DUPORT (DUPPA), Thomas (1513/14-92), of Shepshed and Queniborough, Leics.
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Family and Education
Servant of Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset and later Duke of Suffolk, by 1546-54; receiver, Duke of Suffolk’s western lands by 1553; servant of Henry Lord Berkeley by 1561; commr. i.p.m. Leics. 1571.2
Thomas Duport’s forbears settled in Leicestershire from Normandy during the early 15th century and made their careers in the service of local magnates. Duport followed their example; it was presumably on completing his legal training that he entered the employment of the Marquess of Dorset. He acted on the marquess’s behalf in purchasing, exchanging and selling property from 1546 until his master’s execution, and was also entrusted in 1551 with an important matter to raise with Cecil.3
Duport was returned to the second Parliament of Mary’s reign not long after his master’s downfall: his election with William Isham broke with the pattern of choosing Nicholas Randall and another man to sit for Truro. He had no personal link with the town, but presumably Sir John Arundell, who owned property there and who on this occasion was a knight for Cornwall, favoured Duport’s candidature since he was a kinsman of the Grey family. Possibly Duport sought election in order to defend the interests of the Greys, and maybe he achieved his purpose since the bill confirming Suffolk’s attainder was not signed until the following Parliament. Mary continued his appointment as receiver of the duke’s forfeited lands in the west, and Duport remained loyal to the family, being appointed an executor of Lady Mary Grey’s will in 1578.4
In his middle age Duport came to rely for his livelihood on his extensive local practice as a lawyer in Leicestershire. He invested his profits in lands in Leicestershire and Somerset (his maternal grandmother came from Dorset), dying on 5 Sept. 1592 and being buried at Shepshed where a monument was erected to his memory. He had provided amply for family and kinsfolk in his will made on 7 Dec.1591.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Aged 78 at death according to MI, Nichols, Leics., iii. 1021, 1023.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1553-4, p. 136; 1569-72, p. 200; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 99.
- 3. Nichols, iii. 1023; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1550-3, pp. 240, 416-17; CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, p. 406.
- 4. CPR, 1553-4, p. 136; Strype, Annals, ii(2), 211.
- 5. CPR, 1553-4 to 1572-5 passim; Hurstfield, 99; HMC Middleton, 550; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xii(1), 55; xv. 277, 287; xviii. 212; xix. 309; Pevsner, Leics. and Rutland, 227.