PRESTON, Thomas (-d.1610), of Henderskelf, Yorks.
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Family and Educationm. ?Margaret, ?1ch.; 1da. illegit.1 d. by 27 Apr. 1610.2
Commr. sewers, N. Riding 1604.3
Preston’s name is a common one and consequently it is impossible be certain of his identity. However, he was probably the trustee of that name appointed by Lord William Howard in 1587 for the manor of Henderskelf in north Yorkshire, where he may have been Lord William’s steward.4 In 1604, when Preston was returned for Arundel, Lord William exercised electoral patronage on behalf of his nephew, Thomas Howard, soon to be restored to the earldom of Arundel. The borough of Arundel was the most likely place at which Lord William would have nominated Preston for a seat.5
It may be that, as well as being his estate steward, Preston was a kinsman by marriage to Lord William Howard. Henderskelf had passed to Lord William as a result of his marriage to the daughter and coheir of Thomas, 4th Lord Dacre (Sir Thomas Dacre†), whose second wife was mother of one of the Prestons of Preston Patrick in Lancashire.6 If this was indeed the case, then Preston was also related to the Thomas Preston who sat for Knaresborough in 1589 and died in 1604. A Lancashire magistrate, this man was presumably the Thomas Preston who was a trustee for Dacre in 1565.7
Preston was named to five committees in the first Jacobean Parliament. In the 1604 session he was appointed, on 15 May, to consider the bill for the restoration in blood of Lord William Howard and Lady Margaret’s children. His connection with Howard presumably also explains why he was among those ordered to consider the bill to confirm the Berwick charter on 16 May, as Lord William was a major landowner in the north-east.8 In the second session Preston’s three committees were for bills to restore in blood John and Thomas Holland (27 Feb. 1606), to confirm the letters patent granted to St. Bees school, in Cumberland (17 Mar.), and to settle the estate of Henry, 5th Lord Windsor (21 March). The last appointment probably stemmed from his connection with Lord William Howard, as Howard was one of Windsor’s executors.9 Thereafter he played no further recorded part in the proceedings of the Commons.Preston was almost certainly ill by the time he was fined for failure to appear at one or more calls of the House in March 1610.10 At any rate, on 10 Apr. 1610 he drafted his will, in which he left £500 to Anne Preston, ‘my supposed daughter’, secured by bonds from two prominent Yorkshire Catholics, Sir Ralph Lawson and Sir Henry Constable, later 1st Viscount Dunbar, and the rest of his goods to his wife ‘and my child which she is now conceived withal’.11 He was dead by 27 Apr., on which day Sir Robert Harley moved for a writ to replace ‘Sir Thomas Preston’. The style ‘Sir Thomas’ subsequently appeared on both the writ for the ensuing by-election and the election return, but there is no evidence that Preston was ever knighted.12 On 15 Nov. the Speaker successfully moved to discharge Preston’s executors of his fine for non-attendance.13
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 31B, f. 483; ‘Paver’s marriage lics.’ ed. C.B. Norcliffe Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xii. 122.
- 2. CJ, i. 422a.
- 3. C181/1, f. 86v.
- 4. Feet of Fines of the Tudor Period ed. F. Collins (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. ser. vii), 67.
- 5. CJ, i. 973a.
- 6. VCH Yorks. N. Riding, ii. 110; HP Commons, 1508-58, ii. 531-2; CP, iv. 23.
- 7. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxii), 60; HP Commons, 1558-1603, iii. 244; Feet of Fines of Tudor Period ed. F. Collins (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. ser. ii), 300.
- 8. CJ, i. 211a, 212a.
- 9. Ibid. 287a, 285a, 288a; HLRO, HL/PO/PB/1/1605/3J1n. 31.
- 10. Procs. 1610 ed. E.R. Foster, ii. 389.
- 11. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 31B, f. 483.
- 12. CJ, i. 422a; C219/35/2/76-7.
- 13. Foster, ii. 389.