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Thomas Wise KB MP (abt. 1576 - 1630)

Sir Thomas "of Sydenham" Wise KB MP
Born about in Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married Mar 1600 in Stowford, Devonshire, Englandmap
Father of
Died in Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Apr 2010
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"Born circa 1576, the second son of Thomas Wise (d.1593) MP of Sydenham and Mary, daughter of Richard Buller of Shillingham, Cornwall; educated at Lincoln Inn :1594. Married with a pre-nuptial settlement of 1 March 1600, to Margery, daughter and heir of Robert Stafford of Stowford, Devon. Two sons (1 d.v.p.) 2 daughters. He succeeded his brother [deceased] by 1600; Made a Knight of the Order of Bath on 25 July 1603. Will proven on 14 April 1630"

"The Wise family can be traced in the West Country from the eleventh century. They acquired their main seat at Sydenham, on the western edge of Dartmoor, in the early 1400s. Substantial Devon landowners by this time, they provided a knight of the shire in three of Henry VI’s parliaments. The family was less prominent in the next century, but in 1593 [Thomas] Wise’s father died in possession of nine manors, with the bulk of his property situated either near Sydenham [Marystow Parish] or in the vicinity of Plymouth."

"As a younger son, Wise initially inherited only two small estates, but within a few years he succeeded to the entire patrimony. His marriage to a local heiress significantly increased his wealth, enabling him to indulge his passion for architecture. Sydenham was ‘beautified with buildings of such height, as the very foundation is ready to reel under the burthen’. He also constructed a second seat at Stoke Damerel, just outside Plymouth, which he named Mount Wise. Created a knight of the Bath at James I’s coronation [1603], he was soon a mainstay of Devon’s local government. Upon his nomination as a deputy lieutenant in December 1617 he was described as ‘every way fit for the discharge of that duty’."

"Wise revived his family’s parliamentary service in 1621 [his father had been an MP] by securing election at Bere Alston, where he had acquired property. He was added on 8 Feb. to the committee for privileges, a rare honour for a novice Member, and received nominations to seven legislative committees. Their wide-ranging topics included the limitation of actions at law, the discouragement of malicious suits against magistrates, usury, the catechizing of children, and the estates of another resident of south-west Devon, Sir Warwick Hele (6 and 28 Feb., 20 Mar., 7 and 16 May). He left no mark on the proceedings of the winter sitting. The ‘Mr. Wise’ credited with several speeches in Sir Thomas Barrington’s parliamentary diary was actually John Wylde."

"In October 1622 Wise and his son-in-law, Sir Samuel Rolle were summoned before the Privy Council after getting involved in a dispute over a French prize ship in Plymouth harbour. However, upon examination of the case, they were both exonerated.23 Wise assisted with preparations for the Cadiz expedition in 1625, impressing 400 Devon men, and during the next three years played an active role in supervising the troops billeted in and around Plymouth."

"Although he never sat in Parliament again, he provided a seat at Bere Alston for his son Thomas [III] in 1626 and 1628, on the former occasion showing his support by actually attending the election. When Wise drew up his will on 26 Jan. 1630, his health was rapidly failing, but his religious convictions remained strong."

"I rest assured to receive remission of my sins ... craving the assistance of [God’s] Holy Spirit to perfect that good work which he hath begun in me, that I may pass the rest of my pilgrimage on this earth so as may be most for his glory, and may lead me the directest way to that Mount Sion, that heavenly Jerusalem, which through his mere mercy I undoubtedly hope to enjoy."

"His bequests included a generous £3,500 dowry for his unmarried daughter, gifts in excess of £700 to his servants, and £100 for the poor. To his wife he assigned the rents from her father’s former lands, augmented by £1,300 and a large quantity of livestock. The will was proved on 14 Apr. 1630, and a splendid memorial was erected to Wise’s memory in Marystow church."[1]

•ID: I39258
•Name: Thomas WISE
•Suffix: Knight C.B., M.P.
•Prefix: Sheriff Sir 1 2
•Sex: M
•Birth: in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England 1
•Death: bet 26 Jan/14 Apr 1630 in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England 3 2
•Occupation: •Note: Sheriff of Devon in 1612; Member of Parliament for Devon 2
•Note: 2nd son and heir to his brother

Received his Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath at the coronation of James I. Will dated 26 Jan 1629/1630; proved 14 Apr 1630

Father: Thomas WISE b: SEP 1545 in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England
Mother: Mary BULLER b: in Of "Shillingham With Trehan Manor", Parish of Stephen By Saltash, Co Cornwall, England

