SACKVILLE, Thomas (1622-93), of Sedlescombe, Suss.
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Family and Education
bap. 30 June 1622, 2nd s. of Sir Thomas Sackville of Sedlescombe by his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Samuel Boys of Hawkhurst, Kent. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1637. m. by 1662, Margaret, da. of Sir Henry Compton† of Brambletye, Suss., wid. of Anthony Roper of Eltham, Kent, s.p. suc. bro. John 1645.1
Capt. of ft. (Royalist) 1642–3.2
Yeoman of the removing wardrobe 1689–d.
Sackville had, as a young man, volunteered for the Royalist army but in this period was known as ‘colonel’ due to his commission in the Sussex militia. He had supported the 1688 Revolution and afterwards obtained a Household office through the influence of his kinsman, the 6th Earl of Dorset (Charles Sackville†) who was both lord chamberlain and lord lieutenant of Sussex, and thus able to secure Sackville’s return for East Grinstead in 1689 and 1690. He was classed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Whig on the eve of the new Parliament, but despite his office he did not always follow the Court line. Indeed, on 25 Nov. 1691 he spoke in favour of including the officers in the 64,924 men voted for the army, saying, ‘when you voted the number of men, it was not intended to have an army without officers’, although he did recommend an increase in the pay of officers, as the only way of preventing false musters. On 23 Dec. he was granted leave to bring in a bill to prevent accidents caused by carts and wagons running over people. He seconded a proposal on 6 Jan. 1692 to tax salt to raise money for the war, on the 15th opposed the bill for lowering interest rates and the following day spoke against the bill suppressing hawkers and pedlars, saying:
I am against the bill because it is against the liberty of the subject to carry on trade. It is to establish a monopoly. It is for the advantage of some few tradesmen in corporations to have the bill pass, but against the interest of the generality of the people.
At the start of the next session, on 21 Nov. 1692, Sackville made a speech strongly attacking the war, in a committee of the whole considering losses to merchant ships, declaring:
As to the war in Flanders, it is a most pernicious war to this nation. The French have so many strong garrisons, there are so many rivers and passes, that [it] is almost impossible to do anything with the French there to our advantage. And though we could perhaps gain a town or two there, what benefit is it to us? It will but put us to a greater expense and not compensate the charge or loss of our men.
He went on to express fears of an invasion and declared ‘that in the first place you ought to consider of your own safety and the security of the nation’. Sackville retained his place, being named on two lists of placemen in 1692. He died on 3 Jan. 1693, when his estates reverted to the senior branch of the family.3