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Thomas Sackville KG PC (1536 - 1608)

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Sir Thomas "1st Earl of Dorset" Sackville KG PC
Born in Withyham, Sussex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Westminster, Middlesex, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 1,283 times.

Categories: Withyham, Sussex | Hart Hall, Oxford | University of Cambridge | Inner Temple | Westmorland Knights of the Shire | Sussex Burgesses for East Grinstead | Buckinghamshire Burgesses for Aylesbury | Barons Buckhurst | Knights Companion of the Garter | Earls of Dorset | Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent | Lord Stewards | Lords Treasurer.


Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, Earl of Dorset[1]

"Author of the first Tragedy in the English language."
Thomas Sackville collaborated with Thomas Norton on Ferrex and Porrex, later known as Gorboduc, published in 1561,"The first dramatic piece of any consideration in the English language."[2]

Thomas Sackville, born in 1536 at Buckhurst in Withyham parish, Sussex,[3] England, was a descendant of Herbrand from Sauqueville, Normandy, who came with William Duke of Normandy to invade England and then stayed after the Conquest.[2] His family resided at Buckhurst in Withyham parish from the time of Henry II.[3]

Thomas was the son and heir of Sir Richard Sackville, knight, and his wife, Winifrid Brydges.[3] Sir Richard was the son of Sir John Sackville and Margaret Boleyn, the daughter of Sir William Boleyn, and great-aunt of Queen Elizabeth I.[3] Winifrede was the daughter of Sir John Bruges or Brydges, of London, Lord Mayor in 1520, and related to the Barons Chandos,[4] and his wife, Agnes Ayloffe.[5]

Thomas had siblings:

  1. Anne, who married Gregory Fiennes, Lord Dacre.[5]

At 15 or 16, Thomas entered Hart Hall, Oxford,[6] then gained a Master of Arts from Cambridge, and later was admitted to the Inner Temple.[7]

In 1555, aged 19, Thomas married Cicely Baker, the daughter of Sir John Baker, Kt PC, of Sissinghurst, Kent.[8]

Thomas and Cecily had children:

  1. Robert, second Earl of Dorset, married Margaret Howard, the daughter of Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, attainted for high treason;[9]
  2. Henry;[3]
  3. William, knighted in France in 1589 aged 19, died fighting in France in 1592;[3]
  4. Thomas;[3]
  5. Anne, married Sir Henry Glenham;[3]
  6. Jane, married Anthony, Viscount Montague;[3]
  7. Mary, married to Sir Henry Neville.[3]

In 1557-8, Thomas Sackville, Esq, elected both a Knight for the County of Westmorland and a Burgess for the Borough of Estgrenestede (East Grinstead) in County Sussex, chose to sit in Parliament for Westmorland. Then in 1558-9, Thomas was elected for East Grinstead.[8] Thomas was elected to Parliament in 1563 as the member for Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.[10]

Sometime during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Thomas accepted the office of Grand Master of the Freemasons. He resigned from this office in 1567.[11]

His father died on 21 April 1566 when 29 year old Thomas was in Rome and he returned to his inheritance in England.[11] Winifred, Thomas' mother then married John Paulet, later the second Marquis of Winchester. In June 1586, Winifred, Marchioness of Winchester, was buried in Westminster Abbey in the Chapel of St Nicholas.[5]

Thomas was knighted by the Duke of Norfolk and raised to the dignity of a Baron of the realm, Lord Buckhurst, Baron of Buckhurst in the county of Sussex, on 8 June 1567.[11] On 24 April, 1588, Thomas was elected one of the Knights Companions of the most noble Order of the Garter.[12] On 13 March 1604, Thomas was created Earl of Dorset.[13]

As well as Buckhurst, Thomas had a country house in Surrey, called Horseley, and Queen Elizabeth I granted him Knole[13] in Kent. He employed two hundred and twenty workmen daily.[14]

Thomas made his will in August 1607 and died on 19 April 1608, while sitting at the Council Table in Whitehall.[15] His funeral was held in Westminster Abbey, with his chaplain, Dr Abbot, later Archbishop of Canterbury, preaching the sermon. According to his wishes, he was buried beneath the Sackville Chapel in the parish church of Withyham, Sussex, with his ancestors.[15]

The inscription on his leaden coffin read

"Here lieth ye body of Thomas Sacv Baron
of Buckhur Earle of Dorset Knight of the
Garter Chancellor Of Ox Lord High Treasr
of Engla a Prive Counsilor to Que Elisa an
afterwards to King James who died ye 18
April 1608."[16]

excerpt from the History of Parliament

The Sackvilles, originally from Sauqueville in Normandy, acquired Buckhurst in the parish of Withyham in East Sussex in the twelfth century, and first produced a knight of the shire in 1361.

Robert Sackville’s father, ennobled in 1567, became lord treasurer in 1599, and was for many years the most powerful magnate in Sussex, although from the turn of the century his principal residence was at Knole in Kent.[17]


  1. Sackville-West, 1859, p. title page
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sackville-West, 1859, p. i
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Sackville-West, 1859, pp. iv-v
  4. Sackville-West, 1859, p. vi
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster, "History:Famous People & the Abbey:Winifred, Marchioness of Winchester", Westminster Abbey Founded 960, ( 2015), accessed 4 April 2015, .
  6. Sackville-West, 1859, p. vii
  7. Sackville-West, 1859, p. viii
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sackville-West, 1859, p. ix
  9. Sackville-West, 1859, p. xviii
  10. Sackville-West, 1859, p. xi
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Sackville-West, 1859, p. xiii-xiv
  12. Sackville-West, 1859, p. xix
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sackville-West, 1859, p. xxiii
  14. Sackville-West, 1859, p. xxiv
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sackville-West, 1859, p. xxv
  16. Sackville-West, 1859, p. xxvi
  17. The History of Parliament entered 2013 Dec 01 by Michelle

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Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset (1536-1608), Poet and Lord Treasurer
Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset (1536-1608), Poet and Lord Treasurer

Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, in 1709
Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent, England, in 1709

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On 10 Sep 2016 at 04:35 GMT C (Sälgö) S wrote:

On 23 Mar 2016 at 16:47 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

hmmm. That's weird. Preview of Category:Lords Steward didn't show it as red, but it's not a valid category either (I had changed Lord Stewards to Lords Steward). And Lord Treasurers isn't either.

I'll post a question to the Categorization project's Google Group.

Thomas is 25 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 16 degrees from Burl Ives and 13 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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