EGLESTON, Thomas (1557-1608), of Winchelsea, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1604 - 12 Apr. 1604

Family and Education

bap. 2 Nov. 1557, 1st s. of William Egleston of Winchelsea and his w. Margaret, da. of James Blechendon of Aldington, Kent.1 m. (1) Susan (d.1595), da. of Humphrey Hales of the Dungeon, Kent, at least 1da.;2 (2) Mary, da. of George Woodward† of Upton, Bucks., at least 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1579. d. by 14 June 1608.3

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchelsea 1585, jurat 1585-?d., auditor, chamberlain’s accts. 1586,4 dep. mayor 1589, 1596, mayor 1589-91, 1593-5, 1596-7;5 dep. for Winchelsea, Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports 1586-9, 1593-7, 1600-2, Guestling 1594, 1598-1601, bailiff to Great Yarmouth, Norf. 1595-6, auditor to the Guestling 1600-1.6


The eldest son of a Winchelsea townsman, Egleston was baptized in his maternal grandfather’s parish of Aldington, Kent. He inherited two houses and two shops in Winchelsea,7 and to these he added, in 1585, a further couple of shops, which he leased from the corporation.8 Appointed a freeman and jurat in that same year, he subsequently served five times as mayor, and in 1586 he represented Winchelsea in Parliament. In February 1596, while serving as the borough’s deputy mayor, he and the mayor were brought before the Privy Council, presumably in connection with the nationwide demand for a levy to pay for ships to defend the coasts. He received a second summons six months later, this time concerning a complaint made by some local landowners.9

In February 1604 Egleston, along with another townsman, was re-elected to Parliament by the corporation. The newly appointed lord warden of the Cinque Ports, the earl of Northampton, furious that he had been denied his traditional right of nomination, returned his servant Thomas Unton regardless. By the time the corporation learned of this, the Parliament had sat for more than three weeks. Faced with the prospect of increasing Northampton’s displeasure if it appealed to the Commons’ committee for privileges and returns, the corporation capitulated. On 12 Apr. Egleston agreed to resign his seat, whereupon Unton was chosen in his stead. The corporation also resolved to reimburse Egleston money he had already laid out in transporting his clothes to London by ship.10

Egleston may have been with his second wife’s family in Buckinghamshire when, ‘sick in body’, he drew up his will on 9 Sept. 1605, as the witnesses included four members of the Woodward family plus Elizabeth, ‘the wife of Robert Stile of the parish of Langley in the county of Buck[inghamshire]’. To Mary, his daughter by his first wife, he bequeathed ‘all that portion which I should have had with her mother’. Should this money prove irrecoverable, Mary was to have a portion of 100 marks, as was her half-sister Elizabeth and an unborn son or daughter. His lands and goods he left to his widow for her lifetime, with remainder to his son Edward. The date of Egleston’s death has not been established, but his will was proved on 14 June 1608.11

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. E. Suss. RO, WIN 53, f. 162; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 138-9; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 116.
  • 2. Susan Hales was the sister of Sir James Hales and Joyce Hales, for which see PROB 11/85, ff. 102v-3; E. Suss. RO, AMS 632. However, her name does not appear in the family pedigree: Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 59.
  • 3. PROB 11/111, f. 437.
  • 4. E. Suss. RO, WIN 53, ff. 263-4, 274.
  • 5. E. Suss. RO, WIN 54, ff. 48, 62, 104, 109, 152; APC, 1595-6, p. 207.
  • 6. Cal. of White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports ed. F. Hull (Kent Recs. xix), 331, 333-4, 336-7, 341-3, 346, 348, 350, 352, 354, 356, 360, 365, 367-9, 373.
  • 7. HP Commons 1509-58, ii. 88.
  • 8. E. Suss. RO, WIN 53, ff. 236, 262v, 264v.
  • 9. APC, 1595-6, pp. 207, 212; 1596-7, p. 134.
  • 10. E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, ff. 82, 84.
  • 11. PROB 11/111, ff. 436v-7.