DOCWRA, Thomas (1624-by 1706), of Putteridge, Offley, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 7 Oct. 1624, 1st s. of Periam Docwra of Putteridge by Martha, da. of Oliver, 3rd Baron St. John of Bletso. educ. Eton c. 1635; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1636, BA 1642. m. (1) Margaret, da. of Robert Cherry, 1da.; (2) lic. 14 Sept. 1671, Dorothy Stone of Pirton, 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1643.1
J.p. Herts. 1646-Mar. 1660, 1662-Feb. 1688, Beds. 1680-Feb. 1688, Beds. and Herts. Oct. 1688-90; commr. for assessment, Herts. 1647-52, 1657, Aug. 1660-80, St. Albans 1661-9, Ely 1673-4, Beds. 1689, militia, Herts. 1648, Mar. 1660; dep. lt. Herts. 1681-7, Beds. 1685-Feb. 1688, Beds. and Herts. Oct. 1688-90.2
Docwra’s great-grandfather, of north country stock, bought Putteridge in 1525. Docwra succeeded his father early in the Civil War, and held local office throughout the Interregnum, which he regained after a brief interval in 1662. But he probably opposed exclusion, being added to the lieutenancy in 1681. Lord Bruce (Thomas Bruce) regarded him as ‘a most worthy friend’, and perhaps recommended him for St. Albans in 1685 as a Tory. An inactive Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed only to the committee on the bill for exporting leather. He gave evasive answers to the questions on the Test Act and Penal Laws, declaring:
If I am chosen a Member, my resolution shall be to come into the House absolutely with a most loyal temper, and no wise prepossessed. ... My intentions are to act in every sense according to honour and conscience, hoping that the King can never be able to ask anything but what I can cheerfully concur with.
His friend Bruce, now Earl of Ailesbury, observed that Sunderland regarded Docwra’s answers as ‘impertinent’.3
Despite his answers, Docwra proved loyal to James II, moving into the Jacobite camp. By 1690 he was a non-juror and had been removed from local office. Though an associate of Sir William Parkins, he does not seem to have been involved in the Jacobite conspiracy of 1696. In 1700 he settled his estates, said to be worth £3,000 p.a., on his grandson, Sir George Warburton, 3rd Bt.† Two weeks after James II’s death in 1701 he was reported to have taken the oaths of allegiance. His will, dated 4 June 1700, was proved on 26 Oct. 1706.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: E. R. Edwards / Geoffrey Jaggar
- 1. Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 83; The Gen. n.s. xiv. 273, London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 407; PCC 209 Eades.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 182; Herts. Recs. i. 386.
- 3. Clutterbuck, iii. 82-83, VCH Herts. iii. 42; Ailesbury Mems. i. 164, 165.
- 4. Herts. Recs. i. 386, Ailesbury Mems. ii. 369-70; Clutterbuck, iii. 83; Luttrell, v. 92; PCC 209 Eades.