in thirty-one stanzas, which he afterwards published. "To summe up all, this Woman, this my Wife, She was the Honour, Comfort of my Life," he lamented: he never remarried.
Margaret's sister Elizabeth, widow of Sir John Morgan of Chilworth near Wonersh, Surrey (died 1621),and of the judge John Sotherton (died 1631), had died in 1632. Nathaniel Rich died in 1636 making bequests for the families of his sisters Jane Grimsditch (of Haslemere, Surrey) and Anne Browne to emigrate to the Bermudas. (Frances Grimsditch married Richard Hunt, emigrated and inherited. ) Even then, Nathaniel's cousin James Cudworth of Scituate (Dr. Stoughton's stepson), who had emigrated to Plymouth colony two years previously, was, as a prominent citizen, being deputed by the Plymouth General Court to make a general revision of all its laws: Dame Margaret had attended his father's deathbed.
Wroth felt the loss as a judgement upon his own insufficiency, and the official repercussions of his letter to Stoughton hardened his resolve. He became Recorder of Bridgwater by 1636 and was a J.P again from 1636 to 1640. He served as Sheriff of Somerset from 1639 to 1640, and was therefore excluded from the Short Parliament. Margaret's nephew Nathaniel Rich, junr. (son of Robert Rich of Felsted, but his education supervised by his uncle Nathaniel) became an active figure in the New Model Army. In February 1642 Wroth delivered to Parliament a Petition on behalf of the people of Somerset for the removal of the Lords and Bishops responsible for the breach of privileges of Parliament, which was published together with his speech on the occasion. The petition declared,
"We being struken with the sence and horror of so desperate a mischiefe, do hold it high time to declare the sincere and ardent Affection of our hearts, which we are ready to seale with our purest blood, in defence of our Religion, his Sacred Majesty, our deare Country; and that which is the life of our Liberty, the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament."
His brother Sir Peter Wroth, whose son was a royalist and fought at the battle of Newbury in 1643, died in 1645 making Sir Thomas his sole executor. In February 1646 Wroth was elected MP for Bridgwater as a recruiter to the Long Parliament. Two years later he presented to the library of Syon House a copy of the Koran, and other Arabic and Turkish manuscripts.On 3 January 1648, seconding Henry Marten's resolution, he moved that Charles I should be confined under guard in a secure castle, that Articles of Impeachment should be drawn up against him, and that they should lay him aside and settle the kingdom without him:
"I care not what form of government you set up, so it be not by Kings and devils."
Clement Walker called him 'Jack-Pudding to Prideaux the Post-master'.He took the ‘engagement’ in 1649, and was one of the judges appointed to try the king, but he attended only one session. In June following he was thanked by parliament for suppressing the Levellers in Somerset. On 25 June 1653 he was made a commissioner for the government of the Bermudas and did not sit in the Barebones Parliament in 1653 or the First Protectorate Parliament of 1654. On 20 October 1656 he was again returned as MP for Bridgwater in the Second Protectorate Parliament. He was re-elected in January 1658/9 for the Third Protectorate Parliament. In February 1658/9 he and Sir Henry Vane spoke warningly to suggestions that the Protector should occupy the role of a King:
'If we find kings destructive to the nation, we may lay them aside. It is a formidable thing, to speak of a King'
and with regard to the reinstatement of Lords:
'Men are born to be subjects and not to be slaves. Either let us be slaves or freemen. The English are easy to be governed, and they love it; but it must be as freemen and not as slaves.'
He opposed the hereditary principle:
'I am against hereditary lordship, for the reason why his Highness refused king; because he knew not what he that came after him should be, a wise man or a fool. I see plainly here is a great inclination to come round again. It is to bring in old Lords by degrees, and then, consequently, one whom I hope my eyes shall never live to see here.'
In 1660 he was elected for Bridgwater again in the Convention parliament.
At the Restoration Wroth's petition for pardon was granted, but he was removed from the commission of the peace and was deprived of the Recordership in 1662. He lived in retirement until his death, aged 88, at Petherton Park on 11 July 1672. His will was proved on 24 August following.
Sir Thomas Wroth and Dame Margaret had no issue together.
His estates passed to the descendants of his brother Sir Peter Wroth and Dame Margaret (nėe Dering). Sir Peter's son Sir John Wroth, the royalist, was created baronet in 1660. Sir John died in 1664 (i.e. before Sir Thomas), and therefore it was John's son Sir John Wroth, 2nd baronet (died 1674), who received the inheritance. Petherton Park was in the possession of a later Sir Thomas Wroth when the Alfred Jewel was discovered there in 1693.
North Petherton is a small town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated on the edge of the eastern foothills of the Quantocks, and close to the edge of the Somerset Levels. The town has a population of 6,730. The parish includes Hamp, Melcombe, Woolmersdon and Huntworth.
Sir John Popham of Wellington, Somerset, was Speaker of the House of Commons, Attorney General and Lord Chief Justice of England.
St. Stephen's Church, Coleman Street, also called "St Stephen's in the Jewry", was a church in the City of London, at the corner of Coleman Street and what is now Gresham Street, first mentioned in the 12th century. In the middle ages it is variously described as a parish church, and as a chapel of ease to the church of St Olave Old Jewry; its parochial status was defined permanently in 1456.
Sir Nathaniel Rich (1585–1636) was an English merchant adventurer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1629.
Sir Hugh Acland, 6th Baronet of Killerton Devon was a British landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1721 to 1727.
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 7th Baronet of Killerton in Devon and Petherton Park in Somerset, was Member of Parliament for Devon, 1746–1747, for Somerset, 1767–1768, and was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1751. He was a prominent member of the West Country gentry, and a famous staghunter who used as his hunting seats his wife's Exmoor estates of Pixton and Holnicote.
The Wroth Baronetcy, of Blenden Hall in the County of Kent, was a title in the Baronetage of England. It was created on 29 November 1660 for John Wroth. The baronetcy became extinct upon the death of the third Baronet in 1721. The third Baronet, whose seat was Petherton Park in Somerset, was Member of Parliament for Bridgwater, for Somerset and for Wells. The title became extinct on his death in 1721.
Thomas Palmer, FRS of Fairfield Stoke Coursey, was a British lawyer and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1715 and 1735.
Sir Samuel Rolle of Heanton Satchville in the parish of Petrockstowe, Devon, served as Member of Parliament for Callington, Cornwall in 1640 and for Devon 1641–1647. He supported the parliamentary side in the Civil War.
John Seymour of Wulfhall, of Stalbridge, of Stinchcombe and of Huish, all in Wiltshire, England, was warden of Savernake Forest and a prominent member of the landed gentry in the counties of Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset. He was the grandfather of Queen Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII, and was thus great-grandfather of King Edward VI.
John Stoughton (1593?–1639) was an English clergyman, of influential millennial views. He was the stepfather and preceptor in their youth of Ralph Cudworth and James Cudworth.
James Cudworth was one of the most important men in Plymouth Colony. Over his long life he served as a Deputy to the Plymouth General Court, Assistant Governor, commander of the colony's militia in King Philip's War as well as being Deputy Governor. He was also a commissioner to the New England Confederation four times between 1655 and 1681.
Tetton is an historic estate in the parish of Kingston St Mary in the English county of Somerset. The present grade II* listed Tetton House dates from 1790 and was enlarged and mainly rebuilt in 1924-6 by Hon. Mervyn Herbert (1882-1929) to the design of the architect Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel.
John Sotherton the younger (1562–1631) was an English judge, member of a prominent parliamentary, judicial and mercantile family of London and East Anglia, who became Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer in 1610.
John Chubb (1746-1818) was an amateur artist from Bridgwater in the English county of Somerset. He was born in 1746. His parents were Jonathan Chubb (1715-1805), a Bridgwater timber and wine merchant, and his wife Mary Morley, (1715-1787). John did not become a professional artist, but kept his work private. He helped run the family business, and took an active part in town politics in the Whig cause, and was Mayor of Bridgwater in 1788. He was active in the local campaign to abolish the Slave Trade.
Edward Lewknor (c.1517–1556) was the representative of a branch of a prominent Sussex family, in an armigerous line descending in the distaff side from the Camoys barony. Having attained standing as a member of parliament and (reportedly) a position of service in the royal household, his career was ended abruptly by his involvement in Henry Dudley's conspiracy against Queen Mary I, and his consequent attainder. His children were restored in blood by Queen Elizabeth I.
Anthony Earbury was a minister in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England, who represented puritan interests while remaining within the Anglican ministry. He is notable for his involvement in the puritan group at the Hampton Court Conference and his confrontation with Archbishop Richard Bancroft soon afterwards, and in later life for his resistance to a challenge to his ministry brought on personal grounds by Sir Edward Powell, Master of Requests. Associated with various groups and patrons interested in the emigrant puritan ministry in America, he was prebendary of Wherwell in Hampshire, under the patronage of the Barons De La Warr, and vicar of Westonzoyland, Somerset for most of his career, and is thought to have been a chaplain to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
Sir Thomas Wroth, 3rd Baronet (c.1674-1721) of Petherton Park, Somerset was an English High Sheriff and Member of Parliament.
|Parliament of England|
Sir Arthur Lake
| Member of Parliament for Bridgwater |
With: Thomas Smith
Parliament suspended until 1640
Seats vacant since 1644
| Member of Parliament for Bridgwater |
With: Robert Blake
Unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
| Member of Parliament for Bridgwater |
With: John Wroth 1659
Francis Rolle 1660