RAVENSCROFT, Thomas (c.1671-98), of Broadlane, Hawarden, Flints.
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Family and Education
b. c.1671, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Edward Ravenscroft of Broadlane and Bretton, Flints. by Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Richard Lloyd†, c.j. Brecon circuit 1660–76, of Esclus Hall, Denb. m. 1691, Honora, da. of Ralph Sneyd of Keele Hall, Staffs., sis. of William Sneyd†, 1s. posth. 3da. suc. fa. c.1686.
Sheriff, Flints. 1692–3.1
Family pride exalted the Ravenscroft pedigree. The dramatist Edward Ravenscroft, in dedicating his comedy The Anatomist to his kinsman, soon to be elected Member for Flint Boroughs, wrote:
Fame represents you to us so qualified with all the ornaments of a gentleman, that you seem a new addition of honour to your family, and rather give credit to the name, than receive a lustre from it: and yet it is so ancient, that when William the Conqueror came into England, one of his nobles married a Ravenscroft . . . ’tis said ‘out of the most, or very ancient family of Ravenscrofts’.
Further praise was heaped on Thomas Ravenscroft’s adherence to the ‘principles of honour and loyalty’: ‘interest sways you not, nor gives a bias to your actions; they all aim at virtue’.2
The Flintshire branch of the Ravenscrofts had been seated at Bretton, near Hawarden, since the mid-15th century, moving to Broadlane in the same parish during the mid-17th century. The Member’s great-grandfather had served as knight of the shire in the Addled Parliament; his grandfather, Colonel Thomas Ravenscroft, though married into a Royalist family, had taken the side of Parliament in the Civil War, ‘betraying’ Hawarden to its besiegers (in the Cavalier version of events). He was, however, pardoned at the Restoration. Thomas himself was returned for Flint Boroughs in 1697, probably with the support of his Tory cousin Sir John Conway, 2nd Bt.*, in opposition to the Court Tory Sir John Hanmer, 3rd Bt.† He scarcely had the time to prove himself in the House, for on 10 Mar. 1698 he was granted a month’s leave of absence and on 3 May following he died, aged only 27. Ravenscroft’s epitaph at Hawarden recorded that his death was ‘lamented by all that knew him’ as ‘a kind husband and father; just to his word and friend’. His only son, born posthumously, died a month to the day after his father. Broadlane passed in due course to Henry Conway, son and heir apparent of Sir John Conway, 2nd Bt., who married Ravenscroft’s eldest daughter, and thence to Conway’s son-in-law, Sir John Glynne, 6th Bt.†3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 5, i. 300–1; Genealogical Mag. vii. 533–4; Staffs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 210; Chester Wills (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xviii), 206.
- 2. E. Ravenscroft, The Anatomist . . . (1697), dedication.
- 3. J. Y. W. Lloyd, Powys Fadog, v. 265; DWB, 822; Genealogical Mag. 534; Flints. Hist. Soc. xi. 88–90; xx. 4; R. Willett, Hawarden Par. 69–70; Misc. Gen. et Her. 301.