JERVOISE, Sir Thomas (1587-1654), of Herriard and Freefolk, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

b. 11 June 1587,1 o.s. of Thomas Jervoise of Britford, Wilts. and the Middle Temple, London and Cicely, da. and h. of Thomas Ridley† of Willey, Salop.2 educ. privately (James Samborne).3 m. (1) lic. 17 July 1601,4 Lucy (bur. 26 Aug. 1641),5 da. and coh. of Sir Richard Paulet* of Freefolk, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.;6 (2) by Mar. 1643,7 Frances (d.1679),8 da. of Thomas Jay of Foscott, Bucks., 2s.9 suc. fa. 1587;10 kntd. 20 Aug. 1607.11 d. 20 Oct. 1654.12 sig. Tho[mas] Jervoise.

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Hants 1608, 1621-2, 1624, 1641-2;13 survey, Hurst Castle, Hants 1608;14 sheriff, Salop 1612-13;15 capt. militia ft. Hants by 1615-26, col. 1626-43;16 j.p. Hants 1616-42, by 1650-d.,17 Mdx. by 1650-d., Surr. by 1650-3;18 dep. lt. Hants 1625-at least 1638;19 commr. disarming recusants 1625,20 martial law 1625-8;21 freeman, Southampton 1626;22 collector, Forced Loan, Hants 1626-7;23 commr. billeting 1626-8,24 oyer and terminer 1628-42, Surr. 1644,25 Western circ. 1653-d.,26 swans, Hants 1629,27 knighthood compositions 1630,28 sewers, 1630, 1633,29 piracy 1635-6,30 maltsters 1636,31 assessment 1643-52, Worcs. 1644, Surr. 1647-52, sequestration, Hants 1643, levying money 1643, defence Hants 1643, Surr. 1645, execution of ordinances, Hants and Worcs. 1644, Hants 1645,32 gaol delivery, Surr. 1644;33 steward, Richmond manor and kpr. Richmond Park, Surr. 1644-d.;34 commr. New Model Ordinance, Surr. 1645, militia, Hants and Worcs. 1648.35

Col. of drag. (parl.) 1643-5.36


Jervoise’s inheritance comprised substantial estates in Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.37 After being orphaned in early infancy, he was brought up by his ‘malicious’ stepfather, George Wrottesley. His education was entrusted to James Samborne, a puritan divine of Hampshire origins, who may have introduced him to the Paulet family.38 In 1601, after a suit in the Court of Wards, his wardship was transferred upon a fine of £1,100 to Sir Richard Paulet, whose daughter Jervoise married soon after his fourteenth birthday.39 She proved ‘a wise, humble, loving and most obedient wife’, and in 1615, when her sister died, Jervoise took possession of the entire Herriard estate, including Freefolk, less than two miles east of Whitchurch, where Paulet had established a dominant influence in recent parliamentary elections.40

Jervoise became the first of his family to enter Parliament, being returned for Whitchurch at the general election of 1620; he was subsequently re-elected to every Parliament until the outbreak of the Civil War. He left no mark on the records of the 1621 assembly, but his papers attest to his interest in its proceedings, as they include a list of all his fellow Members of the Commons, and copies of various petitions and bills, including the bill to prevent the law courts from charging excessive fees. Jervoise had long experience of litigation, having struggled since early childhood against his stepfather in the Court of Wards. Consequently he may well have attended the committee appointed to consider this measure, which was thrown open to anyone who wished to participate in its deliberations (3 May 1621).41 The Herriard archive also contains a bill which received only one reading concerning the earl of Oxford’s lease of lands from Magdalene College, Cambridge; notes on John Lepton’s patent, which was attacked as a grievous monopoly; and the Commons’ petition of 3 Dec. 1621 requesting that James defend the Palatinate and break with Spain.42 Jervoise kept petitions concerning local matters, such as the grievances of clothiers; the appeal of one John Browaye, a Winchester carrier, against restrictions on wagons in London; and the complaints of Southampton shopkeepers about two patentees who were levying fines on cloth and ‘stuff in our shops’.43 There is no record that any of these items were ever actually presented to the Commons, although they would certainly have been relevant to its long debates on the cloth trade and monopolies.

In 1624 Jervoise spent £5 14s. 3d. in entertaining the voters at the Whitchurch election. He also compiled a list of those who supported his wife’s uncle, Sir Henry Wallop*, for the first seat.44 Once the Parliament opened, Jervoise kept a diary of the Commons’ proceedings in a vellum-bound octavo volume.45 His notes, evidently scribbled down hastily during debates, are interspersed with fair copies of royal speeches. They are also supplemented by various ‘separates’, many of which are not in his own hand, such as abstracts of the address made to both Houses by Prince Charles and the duke of Buckingham justifying their proceedings in Spain; the articles of the aborted match between Charles and the Spanish Infanta; and the texts of three of James’s speeches, dated 20 Feb., 14 Mar., and 29 May 1624.46 Two papers concerning the king’s revenues indicate that Jervoise paid careful attention to the question of how funds would be raised were war to be declared against Spain.47 The main focus of the diary is on the foreign policy debates which largely dominated the session. The diary ends once the House moved on to other business. Indeed, the last entry, dated 28 Apr., is a copy of James’s speech to the Lords concerning the impeachment of lord treasurer Middlesex (Sir Lionel Cranfield*).48 The remainder of the volume, a large part of which is blank, contains a handful of items added at a later date. In addition to the diary, however, Jervoise kept separate notes of a private bill concerning Sir John Ryves’s estates in Lushcombe, Dorset, which was ordered to be engrossed on 20 May. The existence of these notes suggest that he may have attended the committee, although he was not formally named as one of its members.49

