BLOUNT, Walter (c.1594-1654), of Sodington in Mamble, Worcs.; later of St. Andrew Holborn, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. c.1594, 1st s. of Sir George Blount of Sodington, and Eleanor, da. of William Norwood of Lockhampton, Glos. educ. Balliol, Oxf. 1610, aged 16; I. Temple 1611. m. by 1611, Elizabeth (d.1656), da. of George Wilde I* of Droitwich, 7s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da.1 suc. fa. 1611; cr. bt. 5 Oct. 1642. d. 27 Aug. 1654.2 sig. Walter Blounte.
Sheriff, Worcs. 1619-20;3 commr. sewers, Glos. and Worcs. 1629,4 charitable uses, Worcs. 1632, 1640,5 swearing the officers of the corporation of Kidderminster, Worcs. 1636,6 sequestrations (roy.), Worcs. 1643.7
Member, Fishery Soc. 1633.8
The Blounts had been seated at Sodington manor in Worcestershire, six-and-a-half miles from Bewdley, since the fourteenth century.9 The family had repeatedly represented Worcestershire in the Middle Ages but under the Tudors their influence faded. Blount succeeded his father in January 1611 while still a minor. In his will, Sir George Blount asked that his property should ‘descend by course of inheritance only’, regardless of any guardianship.10 Blount was left property in Staffordshire, but his principal inheritances were the manors of Sodington and Timberlake in Worcestershire, and Marbrook in Shropshire. However, the manor house at Sodington was left to his mother for ten years. Blount also inherited from his father saltpits in Droitwich, which entitled him to membership of the corporation.
Blount was married by October 1611, when his father-in-law, George Wilde I, requested that he be specially admitted to the Inner Temple. Wilde was a prominent lawyer but came from a mercantile family, and the fact that Sir George Blount, who presumably arranged the match before his death, was prepared to contemplate such a union for his heir may suggest that the Blounts were not prosperous. Indeed, it may have been financial problems that in 1618 caused Blount to sell land worth £3,000.11 Blount does not appear to have held any significant public office except the shrievalty in 1619. This was probably due to his Catholicism; in 1640 he was indicted for recusancy in Middlesex.12
Blount’s election for Droitwich in 1624 probably had the support of his friend Sir Thomas Russell†, who owned 15 bullaries in the borough.13 However the major factor was his connection with the Wildes. His father-in-law had represented the borough three times in Parliament, and though George died in 1616 his son John regularly sat for Droitwich thereafter. John’s puritanism does not seem to have made him hostile to Blount. Indeed, John was one of Blount’s trustees and secured the special admission of two of Blount’s sons to the Inner Temple in the 1630s.14 Blount left no trace in the surviving records of the 1624 Parliament.
Created a baronet in October 1642, Blount supported the king in the Civil War. His manor house at Sodington was burnt by the parliamentarians and he was captured at Hereford in December 1645. He was subsequently imprisoned in Oxford and the Tower.15 In accordance with the 1652 Act of the Commonwealth to sell forfeited estates Blount’s lands were disposed of in 1653.16 He died on 27 Aug. 1654 at Blagdon in the Devon parish of Paignton, the inheritance of the wife of his eldest son George. He was buried there two days later. No will or administration has been found. A monumental inscription is in the family chapel in Mamble parish church.17 The family recovered Blount’s estates after the Restoration. None of his descendants are known to have sat in Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Glyn Redworth / Ben Coates
- 1. Al. Ox.; A. Croke, Geneal. Hist. of Croke Fam. ii. 145-6, ped. facing p. 154; CITR, ii. 60; VCH Worcs. iv. 289.
- 2. VCH Worcs. iv. 289; CB.
- 3. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 159.
- 4. C181/4 f. 18.
- 5. C93/14/12, 93/18/14.
- 6. J.R. Burton, Hist. Kidderminster, 74.
- 7. Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 74.
- 8. SP16/231/15.
- 9. VCH Worcs. iv. 285.
- 10. PROB 11/117, ff. 137-8.
- 11. Kyre Park Charters ed. J. Amphlett (Worcs. Hist. Soc. 1905), pp. 76-7.
- 12. Mdx. County Recs. iii. 145.
- 13. C142/580/97; C22/419/30.
- 14. CITR, ii. 189, 229; CCC, 2644.
- 15. VCH Worcs. iv. 287.
- 16. A. and O. ii. 632; CCC, 2644.
- 17. VCH Worcs. iv. 289; Devon RO, 3134A/PR1.