Thomas Wyndham (navigator)

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Thomas Wyndham (1508–1554) was an English naval officer and navigator. [1]


The son of Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg (d. 1522) and Elizabeth Wentworth, he was educated at Louvain University and possibly in Italy. He held the office of Master of Ordnance of the Ships.

Felbrigg village in the United Kingdom

Felbrigg is a small village just south of Cromer in Norfolk, England. The Danish name means a 'plank bridge'.

Rough Wooing

During the Anglo-Scottish war of the Rough Wooing, Wyndham commanded a ship at the landing at Edinburgh in 1544. [1] In December 1547 he sailed two ships to Dundee to support the English garrison at Broughty Castle commanded by Andrew Dudley. He investigated the River Tay towards Perth looking to rob church roofs to make lead bullets. On Christmas Day 1547 he burnt Balmerino Abbey and on 29 December he burnt Elcho nunnery. [2] On land, he constructed a battery at Haddington called 'Wyndham's bulwark.' With James Wilford on 3 June 1548, he captured Dalkeith Palace (and with it, James Douglas, the future Regent Morton), and razed the town by fire. [3]

Rough Wooing 16th century war between Scotland and England

The Rough Wooing was a war between Scotland and England. Following its break with Rome, England decided to attack Scotland, partly to destroy the Auld Alliance, and prevent Scotland being used as a springboard for future invasion by France, partly to weaken Scotland, and partly to force Scotland to agree to a marriage alliance between its child Queen Mary and the English heir apparent Edward, son of King Henry VIII. An invasion of France was also contemplated. War was declared by Henry in an attempt to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between Edward and the infant queen, thereby creating a new alliance between Scotland and England. Edward, crowned king in 1547 at the age of nine, continued the war for a time under the direction of the Duke of Somerset before Somerset's removal from power in 1549 and replacement by the Duke of Northumberland, who wished for a less costly foreign policy than his predecessor. It was the last major conflict between Scotland and England before the Union of the Crowns in 1603, excepting perhaps the English intervention at the Siege of Leith in 1560, and was part of the Anglo-Scottish Wars of the 16th century.

Dundee City and council area

Dundee is Scotland's fourth-largest city and the 51st-most-populous built-up area in the United Kingdom. The mid-year population estimate for 2016 was 148,270, giving Dundee a population density of 2,478/km2 or 6,420/sq mi, the second-highest in Scotland. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea. Under the name of Dundee City, it forms one of the 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland.

Broughty Castle is a historic castle on the banks of the river Tay in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland. It was completed around 1495, although the site was earlier fortified in 1454 when George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus received permission to build on the site. His son Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus was coerced into ceding the castle to the crown. The main tower house forming the centre of the castle with four floors was built by Andrew, 2nd Lord Gray who was granted the castle in 1490.

However, near the end of the war, the English commander, the Duke of Rutland, was required to investigate Wyndham's activities capturing foreign merchant vessels in the Firth. These disputed prizes included a coal-ship, seven Norwegian vessels laden with meal, pitch and timber, 4 French ships, a small warship he gave to his nephew, John Luttrell, another ship laden with soap and madder, and others. [4] On 29 March 1550, the day peace was declared in England, Wyndham was sent to Scotland with two post horses and five Scottish hostages to exchange for Luttrell, who had been captured at Broughty. [5]

Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland English Earl

Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland, 13th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG was an English nobleman.

Firth of Forth estuary or firth of Scotlands River Forth

The Firth of Forth is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd.

John Luttrell (soldier) English soldier, diplomat, and courtier

Sir John Luttrell feudal baron of Dunster in Somerset, of Dunster Castle, was an English soldier, diplomat, and courtier under Henry VIII and Edward VI. He served under Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford in Scotland and France. His service is commemorated in an allegorical portrait by Hans Eworth.

Around 1550, Hans Eworth painted Wyndham's, Wilford's, and John Luttrell's portraits. Wyndham wears a powder flask at his neck and a gun over his shoulder inscribed, "TW, aetatis XLII.MDL," indicating he was 42 in 1550. In 1590, the picture was called, "Of Mr Thomas Wyndham drowned in the Sea returninge from Ginny." [6]

Hans Eworth painter from the Netherlands

Hans Eworth was a Flemish painter active in England in the mid-16th century. Along with other exiled Flemings, he made a career in Tudor London, painting allegorical images as well as portraits of the gentry and nobility. About 40 paintings are now attributed to Eworth, among them portraits of Mary I and Elizabeth I. Eworth also executed decorative commissions for Elizabeth's Office of the Revels in the early 1570s.

Powder flask small container for gunpowder

A powder flask is a small container for gunpowder, which was an essential part of shooting equipment with muzzleloading guns, before pre-made paper cartridges became standard in the 19th century. They range from very elaborately decorated works of art to early forms of consumer packaging, and are widely collected. Many were standardized military issue, but the most decorative were generally used for sporting shooting.

"Ginny", meaning Guinea, was the name used for the western part of Africa now including Nigeria. The voyage to Guinea was backed by George Barnes of London. The planned voyage was noted by the Imperial ambassador Jean Scheyfve. In May 1553 Scheyfve thought Wyndham might employ a Portuguese pilot called Pinteado and sail in July. [7] Thomas Wyndham's crew for this 1553 expedition included a future noteworthy explorer in his own right, Martin Frobisher. [8] Wyndham and his crew were received in person by the Oba (king) of Benin City, who in turn traded with them. Wyndham died in 1554 at sea off Benin, on the return leg of his voyage. He left John Luttrell £100 in his will.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.

Sir George Barne was an English businessman in the City of London who was active in developing new trading links with Russia, West Africa and North America. Created a knight in 1553, he served as Sheriff of London and Lord Mayor of London. He was the father of Sir George Barne III and grandfather of Sir William Barne. Nicholas Culverwell was probably a nephew.


Wyndham's half-sister Margaret married Andrew Luttrell of Quantoxhead and Dunster Castle in 1514, the father of John Luttrell. Thomas's wife's name in Bridget Mannock born 1520. Their son was called Henry (1575-1631), and the names of two surviving daughters in 1553 are unknown. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 Wyndham, Thomas (d. 1554), naval officer and navigator by J. D. Alsop, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [ dead link ]
  2. Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (1898), 48-49, 51, 53, 56.
  3. Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (1898), 115.
  4. HMC (1888), 50, 52.
  5. John Roche Dasent, ed., Acts of the Privy Council, vol. 2 (1890), 421.
  6. Cust, Lionel, 'The Painter HE', 2nd Annual Volume of the Walpole Society, (1913), 3-4, 19, plate V: Walker, Hope, Hans Eworth Picture List, (2009)
  7. Royall, Tyler, ed., Calendar State Papers Spanish, vol.11 (1916), pp.38-39.
  8. Robert McGhee (1 November 2001). Arctic Voyages of Martin Frobisher: An Elizabethan Adventure. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 5. ISBN   978-0-7735-6950-8.