Jervoise reclaimed the first seat at Whitchurch in 1625.50 War, and the defence of the Protestant religion, evidently remained his main concerns during Charles I’s first Parliament. Although he no longer kept a diary, he again amassed a collection of documents relating to foreign policy, including notes on the terms of Charles’s marriage to Henrietta Maria, copies of various diplomatic dispatches, and prayers at the opening of the Parliament.51 Early in the session, on 29 June 1625, he introduced a bill ‘for the maintenance of justice and right’, which received its first reading immediately but thereafter disappears from the records.52 His papers include an order of 7 July that all Members were to inform the House of ‘all such places where there is no usual preaching’; the king’s answer to a petition on religion; and an order dated 9 July that any local officers left out of pocket by the levy for Count Mansfeld’s expedition would be reimbursed from the 1624 subsidies, once the rest of the money was collected.53 Jervoise kept a notice of the adjournment to Oxford as a result of the plague in London, but there is no indication among his extensive financial accounts that he attended the brief second sitting.54

In the 1626 Parliament Jervoise evidently brought his 1624 diary with him to Westminster, as he used it to jot down some of the articles pertaining to Buckingham’s impeachment; a series of correspondence between Viscount Conway (Sir Edward Conway I*) and the earl of Bristol, the former ambassador to Spain; and Charles’s speeches in Buckingham’s defence.55 A large number of separates relating to the charges against the favourite also survive among Jervoise’s papers.56 Jervoise was named to the committee for a bill to reform musters (28 March), but left no other trace on the parliamentary records.57

Jervoise served as a conscientious collector of the Forced Loan, although he did his best to gain exemption for himself.58 Ownership of the advowson of Upper Clatford gave him electoral influence at Andover, but the only time he seems to have exercised it was in 1628, when he helped to secure the return of Ralph Conway, son of Viscount Conway, Hampshire’s lord lieutenant.59 Jervoise is not mentioned in the records of the 1628-9 Parliament, but as before the papers in his possession indicate that he followed the proceedings closely. These include a copy of a bill ‘against false imprisonment’, drafted by Sir Edward Coke* and read once on 21 Mar. 1628; extracts from the Petition of Right; and two sets of notes on the pardon of Dr. Robert Sibthorpe and other preachers who had justified the levying of the Forced Loan.60 Jervoise remained on friendly terms with Conway, to whom he complained in 1630 that ‘the king’s orders do not the good supposed’, and cited the hardships of the clothiers in his county, where ‘though there be corn appointed to be brought into the market, the poor have no money to buy’.61