Marriage 1 Margerie STAFFORD
•Married: aft 1 Mar 1599/1600

•Note: Marriage settlement date before marriage 2


  1. Thomas WISE b: ABT 1601 in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England
  2. Margery (Margarett) WISE b: ABT 1602 in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England
  3. Elizabeth WISE b: ABT 1604 in Of "Sydenham House", Marystow Parish, Devonshire, England

Sources: 1.Text: Vivian's Visitations of Devon 1620, 1895 edition - Rolle of Stevenstone, pp. 653-656

2.Text: Vivian's Visitations of Devon 1620, 1895 edition - Wise of Sidenham, pp. 791-792

3.Text: Calculated approximately


  • Source: S11 Author: Title: OneWorldTree Publication: Name: Name: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA;;; Repository: #R1
  • Repository: R1 Name:
  1. These 8 paragraphs are from: - researched and added by Chet Snow, May 8, 2014


  • Thank you to Michael Thomas for creating WikiTree profile Wise-1429 through the import of Cyndie-ancestors_2013-12-29.ged on Dec 29, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Michael and others.


The Saxon race of Wise, in the vernacular written " Wis." and by the Danes " Viis," have resided in the west of England literally from time immemorial, and, although the principal seat of the family in the first half of the present century was removed to Staffordshire, in consequence of a marriage with the heir of Booth and Lovatt of Clayton, in that county, the name still flourishes in Devonshire. Humfrey "Vis " or " Wis " of Lew, since known as JLew Trenchard, near Tavistock, was living there in the year 1080, when that manor, which had belonged to Brictric, the son of Algar, the first-love of Matilda, the Conqueror's consort, had passed into Norman hands. According to ancient heraldic records, this Humfrey le Wis was the father, but I consider him to have been more probably the brother, of Oliver le Wis, who was at about the same period settled upon the manor of Greston, in Cornwall, and the latter was the undoubted ancestor of Sir John Wise, Knight, of Greston late in the twelfth century, whose younger brother, Sir Andrew Wyse, accompanied Strongbow to Ireland in 1169, and obtained great possessions in Waterford, since held directly from the


Crown ; his descendant and representative, whose predecessors had inherited the lands of the Priory of St. John in 1495, was the late Sir Thomas Wyse of St. John, county Waterford, who married the daughter of Prince Lucien Bonaparte, and was long member of Parliament for the county.

Sir John Wise of Greston had three sons, viz., Henry, son and heir, Serlo, and Osbert, who founded branches of their name in Kent and Oxfordshire. Roger Wise, younger son of Sir Henry Wise of Greston, was the ancestor of the Gloucester- shire Wises. His eldest brother, Sir William Wise of Greston, held sixteen librates of land in Cornwall in the year 1255, and by his marriage with Ela de Vepont (" Veteri ponte ; " in English, Oldbridge) acquired the Devonshire manor of Thrushelton, a chapelry dependent on Maristow, County Devon, in which latter parish his son Serlo obtained the Sydenham estate by his alliance with Albreda Trevage. Their son, Thomas Wise, Lord of Sydenham, Thrushelton, and Greston, and eighth in descent from the aforesaid Oliver le Wise, left the Cornish property to his son of the latter name, who had no male issue, but by his granddaughter Margaret Beaumont, who married John Chichester of Ralegh, he became the ancestor of subse- quent members of that ancient Devonshire house, and also of the Marquesses of Donegal.

Oliver's brother, John Wise of Sydenham, was the father of Thomas Wise, whose wife, Margaret, daughter and heir of Robert Britt (see " House of Brito," post}, brought him much additional property in various parts of Devonshire, notably that since known as " Mount Wise," which has long been the military headquarters at Devonport, otherwise Stoke Damarel.

The next John Wise of Sydenham married Thomazine, daughter of Sir Baldwin Fulford, of Great Fulford, near Exeter, Knight of the Sepulchre, and Sheriff of Devon, 38th Henry VI [1460]. He had two children, a son and daughter ; the latter was the mother of the first Lord Russell, and the ancestress of the Dukes of Bedford.

