Thomas Fanshawe, 1st Viscount Fanshawe

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Thomas Fanshawe, 1st Viscount Fanshawe, by Mary Beale

Thomas Fanshawe, 1st Viscount Fanshawe KB (1596 – 30 March 1665) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1661. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War. Following the Restoration he was raised to the peerage.


Fanshawe was the son of Sir Henry Fanshawe, of Ware Park, Hertfordshire and his wife Elizabeth Smythe, daughter of Thomas Smythe, of Ostenhanger Kent. His father was Remembrancer of the Exchequer.[1]

Public life[edit]

Portrait of Anne Fanshawe, first wife of Thomas Fanshawe, 1st Viscount Fanshawe, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

Fanshawe succeeded as remembrancer of the exchequer on the death of his father in 1616, the post being held in trust for him until he was able to take up his duties in 1619.[2] In 1621 he was elected Member of Parliament for Hertford. He was re-elected for Hertford in 1624 and 1625, and for Preston in 1626.[3] At the coronation of Charles I, on 2 February 1626, he was made a Knight of the Bath. In 1628 he was re-elected MP for Hertford and sat until 1629 when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.[3] In April 1640, Fanshawe was re-elected MP for Hertford for the Short Parliament and was re-elected MP for Hertford for the Long Parliament in November 1640.[3] He was commissioner of array for the king in 1641 and fought on the Royalist side at the Battle of Edgehill. He was disabled from sitting in parliament on 25 November 1643. He had his property sequestrated, as orders for the sale of Fanshawe's goods were issued by the parliament on 29 June 1643, and on 1 January 1644 a committee was appointed to examine a report that Sir William Litton had concealed part of Fanshawe's property. He ultimately compounded for the recovery of some of his estates for £1,310, but he was practically ruined. Fanshawe was with Prince Charles in Jersey in April 1646, and in August his brother Sir Richard Fanshawe visited him at Caen, where he lay ill. Following the Restoration, in 1661 Fanshawe was again elected MP for Hertfordshire for the Cavalier Parliament.[3] He was also created Viscount Fanshawe of Dromore, in the Irish peerage on 5 September 1661.


Lord Fanshawe's first wife was Anne Allington, daughter of Sir Giles Allington, of Horseheath, in Cambridgeshire. They had one daughter Anne (1628-1714). Later, upon his first wife's death, Lord Fanshawe married Elizabeth Cockayne, fourth daughter of Sir William Cockayne. Lord Fanshawe's sons and daughters by Elizabeth Cockayne included: Thomas Fanshawe, 2nd Viscount Fanshawe (1632- 1674), Henry Fanshawe, Charles Fanshawe, 4th Viscount Fanshawe (1643-1710), Simon Fanshawe, 5th Viscount Fanshawe (ca.1649- 23 October 1716) and Elizabeth Fanshawe, who married her distant cousin Sir Thomas Fanshawe of Jenkins.[clarification needed] Lord Fanshawe died intestate at his town house in Hatton Garden, and was buried at Ware on 30 March 1665. His wife re-married to Sir Thomas Rich, Baronet.


  1. ^ George Edward Cokayne Complete Baronetage Volume III, 1649-1664 1902
  2. ^ "Fanshawe , Thomas, first Viscount Fanshawe of Dromore (1596–1665)," Sybil M. Jack in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, eee online ed., ed. Lawrence Goldman, Oxford: OUP, , (accessed 15 November 2014).
  3. ^ a b c d History of Parliament Online - Fanshawe, Sir Thomas

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Fanshawe, Thomas (1596-1665)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Constituency re-enfranchised
Member of Parliament for Hertford
With: William Ashton
Succeeded by
Sir William Harington
Sir Capell Bedell
Preceded by
Sir William Hervey
Henry Banister
Member of Parliament for Preston
With: George Gerard
Succeeded by
Robert Carr
George Gerard
Preceded by
Sir William Harington
Sir Capell Bedell
Member of Parliament for Hertford
With: Sir Edward Howard 1628
Sir Charles Morrison 1628
John Carey, Viscount Rochford 1629
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Hertford
With: Viscount Cranborne
Succeeded by
Viscount Cranborne
William Leman
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Fanshawe
Succeeded by
Thomas Fanshawe