In 1634 the death of Henry Sherfield*, for whom Jevoise was trustee and surety, caused him serious financial embarrassment, and he applied for protection from Sherfield’s creditors, which was periodically renewed thereafter.62 Under these circumstances he found the fiscal expedients of the Personal Rule increasingly burdensome, and in 1639 he obstructed the purveyance of timber.63 At the elections for the Short and Long Parliaments both he and one of his younger sons, Richard, were returned for Whitchurch, it being said that the town was ‘so much at his command that they dare not deny him’.64 As in the previous parliaments in which he sat, he collected political papers and copies of speeches.65 When civil war broke out both Jervoise and Richard sided with Parliament. Richard became a captain of the Hampshire militia and was killed in 1645, while Jervoise later claimed to have contributed almost £15,000 towards the war effort.66 He introduced a bill in 1649 in an attempt to recover some of his losses, and was awarded £9,000 out of the marquess of Winchester’s forfeited estate.67 He died on 20 Oct. 1654, having drawn up his will the previous day, and was buried at Herriard.68 His eldest surviving son Thomas was elected for Hampshire as a Whig in 1680 and 1689.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. WARD7/22/9.
  • 2. The Ancestor, iii. 1-5; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), ii. 313-14.
  • 3. The Ancestor, iii. 10; A.C. Bennett and E. Parsons, Hist. Free Sch. of Andover, 52.
  • 4. Hants RO, 44M69/F4/20/3; F2/16/5.
  • 5. J. Brokett, God’s Statute for General Judgment, pp. i-ii.
  • 6. The Ancestor, iii. 3; PROB 11/241, f. 43v.
  • 7. Hants RO, 44M69/F4/5/17; VCH Surr. iii. 545.
  • 8. VCH Hants, iv. 112.
  • 9. Surr. Arch. Colls. xxxii. 74-5.
  • 10. WARD 7/22/9.
  • 11. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 143.
  • 12. The Ancestor, iii. 5.
  • 13. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20-1, 23; SR, v. 88, 155.
  • 14. SP14/37/109.
  • 15. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 119.
  • 16. Add. 21922, ff. 5, 38, 60v, 108v, 166, 188; Add. 26781, ff. 17, 51.
  • 17. Hants RO, 4M53/140, f. 202v; C231/4, f. 29; 231/5, f. 528; Anon. Names of the JPs (1650), WING N133, p. 50; C193/13/4, f. 60.
  • 18. Anon. Names of the JPs, 35, 55; C193/13/4, ff. 86, 96v.
  • 19. APC, 1625-6, p. 290; Add. 21922, f. 4v, 5, 8, 60v, 202v; Add. 26781, f. 6.
  • 20. Add. 21922, f. 38.
  • 21. Ibid. f. 80v; APC, 1625-6, pp. 316-7, 419; C231/4, f. 235; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 1, p. 186; pt. 2. p. 120.
  • 22. Soton City Archives, SC3/1/1, f. 186v.
  • 23. E401/2586, pp. 56-7; APC, 1625-6, p. 346.
  • 24. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 329; 1628-9, p. 111.
  • 25. C181/3, f. 241; 181/5, f. 189v, 221, 239; APC, 1627-8, p. 318; CSP Dom. 1635, p. 319.
  • 26. C181/6, pp. 8, 59.
  • 27. C181/4, f. 2.
  • 28. Cornw. RO, ME 2880; Add. 21922, f. 174.
  • 29. C181/4, ff. 49v, 147v.
  • 30. C181/5, ff. 24, 58.
  • 31. PC2/46, f. 273; Hants RO, 44M69/G3/209/1-16.
  • 32. A. and O. i. 91, 113, 148, 230, 335, 451, 507, 540, 542, 636, 696, 731, 974, 976, 1092, 1093; ii. 42, 44, 308, 310, 477, 479, 674, 676.
  • 33. C181/5, f. 239v.
  • 34. Surr. Arch. Colls. v. 96; Hants RO, 44M69/F4/16/6-13; 44M69/E6/168.
  • 35. A. and O. i. 624, 1242, 1244.
  • 36. G.N. Godwin, Civil War in Hants, 71.
  • 37. The Ancestor, iii. 1-3.
  • 38. PROB 11/131, f. 464; HMC Hatfield, x. 409; Hants RO, 44M69/F2/8/18, F2/9/9.
  • 39. HMC Hatfield, x. 367, xix. 452; G. Wrottesley, Hist. Fam. Wrottesley, 393-4; Hants RO, 44M69/F4/18/4-8, 35-42.
  • 40. Hants RO, 44M69/F4/18/13, 14, 17; Brokett, 3-7; VCH Hants, iv. 283; PROB 11/127, f. 366v; CSP Dom. Addenda, 1580-1625, p. 548.
  • 41. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/17; CJ, i. 606a.
  • 42. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/14, 18, 489, 493; CJ, i. 612b, 655a; CD 1621, iii. 158, 198, iv. 300.
  • 43. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/13, 497, 524.
  • 44. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/46, 47.
  • 45. Hants RO, 44M69/F4/20/1; hereafter cited as ‘Jervoise 1624’. We are grateful to the Yale Center for Parliamentary History for supplying us with a transcript.
  • 46. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/19, 20, 22, 499, 500, 501, 523.
  • 47. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/496, 498.
  • 48. ‘Jervoise 1624’, ff. 145-6; Kyle thesis, 10.
  • 49. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/392; CJ i. 707, 769, 791; HLRO, main pprs. (Suppl.) 17 Apr. 1624.
  • 50. Hants RO, 44M69/E6/140.
  • 51. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/23, 24, 502, 503, 504, 509.
  • 52. Procs. 1625, p. 269.
  • 53. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/505, 506, 507.
  • 54. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/508.
  • 55. Hants RO, 44M69/F4/20/1.
  • 56. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/11, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 511.
  • 57. Procs. 1626, ii. 386.
  • 58. CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 64, 92; K. Sharpe, ‘The Personal Rule of Chas. I’, Before the Civil War ed. H. Tomlinson, 69.
  • 59. VCH Hants, iv. 365; Procs. 1628, vi. 124.
  • 60. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/32-6.
  • 61. CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 329, 477; 1629-31, p. 403.
  • 62. Hants RO, 44M69/L26/7; 44M69/L44/12; 44M69/F4/18/39; PC2/43, p. 542, PC2/44, pp. 399-400; SO3/10; CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 258; Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 206.
  • 63. CSP Dom. 1639, p. 406; Hants RO, 44M69/E6/105; 44/M69/G3/182, 186, 201/1-9, 216, 218.
  • 64. CSP Dom. 1640-1, p. 179; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 236-7; VCH Hants, iv. 299-304.
  • 65. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/513-22.
  • 66. Hants RO, 44M69/E6/161; Godwin, 371.
  • 67. Hants RO, 44M69/G2/39; CJ, vi. 269b, 288a, 290b, 294a, 295a, 296a; vii. 4b.
  • 68. PROB 11/241, f. 43v.