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Thomas Berkeley
15th-century English Member of Parliament and sheriff

Thomas Berkeley

Thomas Berkeley
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro 15th-century English Member of Parliament and sheriff
Is Politician
From United Kingdom
Type Politics
Gender male
Birth Wymondham, Wymondham, Melton, United Kingdom
Death 1488
Spouse: Petronella Brooksby
Children: Elizabeth Berkeley
Knight Bachelor  
The details (from wikipedia)


Sir Thomas Berkeley of Wymondham, Leicestershire (died 1488) was an English lawyer and politician who represented Leicestershire in Parliament and served as Sheriff for Rutland, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.


Berkeley was the eldest son of Laurence Berkeley of Wymondham, Leicestershire, who died in France in 1458, and wife Joan Woodford, sister of the Agincourt veteran Robert Woodford of Sproxton, Leicestershire, Knight Banneret.

Berkeley was the great-great-grandson of Thomas Berkeley of Coston, Leicestershire, second son of Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley, and his wife Jane de Ferrers, daughter of William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby.

Berkeley moved to Wymondham upon his marriage to Isabel Hamelin, daughter of John Hamelin of Wymondham.

Career and Life

Berkeley was a Justice of the Peace for Leicestershire from 1442 to 1458 and Sheriff of Rutland between 1443 and 1444. He was admitted as a Fellow of Lincoln's Inn in 1449 by special admission.

In December 1457 Berkeley was appointed as one of Leicestershire's Commissioners of Array who were responsible for raising 226 archers to help repel Richard, Duke of York's Yorkist rebellion and again in 1459. He had been knighted by November 1460—perhaps having taken part in the Battle of Northampton—but when the Battle of Towton brought about the end of Henry VI's reign the following March, Berkeley accepted Edward IV as King.

Towards the end of 1465 Berkeley became involved in a fight with John Bourchier over the wardship and marriage of the underage grandson of former member of parliament Manser Marmion and whom Berkeley was accused of abducting. The Marmion estate was composed of over 2,500 acres spread over several counties so, as well as being an attractive prize, was owned by way of a complex set of homages and services to multiple overlords. It would seem Berkeley won and later wed his daughter Edith to the Marmion heir.

In 1468 Berkeley accused William Purley of entering his land two years earlier and stealing 20 hares, 200 rabbits, 12 pheasants and 20 partridges using swords, bows and arrows. Purley was either found not guilty or let off for some reason as he appears to have later married Berkeley's daughter Joyce.

Berkeley was appointed as Sheriff of Rutland in 1471 and as a Justice of the Peace for Rutland in 1470–1475.

Berkeley served in Parliament for Leicestershire between 1472 and 1475.

Berkeley died in 1488 and is buried in an alabaster topped altar tomb with his wife Petronella in St Peter's Church, Wymondham.


Berkeley married Emma/Petronella Brokesby or Brooksby, daughter of William Brokesby, Marshall of the King's Hall, and wife Joan Alderwick, and had the following issue:

  • Sir Maurice Berkeley, died 30 November 1522, son and heir.
  • Lawrence Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Berkeley, died 1504, married William Hussey, Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
  • Edith Berkeley, died 23 October 1538,) married Mauncer Marmion, (Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1497) and buried in a tomb together in Rippingale Church.
  • Joyce Berkeley, died 1530, married William Purley
  • a daughter who married someone surnamed Gaton

Berkeley was the great-great-great-grandfather of Henry Berkeley of Wymondham, 1st Baronet.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 09 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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