Thomas Roberts (c.1470 - 1542)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Willesden, UK
Death: Died in UK
Managed by: Craig George Sheldon
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About Thomas Roberts

Thomas Roberts of Willesden, Middlesex

"More interesting notations in Rawlinson C 894 recording the birth and obituary dates of the Roberts family of Willesden, from 1548-1672. They begin with the children of Edmund Roberts (1521-1588). Records from the same family are found in Rylands Eng. 98, a handsome copy of Love's Mirror. These records begin with the births of the children of Thomas Roberts of Willesdon (Edmund's father), listing Dorothea (b.1508), Anna (b.1509), Alicia (b.1511), all children of Anna, whose death is indicated by a cross beside her name (but without a date), and then, after a gap of a few years, Michael (b.1519), Ed[mund]us (b.1520), and Joh[ann]es (b.1531), all children of Katherine, daughter of Robert Sadler. This set of records runs from 1508 to 1542, ending with the death of Thomas in 1542, suggesting that it was Thomas himself who recorded them. Two other hands have recorded similar information concerning the Willesden family and the Horde family of Ewell, suggesting that the book may have passed down in at least one instance through the female line. Thomas Roberts also owned Harley 2322, a copy of The poor caitiff and the Lollard defense of vernacular scriptures, and Doyle (1954: 217218) points out that "a number of other manuscripts survive which belonged to him, Edmund, and their descendants: service-books and Latin volumes". While Thomas Roberts may have inherited or purchased some of these, Doyle (1954: 217-218) suggests that a likely source of others was the dissolution of religious houses, as he seems to have profited by it in property as well. He was steward of several houses, for which he received both stipends and compensations."

Source: Catherine Innes-Parker, The "Gender Gap" Reconsidered: Manuscripts and Readers in Late-Medieval England (PDF)

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"In the blank spaces on ff. 137v-138 are recorded the births of the children of Thomas Roberts of Willesden, Middlesex (d. 1 January 1542); Alan Horde of Ewell, Surrey (d. 16 August 1553); and Edmund Horde; 16th-century legal hands."

Source: "A fine illuminated manuscript of the Myrrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ, a translation by Nicholas Love of Pseudo-Bonaventura's Meditationes vitae Christi.", Electronic Gateway to Archives at Rylands

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"John Attewode of Neasdon, in the year 1403, sold all his lands in the parish of Wilsdon to John Roberds, or Roberts, whose great-grandson Thomas Roberts built Neasdon-house on the site of Catwoods, in the reign of Henry VIII. It was enlarged by Francis Roberts, Esq. in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and again by Sir William Roberts, about the year 1650."

Source: Daniel Lysons, The Environs of London: Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent

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"The name Roberts occurs from time to time in 14th century deeds but more especially when John Roberts bought an estate at Neasden from John Attewoode in 1403 (1). Another John Roberts, probably his grandson, was recorder of Middlesex and held lands 'within the manor of Nesdon'; when he died in 1476 his son Thomas was six years old (2). It was without doubt this Thomas who, according to a lost portion of an inscription on a monumental brass in St Mary's Willesden, was the husband of Margaret Roberts, daughter of Robert Fyncham (3). When Thomas died in 1543 he was buried at St. Clement Danes, having had a residence in that parish near his law business. Administration of his estate was granted to his eldest son Michael in the short-lived court of the Bishop of Westminster (4). At Neasden Thomas built or enlarged a house called Catt-at-woodes, probably at the time he started the first of his two families. After Margaret's death in 1505 he evidently took as his second wife Ann Adam, daughter of Humphrey Adam of London, by whom he had three daughters: Dorothy in August 1508, Ann in 1509 and Alice in 1511. Dorothy Roberts seems to have been betrothed at an early age to a lawyer of good standing who died shortly before his nuptials, probably on a visit to Neasden, as he was interred at St Mary's church. The stone which records this sad event is inset into the south wall at eye level. It is now badly eroded but the Latin inscription clearly indicates that the disappointed fiancee was Thomas's eldest daughter Dorothy, not Anne as reported in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1822 (5). Dorothy later married Alan Horde of Ewell, a bencher of the Middle Temple, and is described on a monumental brass in Ewell church as the daughter of Thomas Roberts of Willesden.

"Some time after 1511 Thomas's wife Ann must have died because by a later wife Catherine Sadler, daughter of Roger Sadler of London, he had a second family of three sons: Michael in 1519, Edmund in 1520 and John in 1531. All these six children of Thomas Roberts are listed with precise dates of birth on spare pages of a 15th century book of devotions called Speculum Vitae Christi. Details were printed in The Genealogist in 1885, but there is no suggestion in this or any other document that Thomas had any children by his first wife Margaret."

Source: K.J. Valentine, "The Roberts Family of Willesden", published in vol.36 of the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archæological Society

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Thomas Roberts's Timeline

1470
1470
UK
1508
August 11, 1508
Age 38
UK
1509
1509
Age 39
Greater London, UK
1511
1511
Age 41
UK
1519
1519
Age 49
UK
1520
1520
Age 50
UK
1531
1531
Age 61
UK
1542
January 1, 1542
Age 72
UK
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