BLOUNT, Walter I (by 1501-43 or later), of Blount's Hall, nr. Uttoxeter, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. by 1501, 2nd s. of John Blount (d.1524) of Burton-upon-Trent and Blount’s Hall, Staffs. by Ellen, da. of John Hall of Dovebridge, Derbys. educ. ?I. Temple. m. Margaret or Mary, da. of John Sutton of Osbaston, Leics., 2s. 4da.1
J.p. Staffs. 1522-43; commr. subsidy 1523, 1524, musters 1539; jt. (with Richard Palmer) surveyor and approver, earldom of March Oct. 1538.2
The Blount family of Burton-upon-Trent had long been established in Staffordshire, its relationship with the better-known one of Shropshire being remote, but Blount’s Hall, which came to Walter Blount as a younger son, was ‘a house of no great account, and but lately built by one that, being a little glorious, would have called it by his name’.3
There is less doubt that Blount sat in the Parliament of 1542 than that he was the Walter Blount who in November 1521 was given a chamber lately vacated at the Inner Temple, for this could have been Walter Blount II; he was, however, to be described as learned in the law and to play an appropriate role in his shire, and his son, another Walter, would go to the Inner Temple. His patronage by Henry Stafford, later 1st Baron Stafford, could also have had a professional basis. In January 1535 Stafford called Blount his ‘friend’ when commending him to Cromwell, and Stafford almost certainly had a hand in his election for the borough of that name to the Parliament of 1542. This may not have been Blount’s first appearance in the Commons, for he could have replaced either John Bickley or Sampson Erdeswick at Stafford in 1539, when the names of the Members are lost. If he was the Walter Blount who had written to Cromwell in 1534 suggesting that the King as Supreme Head should have the appointment of stewards of church properties, he would have been acceptable both to Cromwell and to Stafford, an enthusiast for the Dissolution, although when early in the following year Blount belittled the saints in the presence of Stafford and other local magnates Stafford was said to have been offended. Blount was subsequently presented for heresy at the Staffordshire sessions, but his fellow-justices seem to have agreed that no more than a warning was called for. He himself later reported to Dr. Lee (probably Thomas Lee I), for the information of the Council, words spoken by (Sir) William Shelley against heretics. A considerable beneficiary through grants of monastic property, Blount also received in October 1538, in survivorship with Richard Palmer of Herefordshire, the office of surveyor and approver of the earldom of March, and it may have been he who in November 1542 shared with George Birch a licence to mine lead in the lordship of Emlyn and elsewhere in Wales.4
Blount’s end is obscure. He is not represented by a will or inquisition, but his disappearance in any public capacity after 1543 suggests that he died in or shortly after that year, although probably too late for a by-election to be held at Stafford before the dissolution of March 1544. One of his daughters, who took as her second husband (Sir) Thomas Pope and as her third (Sir) Hugh Paulet, became a leading Elizabethan recusant, and one of his grandsons the first provincial of the English Jesuits.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first commission. A. Croke, Croke Fam. ii. ped. 17. Nichols, Leics. iv(2), 523-4; J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 310 where he is mistakenly said to have sat for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1559.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, iii-v, viii, xi, xiii-xv, xx.
- 3. Croke, ii. 288, 290; Erdeswick, Staffs, 514.
- 4. Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 66; LP Hen. VIII, vii, viii, xii-xiv, xvii, xix, xx, add.; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), 1910, p. 78; 1912, p. 153.
- 5. Essex Recusant, viii. 1-10.