Lord Russell's uncle, Oliver Wise, by his wife Margaret Tremayne of Collacombe, in the parish of Lamerton, had issue John, who was thrice married ; one of his younger sons is supposed to have founded the Warwickshire branch of the


family ; by his first wife, Maria Chudleigh, of Ashton-under- Haldon, of the race of the celebrated Duchess of Kingston, he had a son and heir, James Wise of Sydenham, who married Alice Dynham. Their younger son, Sir William Wise, was knighted at the "Battle of the Spurs" in 1513; their elder, John Wise of Sydenham, by Alice Harris of Hayne, was the father of James, Charles, Erkenbold, Thomas, and John. Of these Thomas succeeded to Sydenham, and built " the faire mansion house " at Stoke Damarel, since called Mount Wise, and there his posterity principally resided afterward ; by his wife, Mary Buller of Shillingham, he was the father of Sir Thomas Wise, Knight of the Bath, who died in 1629, whose son and heir of the same name, Sheriff of Devon 1638, Knight of the Shire 1640, married the Honourable Mary Chichester, daughter of Edward, first Viscount Carrickfergus, and sister of the first Earl of Donegal ; they had a son, Sir Edward Wise, Knight of the Bath, who married Arabella St. John, daughter of Oliver Lord St. John, son of the Earl of Bolingbroke.

The two sons of this marriage, St. John, and Thomas Wise, both died childless, wheu the great Sydenham property, which was unfortunately unentailed, passed by the marriage of their sister Arabella to the Tremaynes of Collacombe, and since then of Sydenham. I say " unfortunately," merely because the present owner of Sydenham, Mr. John Tremayne, has inherited the property from his grandfather, who came to it by bequest from a kinsman of his own name in 1808, and is not descended from Arabella Wise, whereas the male line of her family did not become extinct by the death of her brothers without issue.

At that time the male heir-at-law was John Wise of Totnes, great grandson of John Wise and of hi* wife Emmot Vavasour, second son of John Wise of Sydenham and of Alice Harris.

This John Wise of Totnes, born in 1640, was the grandfather of John Wise, who married Margaret, daughter and sole heir of John Ayshford of Wonwell Court, in the parish of Kingston, near Modbury.

The Ayshfords, descended from Stephen de Eisforde, a follower of the Conqueror, were long of Ashford, in the parish of Burlescombe ; Robert, second son of William Ayshford of Ashford, towards the end of the fifteenth century married


Philippa, daughter and heir of Robert Hyndeston of Wonvvell, and from this marriage Margaret, wife of John Wise, was sixth in descent She died in 1780, leaving five sons and six daughters ; from her second son, George Wise of Woolston, in Loddiswell, the present Colonel Dacres Wise of that parish is descended.

Her eldest son, John Wise, succeeded to Wonwell, and married Elizabeth Froude, aunt of the late James Antony Froude, Regius Professor of Modern History; their eldest son, Ayshford Wise, sold the property in 1820, and removed to Ford House, a place memorable for its siege and capitulation to the Parliamentary forces during the great rebellion, and which from the Reynelis passed by marriage to the Courtenays. Mr. Ayshford Wise married Mary, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Whitby of Cresvvell Hall, Staffordshire, long represented that county in Parliament, and died in 1847. His third daughter, Julia, married, first, in 1837, R. F. De Barry-Barry, by whom she had a son, Robert, late Captain 6oth Rifles, and, secondly, in 1845, the late J. T. Coward, by whom she is the mother of Blanchard R. T. Coward, Lieutenant R.N., who married, in 1884, Geraldine, daughter of Major H. W. Portman, and niece of the first Viscount. His son and heir, John Ayshford Wise, a Deputy Lieutenant for Devonshire, Sheriff of Staffordshire 1852, and M.P. for the borough of Stafford, married the daughter and heir of Hugh Booth, by Anne, daughter and heir of Thomas Lovatt of Clayton Hall, whose ancestors had resided there from the sixteenth century. At his death in 1870 he was succeeded by his only son, the present Major Lewis Lovatt Ayshford Wise, formerly of the 8th, "King's," Regiment, who also owns property in Somersetshire. Major Wise has two daughters; his only son and heir died in infancy, A.D. 1877.

The arms of Wise are, sable, three chcvronels, ermine ; quartering, first, Vepont ; second, Trevage ; third, Britt (see " House of Brito," post} \ fourth, Prestwood ; fifth, Brooking ; sixth, Ayshford ; seventh, grand quarter ; first and fourth, Booth; second and third, Lovatt of Clayton.

Crest A demi-lion rampant, gules, holding a sceptre.

Motto "Sapere Aude."

Sir Thomas Wise had a grant of supporters as a Knight of the Bath, viz., dexter, a lion, gules ; sinister, an ape, ppr.

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Wise-1429 and Wise-26 are not ready to be merged because: I've been looking back at my records and found these two are father and son, according to sources I have. When I look closer, however, based on birthdates of both, they are actually grandfather and grandson, with a John in between as the father of Thomas. I have no Ancestry source for him, however. What sources do you have that will help me clean up my records?


posted by Michael Thomas

Rejected matches › Michael T. WiseThomas WiseJohn Thomas Wise