Thomas Hoo, Baron Hoo and Hastings

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Arms of Sir Thomas Hoo, 1st Baron Hoo and Hastings, KG

Thomas Hoo, 1st Baron Hoo and Hastings KG (c. 1396–1455) was a Knight of the Garter and English courtier.


Thomas was the son of Sir Thomas Hoo (ca. 1370 – Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, 23 August 1420) and his first wife (m. 1395) Eleanor de Felton (Litcham, Norfolk, 1378 – 8 August 1400). After his mother's death his father remarried to Elizabeth Etchyngham, daughter of William Etchingham and Alice Batisford, of Etchingham, Sussex. Thomas succeeded his father in 1420, inheriting the family's ancestral home of Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire as well as Mulbarton, Norfolk and other estates. His stepmother remarried to Sir Thomas Lewknor of Horsted Keynes (c.1392-1452) as his second wife and the mother of his younger children.[1]

Thomas fought for Henry VI of England in France, and for his services was made, first Keeper of the Seals, then Chancellor of France. In 1439, he was granted the castle, lordship and honour of Hastings, and in 1445 elected Knight of the Garter. Two years later he was created Baron of Hoo and Hastings.

The Barony of Hoo and Hastings became extinct at his death. Lord Hoo died on 13 February 1454/5. He dated his will 12 February 33 Henry VI, making provision for a chantry for himself and his ancestors at the altar of St Benignus at Battle Abbey. He refers to his manors of Wartling, Cukstede and Brokesmayle, which, being held by his stepmother Lady Lewkenor for life, are then to pass to his widow Eleanor for life: the Rape of Hastings is to be sold, if possible to his half-brother (Sir) Thomas (born 1416), and the proceeds to make his daughters' marriage portions: Anne,[2] Elizabeth and Alianor are to share 1000 marks for their portions, and their marriages to be governed by his widow and brother Thomas. Joan however receives only £20 to her marriage. He mentions also the manors of Offley (Hertfordshire), Mulberton and Hoo.[3]

The brothers Thomas and Thomas are believed to be represented by the two recumbent effigies now on the Dacre Tomb at All Saints Church, Herstmonceux, Sussex.[4] It is supposed that the tomb was set up for Thomas Fiennes, 8th Baron Dacre (d. 1534) and his son Sir Thomas Fiennes (d. 1528), but that the figures themselves (perhaps brought from Battle Abbey following its sale in 1539) were those of the brothers Hoo (as shown by the arms revealed on their tabards during restoration), re-used for the Dacres.[5]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Thomas Hoo married (1st) before 1 July 1428, Elizabeth Wychingham, daughter of Nicholas Wychingham, esquire, of Wichingham, Norfolk, by whom he had a daughter:

He married (2nd) before 1445 Eleanor Welles, daughter of Lionel de Welles, 6th Baron Welles, and his first wife, Joan Waterton, by whom he had three daughters:[6]

  • Anne Hoo (born c.1447), who married (1st) Roger Copley, Esquire (d. before 1488), Citizen and mercer of London, of Roughey (Roffey) in Horsham, Sussex,[8] by whom she had three sons and six daughters; (2nd) William Greystoke, Gentleman (living 1498), of London and St. Olave, Southwark, Surrey, and (3rd) Sir Thomas Fiennes.[9]
  • Eleanor Hoo, who married Sir James Carew of Beddington, Surrey.[10]
  • Elizabeth Hoo, who married firstly Thomas Masingbeard, and secondly Sir John Devenish.[11]

After the death of Lord Hoo his widow Eleanor remarried to Sir James Laurence[12] (son and heir of Sir Robert Laurence of Lancashire and Agnes Croft), by whom she had two further daughters and three sons. After his death in 1490 she is reputed to have made a third marriage to Hugh Hastings. She died before 1504.[13]

In popular culture[edit]

Hoo makes a cameo appearance in the first few chapters of Harry Turtledove's alternate history novel Opening Atlantis. His purpose in the story is so that settlers in a fictitious continent, halfway between Europe and America, can found a city named Hooville after him. As the book was released around the Holiday season, this may be a humorous literary allusion to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.


  1. ^ D. Richardson ed. K. Everingham, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition (2011), III, p. 18 item 9. (Lewknor)
  2. ^ This refers to the second Anne, the elder Anne being already married to Sir Geoffrey Boleyn who died in 1463.
  3. ^ 'Abstract of Will of Thomas Lord Hoo and Hastings', in N.H. Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta: being illustrations from wills, of manners, customs, &c. (Nichols & Son, London 1826), I, pp. 272-74.
  4. ^ Image at Another at flickr by poundhopper1.
  5. ^ R. Bruce, revised and amended by M.H. Tate, All Saints Church, Herstmonceux (All Saints Church, Herstmonceux 1978), pp. 6-8. (Copy held in East Sussex Record Office, Brighton, PAR399/7/2/3). See Public Sculptures of Sussex website.
  6. ^ a b Richardson IV 2011, pp. 305-11.
  7. ^ A.B. Beavan, The Aldermen of the City of London Temp. Henry III to 1912 (Corporation of the City of London, 1913), II, p. 10.
  8. ^ This Roger Copley appears in Mercers' Court records in 1461-63, 1466 and 1489, his name spelled "Couple" or "Cople", see L. Lyell and F.D. Watney (eds), Acts of Court of the Mercers' Company 1453-1527 (Cambridge University Press 1936), pp. 49-59, 191, 281.
  9. ^ Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry (2011), IV, pp. 310-11. (Welles)
  10. ^ N. Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta, I, p. 272, note.
  11. ^ Richardson IV 2011, p. 311.
  12. ^ The National Archives (UK), Discovery Catalogue, ref. C 1/41/239 (1467-72).
  13. ^ Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry (2011), IV, p. 310.


Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Walton
High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
John Cheyne