Ridley, Thomas (DNB00)

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RIDLEY, Sir THOMAS (1550?–1629), chancellor of Winchester, born at Ely about 1550, was the second son of Thomas Ridley, gent., of Bewling, Shropshire, by his wife Anne, daughter of William Day of Wingfield in the same county. His father belonged to a branch of the Northumberland Ridleys. He was educated at Eton, which he entered in 1565, and at King's College, Cambridge, where he became fellow. He graduated B.A. in 1570–1, and proceeded M.A. in 1574 and D.D. in 1583. About 1580, before he was thirty years old, he was appointed headmaster of Eton by Provost Day. On 7 June 1598 he was incorporated D.C.L. at Oxford. He studied law, and was admitted advocate in 1590, and before 1599 a master in chancery, chancellor of Winchester, and vicar-general to George Abbot [q. v.], archbishop of Canterbury. He also sat in parliament for Wye in 1586–7, and for Lymington in 1601. He was knighted at Greenwich on 24 June 1619. He died on 23 Jan. 1628–9, and was buried at St. Benet's Church, Paul's Wharf, London. He married Margaret, daughter of William Boleyn, who is said to have been connected with the family of Anne Boleyn. By her he left two daughters—Anne, who married Sir Edward Boseville or Boswell, and Elizabeth; he is also said to have had a son Thomas, who was father of Glocester Ridley [q. v.], but he is not mentioned in Sir Thomas's will, which is printed in Ridlon's ‘Ancient Ryedales,’ p. 428, and the genealogy is doubtful. Ridley wrote ‘A View of the Civile and Ecclesiastical Law,’ &c., London, 1607, 4to, with which James I was so pleased ‘that Sir Edward Coke undertook from thence to prophesy the decay of the common law’ (Lloyd, State Worthies, 1670, p. 423). Another edition, with notes by John Gregory, was published at Oxford in 1634 (Madan, Early Oxford Press, p. 180). Other editions appeared in 1676 (Oxford, being called the fourth), and London 1684.

[Authorities quoted; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 279; Metcalfe's Knights, p. 175; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. 1598–1601 p. 337, 1611–18 p. 273, 1627–8 p. 337; Hodgson's Northumberland, II. ii. 322, III. ii. 323, 329, 339; Nichols's Progresses of King James I, iii. 554; Strype's Whitgift, ii. 332; Maxwell-Lyte's Hist. of Eton, pp. 174–5; Harwood's Alumni Eton, p. 180.]

W. A. J. A.