SOUTH, Thomas (c.1574-1636), of Northlegh, nr. Lymington, Hants and the Middle Temple, London; later of Winchester, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1574, 1st s. of Thomas South of Northlegh and Olive, da. of Peter Stonard, merchant, of Southampton, Hants, wid. of Edward Tutt of Chilbolton, Hants.1 educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 1589, aged 15; New Inn; M. Temple 1596, called 1604.2 m. 27 Aug. 1605,3 Abigail Snode (d.1639), 3s. 4da.4 suc. fa. c.1614.5 d. Apr. 1636.6

Offices Held

Freeman, Lymington 1603;7 commr. sewers, Winchester 1617;8 king’s attorney, New Forest, Hants 1623-d.;9 j.p. Hants 1623-d.10

Bencher, M. Temple 1621, reader 1622, treas. 1630-1;11 recorder, Lymington 1622-d.12


South’s ancestors were leading citizens of Salisbury by the reign of Edward IV.13 His father settled at Northlegh, some two-and-a half miles from Lymington, and by 1576 had become the principal taxpayer in his tithing.14 South himself became a lawyer. He was called to the bar in 1604, and in the same year was elected for the borough. He left no trace on the records of the first Stuart Parliament, and may have moved to Winchester on his marriage in 1605. A prominent figure on the bench of the Middle Temple, he was chosen as recorder of Lymington in 1622, and doubtless assisted in the election of his brother-in-law John Button three years later.15 The Hampshire Forced Loan commissioners in 1627 noted that ‘Thomas South, a counsellor, saith he hath paid in the Middle Temple £2 13s.4d., but ought to pay by the rate in the subsidy book £4 13s.4d.’.16 He compounded for knighthood at £25 in 1631.17 He gave instructions for his will on 23 Apr. 1636, but did not live to sign it, and his chambers were declared vacant on 6 May.18 No later member of the family entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. PROB 11/125, f. 353v; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 213.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.; MTR, 448.
  • 3. GL, St. Botolph Aldgate par. reg.
  • 4. PROB 11/171, f. 48v; 11/180, f. 449.
  • 5. PROB 11/125, f. 353v.
  • 6. PROB 11/171, f. 48v.
  • 7. E. King, Old Times Revisited, 54, 187.
  • 8. C181/2, f. 297.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 619; New Forest Docs. ed. D.J. Stagg (Hants Rec. Ser. v), 46, 73.
  • 10. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 15; C193/13/2.
  • 11. MTR, 666, 670, 767.
  • 12. C. St. Barbe, Recs. New Lymington, 22, 26.
  • 13. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv), 187.
  • 14. Lay Subsidy Rolls ed. C.R. Davey (Hants Rec. Ser. iv), 84.
  • 15. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv), 33.
  • 16. J. Stevens, St. Mary Bourne, 257.
  • 17. Add. 21922, f. 182v.
  • 18. PROB 11/171, f. 48v; MTR, 847.