GREENACRES, Thomas (d.1583), of Worston, Lancs.
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Family and Education
b. aft. 1508, 2nd s. of John Greenacres of Worston by his w. Isabel.
Gov. Clitheroe g.s.
Worston was less than two miles from Clitheroe, but Greenacres’ returns for the borough may still have been effected by the 3rd Earl of Derby, the lord lieutenant, for he was preferred to a nominee of the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, a preference best explained by the intervention of such a magnate. In 1582 the Liverpool town books refer to Greenacres as the 4th Earl’s ‘man’, a description that might be applied as well to a member of the Derby household as to the holder of some local office under the Earl. On the death of Ralph Sekerston, elected for Liverpool in 1572 with Derby’s approval, Greenacres came in at the by-election.
The foundation of Queen Mary’s grammar school at Clitheroe was largely due to Greenacres and his elder brother Richard, who, with four relatives and friends, formed the first board of governors, with power to co-opt new members. However, soon after Greenacres’s death the townsmen petitioned the chancellor of the duchy, alleging malversation by the governors, who admitted that in 30 years no building had been erected. They claimed that the rents from the school property had been spent on the salaries of the schoolmaster and usher, who had been conducting their classes in the parish church.
By January 1582 Greenacres was ‘so visited ... with sickness that he was not able to travel nor accomplish his duty’, and Derby asked that he be replaced as MP for Liverpool. But Greenacres was dead by the time a new writ was issued, 7 Feb. 1583.
Chetham Soc. n.s. xcii. 9; Liverpool Town Bks. ed. Twemlow, ii. 407-50; C193/32, lists 3-7, 9; DL1/136/N3, 212/N1.
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.