BAGEHOTT (BADGER), Sir Thomas (c.1575-1639), of The Strand, Westminster, and Southampton, Hants.
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Family and Education
Freeman, Southampton 1624.7
Bagehott came of a minor gentry family which claimed to have resided in Prestbury, Gloucestershire, since the fourteenth century, initially as tenants of Llanthony priory.8 His uncle, William Badger, sat for Cricklade in 1553. Bagehott was in London by 1601, when he was fined £200 for assisting (Sir) Edmund Baynham† in a drunken attack on the watch, an ‘oversight’ which was ‘much noted’.9 But he flourished in the permissive atmosphere of the new reign, appearing in the family pedigree as ‘Sir Thomas Badger of the Court’.10 His talent for breeding hounds quickly attracted royal notice.11 In 1605 he was made master of the Harriers for life and, in 1612 the lord chamberlain, Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk, unsuccessfully recommended him for the mastership of the Bears.12 Bagehott regularly appeared in masques and earned a reputation as a buffoon; according to the letter-writer John Chamberlain it was for this quality that he was chosen to accompany the Scottish favourite Lord Hay on his embassy to Paris in 1616.13 He was granted lands in Essex in 1618, and in 1622 the then lord chamberlain the 3rd earl of Pembroke, his departmental chief, granted him the rectory of Prestbury.14 Bagehott’s pension was raised to £300 in March 1625, which was confirmed by Charles upon his accession.15
Bagehott was first elected for Stockbridge in 1625. He had lodgings in Southampton, and his various connections within Hampshire, such as his friendship with Sir William Uvedale*, could have facilitated his return.16 Before taking his seat he accompanied Buckingham to Paris to fetch Henrietta Maria.17 His only appointment in the first Caroline Parliament was to help present the king with the petition on religion (8 July 1625).18 Re-elected in the following year, he left no trace in the parliamentary records except to claim privilege for a servant who had been arrested.19 It is not known whether Bagehott stood at the general election in 1628, but if he did he was unsuccessful. He belatedly obtained a seat at a by-election for the duchy of Cornwall borough of Lostwithiel, where he replaced another courtier, Sir Robert Kerr*. His eight committee appointments included public bills to control alehouses (17 Apr. 1628) and adultery (22 Apr.), and a handful of private measures.20 On 23 Apr. he was proposed as teller against a motion for increasing the money collected from Members. In the event his services were not required, but he subsequently acted with (Sir) John Maynard as teller against the adjournment on 20 May.21 His success in claiming privilege for his own servant in the last Parliament may explain why he was among those ordered on 26 May to inquire into the arrest of a personal servant of Sir Edward Dennys*.22 On 21 June he was one of those sent to the king to request access for the Speaker and to know how many Members should accompany him.23 He is not recorded as having been active during the 1629 session.
Bagehott remained on close terms with Hay, now earl of Carlisle, for whom he seems to have had a fatherly affection.24 In 1630 he was given a licence to export hounds, but his pension was paid somewhat irregularly, and on one occasion the king intervened personally to secure his arrears.25 He drew up his will on 24 Nov. 1638, leaving Prestbury parsonage to his sister for life and subsequently entailed on his elder brother Edward; various nieces and servants received generous monetary bequests, and he gave £20 towards the repair of St. Paul’s Cathedral.26 He was buried in St. Mary-le-Strand on 12 Jan. 1639.27 He had named Sir William Uvedale as one of his executors, but Uvedale renounced this duty and the will was proved by Bagehott’s brother Charles on 30 Jan. 1639. No later member of the family entered Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. PROB 11/120, f. 101v.
- 2. Vis. Glos. ed. Metcalfe, 5; Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 150-1.
- 3. Harl. 6141, f. 168v.
- 4. WCA, St. Mary-le-Strand par. reg. f. 134v.
- 5. C66/1641.
- 6. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 14, 617.
- 7. HMC Southampton and King’s Lynn Corp. 23.
- 8. VCH Glos. viii. 73.
- 9. Letters of Philip Gawdy ed. I. Jeayes, 101.
- 10. Nichols, County of Leicester, i. 548.
- 11. Letters of Jas. I ed. G.P.V. Akrigg, 437-8.
- 12. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 190; 1611-18, p. 147; 1619-23, p. 324.
- 13. J. Nichols, Progs. Jas. I, ii. 24, 108; Winwood Memorials ed. E. Sawyer, ii. 43; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 14, 129, 180, 282.
- 14. C66/2180; Glos. RO, D2062.
- 15. CSP Dom. 1623-5, p. 509; 1625-6, p. 3.
- 16. HMC Downshire, iv. 237; PROB 11/179, f. 121v; PROB 11/82, f. 343.
- 17. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 617.
- 18. Procs. 1625, p. 349.
- 19. Procs. 1626, ii. 10, 14, 16, 18, 45, 61, 65.
- 20. CD 1628, ii. 507; iii. 22.
- 21. Ibid. iii. 43n, 492.
- 22. Ibid. iii. 610.
- 23. Ibid. iv. 403.
- 24. Eg. 2596, f. 187; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 56.
- 25. CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 316; 1635, pp. 19, 31, 553.
- 26. PROB 11/179, f. 121v.
- 27. WCA, St. Mary-le-Strand par. reg. f. 134v.