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Notes for Thomas Barnardiston and Mary Knightley

A drawing of Thomas Barnardiston accompanies his biography in a nineteenth century book of biographies, [1]

Thomas Barnardiston, 1564-1610

1580 Thomas Barnardiston enrolled at the University of Cambridge from Queens' College in the Lent term of 1579/80. "Barnardiston, Thomas. Matric. Fell.-Com. from Queens' College, Lent, 1579-80. Perhaps s. of Sir Thomas, Knt., of Kedington, Suffolk; adm. at the Inner Temple, 1582." [2]

1585 Thomas Barnardiston and Mary Knightley were married about June 30 (date of their marriage settlement).

1586 "Thomas Barnardiston the sonne of Thomas Barnardiston Esquire was baptised the xxvijthe of July" in Fawsley, Northamptonshire. [3]

1610 Thomas Barnardiston died on July 29. A tomb in the church of St Peter and St Paul in Kedington, Suffolk, depicts Thomas' wives Mary and Katherine kneeling in prayer in arched alcoves above a recombent effigy of Sir Thomas Barnardiston. On the wall above, the gauntlets, crest, and helm of Sir Thomas are displayed. [4]
FindAGrave Photo, Tomb of Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. 1610), Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kedington, Suffolk
Gallery Photo, Tomb of Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. 1610), Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kedington, Suffolk
Gallery Photo, Tomb of Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. 1610), Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kedington, Suffolk
Gallery Photo, Tomb of Sir Thomas Barnardiston (d. 1610), Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kedington, Suffolk

1610 After 29 July 1610, Thomas Barnardiston's widow Katherine Banks, married, as her third husband, William Towse, Sergeant-at-law, who became Town Clerk and Member of Parliament for the borrough of Colechester in 1621. "The new Member [William Towse] was a widower, and his second wife was Dame Catherine Barnardiston, widow of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, a Puritan gentleman of Witham, of a family still represented on the banks of the Stour. This lady died in 1632[/33], and her monument, with the arms of both her husbands, was on the north wall of the chancel of Witham Church. William Towse had to undergo four elections in five years, being returned again in 1624, 1625, and 1626." [5]

1633 "Lady Catharine Barnardiston gave a benefaction of £400 to purchase land after her decease for founding three Scholarships. The scholars are required to be such, that their parents are not well able to bring them up and to maintain them in the University, and that their sufficiency in learning and honest condition of life and conversation shall be approved and allowed by the master and fellows. There is a preference reserved, first, for persons of the kindred of the foundress; next, for a native of the parish of Witham, in Essex, for one scholarship, and for students from Christ's Hospital for the other two scholarships. Again, preference is to be given in the elections for all the scholarships, to persons of the name or kindred of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, the husband of the foundress; provided, that in all these cases the persons to be elected shall be members of the College, and properly qualified as regards poverty of estate, sufficiency of learning, and honesty of life and conversation." [6]

Research Notes:

The London visitation of 1634 states for Thomas Barnardiston of Colman Streete, "Sir Thomas Barnardiston of Witham, com. Essex, Knight, [married] Mary, da. of Sir R. Knightly of Faluesley co. Northampton Knt." Their third son was "Thomas Barnardiston of London marchant." [7]

The Visitation of England and Wales states, [8]

"Sir Thomas Barnardiston of Witham, co. Essex, knight, admitted to the Inner Temple November 1582; knighted at Whitehall 23 July 1603; died 29 July 1610, bur. at Ketton. Will Dated 29 July 1610, proved 1 November 1610 (P.C.C. 6 Stafford)" married (1) "Mary Knightley, dau. of Sir Richard Knightley of Fawsley, co. Northampton, by Mary his wife, dau. of Richard Fermor of Easton Neston, co. Northampton, esquire; marriage settlements dated 30 June 1585; died 3 March 1594/5" and married (2) "Katharine Banks, dau. of Thomas Banks of London, Serjeant-at-Law; executrix to her husband's will 1 November 1610; died 3 March 1632/3, bur. at St. Michael-le-Querne, London. Will dated 25 February 1632/3, proved 19 March 1632/3 (P.C.C. 25 Russell). She marr. 1stly Bartholomew Soame, and 3rdly William Towse, Serjeant-at-Law."


[1] The Lives of Eminent & Remarkable Characters, Born or Long Resident in the Counties of Essex, Suffolk, & Norfolk (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820), [GoogleBooks], [HathiTrust], [InternetArchive].

[2] J. L. Dawson, A Cambridge Alumni Database, citing John Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1751, 4 vols (1922-27), 1:92, digital version with additions and corrections, http://venn.lib.cam.ac.uk/Documents/acad/enter.html

[3] Northamptonshire Record Office, 125P/1, Fawsley Parish Register, 1583-1726, Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1558-1812, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[4] Find A Grave Memorial 33345428, [FindAGrave].

[5] The Essex review : an illustrated quarterly record of everything of permanent interest in the county 5 (1896), 194-195, [HathiTrust].

[6] Robert Potts, Liber cantabrigiensis, an account of the aids afforded to poor students, the encouragements offered to diligent students, and the rewards conferred on successful students, in the University of Cambridge (Cambridge: Printed at the University Press, 1855), 278, [HathiTrust].

[7] Henry Saint-George, The Visitation of London, Anno Domini 1633, 1634, and 1635, Vol. 1 (London: The Harleian Society, Vol. 90, 1880), 51, [HathiTrust].

[8] Frederick Arthur Crisp, ed., Visitation of England and Wales, Notes, Vol. 7 (Privately Printed, 1907), 170, [GoogleBooks].