WOODWARD, Thomas (c.1580-1624), of Peascod Street, New Windsor, Berks. and Lincoln's Inn, London

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



1624 - Aug. 1624

Family and Education

b. c.1580, 3rd s. of George Woodward† (d.1598) of Upton, Bucks. and Katherine, da. of Thomas Woodford of Britwell Place, Burnham, Bucks. educ. ?Eton 1589-93; Clare, Camb. c.1593; L. Inn 1597, called 1605. m. Bridget, s.p.1 d. bet. 23 Aug. and 1 Sept. 1624.

Offices Held

Under-steward, New Windsor 1613-d.; bencher, L. Inn 1620, autumn reader 1623.2

Commr. subsidy, New Windsor 1621-2, 1624.3


The Woodwards had lived for at least four generations at Upton, within two miles of Windsor, as Crown servants at the castle. Woodward’s father, clerk of the works since 1579, sat for the borough in 1586. A younger son, Woodward, who should be distinguished from the 7th earl of Shrewsbury’s Nottinghamshire estate manager of the same name,4 appears to have begun his education at his local school, Eton College. He subsequently went on to Cambridge and then to Lincoln’s Inn, where he qualified as a barrister, returning to Berkshire in 1613 to take up the recordership of Windsor. He was returned for the borough to the Addled Parliament but, so far as is known, he served on no committees and made no speeches. He did not stand for re-election in 1620.

In 1623 Woodward served as reader of his inn, and paid 22s. to have his arms painted on the great west window of Lincoln’s Inn chapel.5 He was re-elected to the last Jacobean Parliament. On 28 Apr. he reported the bill concerning dairy produce even though he had not been named personally to the bill committee, whose membership had been left open. Two days later he was among those instructed to attend a conference with the Lords on the limitations bill and the bill to prevent the use of Exchequer process by private creditors.6 Otherwise he left no trace on the records of this Parliament. During the recess, on 23 Aug., he drew up his will, in which he declared himself to be ‘of good health’. He bequeathed Spital Farm and other property in Windsor, which he leased from Eton College, and also a messuage in Peascod Street ‘where I now dwell’, to his wife, who was to appoint a learned man to preach at his funeral at Upton. He remembered the poor and the vicar of Windsor, but was most generous to the corporation, to which he left 40s. ‘for a drinking’. His confidence in his state of health was evidently misplaced, for his widow proved the will only eight days later. No later member of the family sat in Parliament.7

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 131-2; Eton Coll. Reg. comp. W. Sterry, 378; LI Black Bks. ii. 96; PROB 11/144, f. 54v.
  • 2. R.R. Tighe and J.E. Davis, Annals of Windsor, ii. 47, 86; LI Black Bks. ii. 217, 237.
  • 3. C212/22/20-1, 23. His surname is left blank in the 1621 and 1622 commissions.
  • 4. For this man, see Cal. of the Shrewsbury Pprs. in LPL ed. E.G.W. Bill (Derbys. Rec. Soc. i), 4, 124, 171; Cal. of the Shrewsbury and Talbot Pprs. in LPL and Coll. of Arms ed. G.R. Batho (Derbys. Rec. Soc. iv), 169, 277, 280, 286. W.R. Prest, Rise of the Barristers, 405, has confused the two men.
  • 5. LI Black Bks. 450.
  • 6. CJ, i. 693b, 695b, 778b.
  • 7. PROB 11/144, f. 54v.