WENMAN, Thomas (c.1548-77), of Twyford, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1548, 1st s. of (Sir) Richard Wenman by Isabel, da. and coh. of John Williams Lord Williams of Thame. m. Jane, da. of William West, 1st Baron Delaware, 3s. inc. Sir Richard 1da. suc. fa. 1573.

Offices Held


Wenman no doubt gained his one parliamentary seat through his family’s local influence. His father was a Buckinghamshire country gentleman, his mother an heiress with land in the county, and her sister was married to Sir Henry Norris I, later Lord Norris. Wenman himself was overshadowed for most of his life by his father, and died after holding his lands for less than five years, apparently a victim of the outbreak of gaol fever at Oxford in 1577. In addition to his estate at Twyford, he had property in Beaconsfield, Amersham, Penn, the Chalfonts and elsewhere in Buckinghamshire, as well as the manor of Eaton, Berkshire, which Sir Thomas Seymour had sold to his family at the end of Henry VIII’s reign. He is not known to have held local office, but his being concerned in the business of the Oxford assizes suggests that he was added to the commission of the peace after his father’s death. It is even possible that he held a minor post at court, some of the considerable debts he left at his death being to the Crown; in any case he had borrowed money at high interest on the expectation of his inheritance. On his death, at Twyford on 23 July 1577, much of his property had to be sold, including Eaton to (Sir) John Danvers for the substantial sum of £7,700. The wardship of his four year-old heir Richard was granted jointly to the widow and to the Earl of Leicester, who sold his interest to James Cressy. Cressy married the widow and defaulted on his agreement to discharge Wenman’s debts over a lease of the manor of Hall, Buckinghamshire.

VCH Bucks. iv. 259; Lipscomb. Bucks. iii. 131-2; C2/T10/28; C142/163/5, 182/42; SP12/143/44; SP15/27A/80, 28/52; Harl. 1110, f. 33; Bodl. Tanner 79, f. 182; Wards 7/22/50.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler