VENABLES, Sir Thomas (by 1513-80), of Kinderton, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
b. by 1513, 1st s. of Sir William Venables by Eleanor, da. and coh. of Richard Cotton of Ridware, Staffs. m. Maud, da. of Sir Robert Needham of Shavington, Salop, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. 31 July 1540. Kntd. 11 May 1544.1
J.p. Cheshire from 1543, q. by 1561, sheriff 1556-7, commr. musters by 1545, 1548, to collect relief 1550, for church goods 1553; chamberlain, Middlewich from 1540-72
The Venables family was one of the oldest in Cheshire, and the title baron of Kinderton a relic of the period when Chester had an administration of its own, with a hierarchy of barons of the county palatine. Venables himself succeeded to property at Kinderton, Eccleston, Bradwall and elsewhere in Cheshire, and to the farm of the town of Middlewich and the office of its chamberlain. No one could be made a freeman without his consent and that of the lord treasurer. He owned ten ‘salthouses’ in Middlewich, and some of his tenants paid him salt as rent.
By Elizabeth’s accession he had already served three rulers as a soldier and the first household subsidy of the reign assessed him among the ‘old pensioners’ at £66 8s.4d. Although he had been one of the Edwardian commissioners to take inventories of church goods in Cheshire, he disliked the Elizabethan church settlement enough to be classified in the bishops’ letters of 1564 as ‘unfavourable to sound religion’, but not enough to be put off the commission of the peace. Evidence of his participation in at least one local dispute survives: a Chancery writ of elegit was issued early in 1575 against him and his son Thomas on behalf of a creditor, William Bromfield, gentleman pensioner.2
Venables died on 19 duly 1580. His eldest son Thomas, who was 38 when he succeeded to the estates, married as his first wife a daughter of Sir William Brereton I, and his second son, Anthony, also married into the family. A daughter married another Cheshire gentleman, Peter, son and heir of Sir Piers Legh of Lyme.3
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. PRO Chester 3/67/24; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 229; (lix), 241; Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 195.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xi, p. 511; xix(1), p. 328; xx(1), pp. 254, 278, 315; xxi(2), p. 223; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 6; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 199, 360; 1554-5, pp. 164-5; 1566-9, p. 179; R. H. Morris, Chester in Plantagenet and Tudor Reigns, 154; Lansd. 3, f. 196; PRO Chester 3/67/24; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 76; APC, viii. 341-2.
- 3. Ormerod, iii. 195, 200.