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Family and Education
Thomas Edwards was styled gentleman when returned to two Marian Parliaments; on both occasions his name was inserted on the indenture for Lichfield, and the inference is that he was the nominee of William Paget, Lord Paget, the patron there.1
Edwards’s surname and christian name were borne by a number of men from various parts of the country who like him claimed gentility. One of them held posts in the royal household, as a yeoman of the guard from 1545 and serjeant-at-arms from 1561, and through employment as a Council messenger must have been known to Paget. He came from Bedfordshire, where the other Member for Lichfield in 1555, Francis Bulstrode, had settled. Either he or a namesake was constable of Leicester castle from 1560 to 1576, taking up the office during Sir Ambrose Cave’s chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster but perhaps as a reversioner from Paget’s time as chancellor; on the other hand, if it was the future constable who sat for Lichfield, he had done so on the first occasion with Mark Wyrley, a kinsman of Cave. The constable seems to have died in 1576, about the same time as a man who owned property in Huntingdon; this suggests an identification with the commissioner for sewers for Huntingdonshire in 1569. Three other namesakes can be traced, none of whom can be linked with Paget: a landowner near Winchester who died on 21 Apr. 1559 leaving as heir his son John then aged 21, a Salopian who lived at Ticklerton and who bought land there with his eldest son in 1568, and a wealthy resident of Swaffham Bulbeck in Cambridgeshire who died in 1583. The author of Cephalus and Procris (1593) was almost certainly a son of the last mentioned.2
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Hungtington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.; C219/23/170, 24/204.
- 2. Staffs. Rec. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 62, 100, 126, 140, 190; LP Hen. VIII, xx, xxi; APC, i. 417; Lansd. 3(89), f. 193; CPR, 1560-3, p. 152; 1566-9, p. 304; 1569-72, p. 220; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 101; Somerville, Duchy, i. 565; Cal. Feet of Fines, Hunts. ed. Turner, 169; C142/199/149; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 171; Vis. Cambs. (Harl. Soc. xli), 112; PCC 26 Rowe; DNB (Edwards, Thomas).