DABRIDGECOURT, Thomas (c.1546-1614), of Horwoods, Preston Candover, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1546, 1st surv. s. of George Dabridgecourt of Strathfieldsaye by Isabel, da. of Richard Norton of Hants. educ. M. Temple 1565. m. c.1571, Margaret, da. of Henry Beecher, alderman of London, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1559. Kntd. 23 July 1603.2

Offices Held

J.p. Hants by 1582, q. by 1591; sheriff 1583-4.


Dabridgecourt inherited property in Hampshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire, but Horwoods was acquired by purchase. If Chancery bills of complaint are to be believed, he was not over-scrupulous in the methods by which he added to his lands. His return, at a by-election, for Hindon cannot be explained through a connexion between Dabridgecourt and the bishop of Winchester. Perhaps it had something to do with one of his Wiltshire estates, or perhaps the connexion was through the Paulet family, whom he supported in Hampshire in their feud with Henry Radcliffe, 4th Earl of Sussex, joint lord lieutenant with Sir William Paulet, 3rd Marquess of Winchester. One subject of contention was the command of the local militia, and in February 1592 the Privy Council urged the two noblemen to clear up the confusion which had arisen. Dabridgecourt had at some time given up his command of a private company in the Basingstoke division. Restored at the Council’s request, he was in error given command of the ‘whole hundred of Holdshott’. This angered Mark Steward, who claimed part of the hundred as his command. A division of Holdshott between the two men was suggested, but in April the matter was still unsettled, the Privy Council refusing to listen to Winchester’s complaint that Steward, possibly supported by the Earl of Sussex, had treated him disrespectfully. Steward brought a Star Chamber case against Dabridgecourt, claiming that as early as December 1587 the defendant had contravened orders given by Steward to the troops, and had issued his own instructions, saying untruthfully that they came from the Marquess of Winchester. The personal rivalry between the two noblemen extended to their servants, and a riot broke out in Heckfield church, after which Steward took refuge in the vicarage, Dabridgecourt calling after him, ‘Come out, thou cowardly knave, thou butcherly lout and lubber’. In 1593 Dabridgecourt was returned to Parliament for Dorchester by the Marquess. No mention has been found of any activity by Dabridgecourt in either of his Parliaments. He died 3 Nov. 1614, his estates descending to his son and heir Henry, aged about thirty.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. E150/999/33; CPR, 1558-60, p. 18; 1566-9, p. 12; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 43, where he is called in error Sir George; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Hants, 70.
  • 3. PCC 24 Chaynay; CPR, 1558-60, p. 18; VCH Hants, iii. 374; C3/207/67, 262/54; St. Ch. 5/S1/34, S6/1, S26/9; CSP Dom. 1581-90, pp. 193, 503; HMC Hatfield, xii. 676-7; HMC Foljambe, 25; APC, xxii. 237-8, 394; Wards 7/51/156.