Thomas Wyatt's level of education is unknown, but he was thought to be knowledgeable about classical military authorities. It is also known that his father had recommended that he study moral philosophy as evidenced in a letter from father to son.
Thomas was a soldier and was closely associated with Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. In London in 1543, Thomas was arrested for rioting (in a late-night rampage through the city with Surrey and William Pickering) and for eating meat on Fridays and fast days. For this, he spent a month in the Tower of London.
In June 1544, Thomas was commissioned to lead 100 men in the war against France; by November he was in charge of the Boulogne garrison and was promoted to captain of Basse-Boulogne in early 1545. He was knighted in January/May 1645. He was a knight of the shire for Kent in 1547, sitting on Edward VI's first parliament. He was a justice of the peace at Kent in 1547, on a commission for relief in 1550, and on a commission for goods of churches and fraternities in 1553. He also served as sheriff in 1550/1.
On 11 November 1550, Thomas was appointed to join negotiations with the French over boundaries at Calais and to advise the deputy and council of Calais.
Thomas had inherited a large estate from his father, who died in 1542. However, his father left many debts and, in 1543, Thomas sold a portion of his estates. The sale may have put him in disfavor with his tenants and neighbors, as his park at Boxley was one of the targets of anti-enclosure rioters in 1549. Thomas led the Kentish gentry in the suppression of the disorders.
In June 1550, Thomas was granted the manor at Maidstone, Kent, where his father had been steward.
Marriage and Issue
In 1537, Sir Thomas Wyatt married Jane Haute, daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Haute (or Hawte) of Bishopsbourne, Kent, by Mary Guildford. They had six sons and four daughters:
According to Loades, Thomas had seven children, of which five were living in 1555. He names Henry, Charles, Arthur, George, Jane and Anne, above, and lists another daughter, Mary, who died without issue.
The Wyatt Rebellion
It is thought that Thomas had not supported Mary I's accession in 1553 and, as possible supporter of Lady Jane Gray and close associate of her father, the Duke of Suffolk, he was not a friend of the new regime. However, by 19 July 1553, he had proclaimed her queen. When rumors circulated of the possible marriage of Mary and King Philip of Spain, there was much opposition and Thomas was among those most vehemently opposed.
The marriage was announced on 15 January 1554, and Thomas issued a proclamation ten days later, calling on the people of Kent to rise with him "to save England from the foreigners and the Queen from her advisors". His Kentish troops entered London on 7 February 1554, but he had no support there. At some point the rebellion disintegrated and Thomas was asked to surrender. He complied and was taken to the Tower.
Thomas' arraignment was delayed until 15 March 1554, as the government tried to implicate Princess Elizabeth in the plot. At trial, Thomas pleaded guilty to high treason. He strongly denied any involvement by Elizabeth and argued that he never intended to hurt the queen, but only wanted to stand "agaynst the comying in of strangers and Spanyerds and to abolyshe theym out of this realme".
Death and Legacy
For leading an armed rebellion against Queen Mary I at the time of her marriage to King Philip of Spain, Thomas was imprisoned at the Tower of London, found guilty of treason and was beheaded on 11 April 1554 at Tower Hill, and was possibly drawn and quartered after beheading. While on the scaffold, Thomas maintained that Princess Elizabeth, the earl of Devon and others were innocent and had no part in his uprising.
As he was attained for high treason, his lands and titles were forfeited to the crown. Queen Mary, in an act of compassion towards Thomas' widow, gave Jane an annuity of 200 marks in June 1554 and, in December 1555, restored a portion of Thomas' lands to the family. Queen Elizabeth I restored the manor of Boxley, Kent to his widow and parliament reversed the attainder by 1570. In 1583, the queen granted to Jane and her heirs the manors of Pole and Criols, Kent and lands in Southfleet, Borden and Denton, Kent, which had formerly been held by Thomas' father, Sir Thomas the Elder (see Research Note on attainder below).
From Jack Gatewood (comment below):
Thomas had been found guilty of treason and attainted by Queen Mary. A result of the attainder was that his title (I believe probably a baronetcy) was declared extinct and all his property, including Allington Castle, escheated to the crown. The property , a very long list of parcels, was inventoried in 1555 and Lady Jane was evicted. By the terms of the attainder, none of TW2's descendants could ever own real property or hold a title. Most of the property was distributed to Mary's supporters right away, although a few minor parcels, such as her dowry, were returned to Lady Jane. (Loades, p. 230, et seq). Queen Elizabeth awarded Allington to Sir John Astley, Master of the Crown Jewels, in 1570, (Simone, p. 242) never to return to Wyatt ownership. Thomas' son George was therefore the last Wyatt to be born at Allington.
The following unsourced children of Thomas and Jane were detached on 23 Nov 2019: Edward, Frances and Jethro.
↑ 4.004.014.024.034.044.054.064.074.084.094.10 Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), vol. V, page 412, WYATT 21.
↑ 5.05.15.25.126.96.36.199 D.M. Loades, ed. The Papers of George Wyatt, London: Camden Society 4th series, 1968, page 227.
↑ Eric N. Simone, The Queen and the Rebel, London: Frederick Muller Ltd, 1964, page 174.
Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. (Salt Lake City: the author, 2011). See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham. (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013). See also WikiTree's source page for Royal Ancestry.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, ed. Dictionary of National Biography, 1921–1922. 22 vols. (London, England: Oxford University Press, 1921–1922), online with subsc. at Ancestry.com, Vol. 21, pages 1102-1104.
Notes and Queries (London, England: G. Bell, 1850-). Online at Archive.org, c.1, ser 3, vol. 3 (3 Jan 1863) page 9-10: transcribed inscription of the Wiat family monument at Boxley, Kent.
Cave-Browne, John. The History of Boxley Parish. (Maidstone: E. J. Dickinson, 1892), online at HathiTrust, page 146, etc.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: