WEST, Thomas I (d.1622), of Testwood in Eling, Hants.

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

2nd s. of Sir George West of Warbleton, Suss. by Elizabeth, 1st da. and coh. of Sir Robert Morton of Lechlade, Glos. m. a da. and coh. of one Hotofts of Hants, 1da. Kntd. 1591.

Offices Held

J.p. Hants from c.1573, sheriff 1585-6, collector of the loan 1598, dep. lt. 1599; freeman, Southampton 1585.


West—the younger brother of the 1st Baron Delaware—was granted in 1572 some fugitives’ estates in Sussex, where he already held land. His main estate lay in Hampshire, where he was a leading figure. He was active against recusants, being among those appointed to arrest certain Hampshire Catholics in 1580, when the Privy Council urged the commissioners

to use their best endeavours from time to time to bolt out all such matters as they shall think may by any good means be gotten at their hands, and thereof to advise their lordships forthwith.

West was a superintendent of recusants imprisoned in Portchester castle. He was also concerned with the coastal defences at Southsea, Portsmouth, and at the castles of Hurst, Calshot, St. Andrew’s, and Netley. Throughout his life West had close associations with Southampton. Created an honorary burgess in 1585, he was frequently appointed by the Privy Council to join the governors of the town in the investigation of disputes.

It is quite uncertain whether it was West or his nephew and namesake who sat for Chichester in 1571. Either would have been recommended by the recently created Baron Delaware, one of the three joint lords lieutenants for Sussex in 1569 and 1570. It is again uncertain whether it was the uncle or the nephew who sat for Mitchell in 1572, but as East Looe was more likely than Mitchell to return government nominees, and the nephew was the heir apparent of a peer, it is convenient to attribute East Looe to the nephew and Mitchell to the uncle. There may even have been a connexion greater than the coincidence of the surname to account for the return of the uncle to Mitchell—his sister married a Thomas Arundell, and the Arundells of Lanherne owned Mitchell. The identification of the uncle as the knight of the shire in 1589 rests upon his being styled in the return as ‘esquire’ whereas the nephew had been knighted in 1587. No record of any activities by the uncle in the Commons has been found.

West made his will on 28 Dec. 1621, and it was proved on 14 Nov. 1622. He was buried as he had requested in Eling church.

Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 59; Egerton 2345, f. 21; SP12/104; APC, x. 142, 170; xvi. 392; xviii. 65, 73, 75; xx. 30; xxiv. 193, 211-12, 270; xxv. 193-4, 465; xxvii. 9-10, 299-300; xxviii. 559; xxix. 681, 689; Soton Ass. Bks. (Soton Rec. Soc.), ii. 89, n. 2; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 448; 1595-7, pp. 97, 100; 1601-3, p. 270; Harl. 360, f. 65; Lansd. 104, f. 89; PCC 102 Savile.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière