Son of Sir Thomas Bendish, 1st Baronet of Bower Hall, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, Bendish the younger enrolled in Middle Temple in 1626, after earlier studying at St John's College, Cambridge. Later in life, he donated fifty books to St John's, of which forty are still kept today.
Sir Thomas succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1636. A decade later he was banned from Essex, had his estates seized, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London after siding with King Charles I during the English Civil War. He was released on 28 September 1644, after paying a 1,000 pound fine, although he remained banned from coming within 20 miles of Essex.
Bendysh was appointed on 8 January 1647. On 29 January 1647 the House of Lords confirmed that Sir Thomas was named as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. A Royal Commission set up by parliament followed on 1 February. Bendysh received articles with the Levant Company from 18 March, set sail and arrived in Constantinople by 26 September. Upon his entrance to Constantinople (now Istanbul) he was confronted by the previous ambassador, who refused to relinquish his post, and had to be forcibly removed from office.
Bendysh was recalled from his post some time before 1655 but he continued to offer his services without commission. He was recalled by Cromwell's Protectorate at the Restoration on 25 June 1660. However, in light of the changing political situation, he delayed his departure until 11 March 1661.
Sir Thomas and his wife Anne, the daughter of Henry Baker, had two sons John (1645-6) and Thomas (1646). Anne died before 1661 in Constantinople and was buried at Steeple Bumstead. Thomas, their only surviving son, married Bridget, daughter of General Henry Ireton and named after her mother Bridget, the eldest daughter of Oliver Cromwell.
- List of baronetcies in the Baronetage of England: Bendish of Steeple Bumpstead, created 1611, extinct 1717.
- "Bendish, Thomas (BNDS624T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Sir Thomas Bendish's bookplate
- House of Lords Journal Volume 6 - 28 September 1644, British History Online
- House of Lords Journal Volume 8 - 29 January 1647, British History Online
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 440. .
- Daniel Goffman, Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 1642-1660 (Seattle & London, 1998), pp. 194-6
- Sir John Bendish, 3rd Bt., thepeerage.com, cites Cokayne p. 64.
- Anne Baker, thepeerage.com, cites Cokayne p. 64.
- Anderson p. 383)
- Anderson, James. Memorable women of the Puritan times, Volume 2, Blackie and son, 1862.
- Cokayne, George Edward (editor). The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume I, page 64.
- Oliver Cromwell's letter to Sultan Han, mention of Bendish
- Goffman, Daniel (1998). Britons in the Ottoman Empire, 1642-1660. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97668-3.
Sir Sackville Crowe
| British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea