ALDWORTH, Thomas I (d.1577), of Reading and Wantage, Berks.
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Family and Education
s. of Richard Aldworth of Tilehurst, nr. Reading by his w. Elizabeth ?Gerying.
s. of Robert Aldworth of Wantage by his w. Alice; bro. of Thomas Aldworth II.
m. Alice, da. and h. of John Barfote, burgess of Reading, wid. of one Symond, 4s. 2da.
Jt. (with Thomas Turner) constable, Reading 1544-5, mayor 1551-2, Nov. 1557-8, 1561-2, 1571-2.
Aldworth was a clothier, with property at Wantage (where he apparently lived at one time), Burghfield, Littlewick and other places in Berkshire. At Reading he acquired a large number of houses, and served as a member of the corporation for over 20 years. In September 1560 he was one of the nine capital burgesses, all described as ‘men of probity’ and inhabitants of the borough. When in 1566 Reading received a ratification of its arms and seal, his name appeared on the list of head burgesses and late mayors.
Apart from these official references, almost all that is known about him comes from his will, made in January 1577 and proved in the following month. Its preamble is conventional, but some of the wording has a puritan tone: ‘as touching the disposition of such worldly and transitory substance the which it hath pleased God to lend me’. Aldworth made bequests to his wife, the sole executrix, to their children, one of whom, Symond, became constable of Reading, and grandchildren, as well as to his brothers Richard, also a mayor of Reading, and John—the latter probably the first member of the family to be noted in an heraldic visitation. Among the charitable legacies were 10s. to Reading town hall and money to Aldworth’s parish church of St. Giles and to the poor of the town.
Reading Recs. i. pp. xli, 187, 254, 257; PCC 30 Bodfelde, 6 Daughtry, 8 Ketchyn, 17 Wrastley; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 3) v. 107, 114; Reading Charters, 37, 43; CPR, 1558-60, p. 284; Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi.), 14, 155-6.