BOUGHTON, Thomas (by 1521-58), of Cawston and Lawford, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1521, s. of William Boughton of Lawford by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of John Brocket of Herts., wid. of Sir Nicholas Barrington (d.1515) of Barrington Hall, Essex. educ. ?M. Temple. m. by 1542, Margaret, da. and coh. of Edward Cave of Stanford, Northants., 7 or 8s. inc. Edward 3da.1

Offices Held


Thomas Boughton was a younger son in a family which had been settled in Warwickshire since the mid-15th century; both his great-grandfather Thomas and his grandfather Richard were returned in their day as knights of the shire. Neither Boughton nor his elder half-brother Edward was to live long enough to make much of a mark, although Edward attained the bench shortly before his death in 1547. If, as was appropriate to a younger son, Boughton was trained in the law it was probably at the Middle Temple during the years for which the admissions records are lost: a William Boughton and a ‘Boughton junior’ had been there earlier in the century and his own younger son William and his nephews William and Richard followed them in the 1560s. The Thomas Boughton admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1554 may have been Boughton’s eldest son.2

Boughton married well, his wife being not only coheir to her father but also to Mary, wife of Sir Thomas Lisle. His few appearances in the public records are chiefly concerned with the disposition of his wife’s considerable inheritance in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire: most of the Hampshire property they sold in 1552 to William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, who still owed part of the purchase price at Boughton’s death. Boughton also made some acquisitions: he leased various lands in Warwickshire and in July 1546 he bought lands in Cawston from the crown for £678.3

Although he had a namesake who was an alderman of Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, it was Boughton who sat for Brackley, where he owed his return to the Saunders family with which he was related through his marriage. In his will of 1 May 1558 he was to express great confidence in (Sir) Edward Saunders, whose brother Richard and cousin Francis Saunders were joint stewards at Brackley for the 3rd Earl of Derby and had both already sat for the borough: all three Saunders were also of the Middle Temple. Nothing is known of Boughton’s role in the Commons save that he was not listed among the Members who followed Sir Anthony Kingston’s lead in opposing a government measure.4

Boughton died on 4 May 1558. He left his wife a life interest in all his property providing she entailed her Somerset, Warwickshire and Wiltshire lands on their heirs male. The eldest son Thomas, whose wardship was granted in November 1559 to Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough, died within two years of his father and was succeeded by his brother Edward.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 30, 148; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 32; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 163; Morant, Essex, ii. 504; Bridges, Northants. i. 604; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 12; LP Hen. VIII, xvii.
  • 2. Dugdale, Warws. i. 99-101; VCH Warws. vi. 188; LP Hen. VIII, xx.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xvii, xxi; CPR, 1550-3, p. 247; 1555-7, p. 310; 1557-8, p. 103.
  • 4. R. M. Serjeantson, Ct. Rolls of Higham Ferrers, i. 12.
  • 5. PCC 30 Noodes; CPR, 1558-60, p. 17.