Cheyne, Thomas (DNB01)

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CHEYNE, CHEYNEY, or CHENEY, Sir THOMAS (1485?–1558), treasurer of the household and warden of the Cinque Ports, born about 1485, was eldest son by his second wife of William Cheyne, constable of Queenborough Castle, Kent, and sheriff of Kent in 1477–8 and 1485–6. Sir William Cheyne [q. v.] was his great-grandfather; but Sir John Cheyne, who was speaker of the House of Commons for forty-eight hours in 1399 (see Manning, Speakers, pp. 22-3), belonged to the Cornish branch of the family. His uncle, Sir John Cheyne, baron Cheyne (d. 1499), invaded England with Henry VII, distinguished himself at Bosworth and at Stoke, and was elected knight of the garter before 22 April 1486 (Ramsay, Lancaster and York, ii. 638, 549); he was summoned to parliament as a baron from 1 Sept. 1487 to 14 Oct. 1495, but died without issue on 30 May 1499, and was buried in Salisbury Cathedral; Shurland Castle and his other estates devolved upon his nephew Thomas (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, ii. 238).

Thomas is said to have been henchman to Henry VII, and he appears to have been knighted before 12 June 1511 {Cal. Letters and Papers, i. 1724). On 4 March following he was made constable of Queenborough Castle, in succession to his elder half-brother. Sir Francis Cheyne, deceased, and in 1512-13 he took part as captain of a ship in the war against France (The French War of 1512-13, Navy Records Soc. passim). On 25 April 1513 he was one of the captains who shared in Sir Edward Howard's fool-hardy attempt to capture the French galleys near Conquet [see Howard, Sir Edward]. On 10 Nov. following he was sent on some mission to Italy with recommendations from Henry to Leo X (Letters and Papers, i. 4548). He arrived at Brussels, on his return, on 15 May 1514, and on 9 Oct. was present at the marriage of Mary Tudor to Louis XII of France. In 1515-16 he served as sheriff of Kent, and in 1519 was again sent to Italy on a mission to the duke of Ferrara (ib. iii. 479). By this time he had become squire of the body to Henry VIII, whom he attended to the field of the cloth of gold in June 1620, and to the meeting with Charles V at Gravelines in July; he also appears to have been joint master of the horse.

In January 1521-2 Cheyne was sent to succeed William Fitzwilliam (afterwards earl of Southampton) [q. v.] as resident ambassador at the French court; he arrived at Rouen on 22 Jan. and at St. Germains on the 28th; but Henry declared war on Francis four months later, and Cheyne was recalled on 29 May. In August 1523 he served under Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, in the expedition to Brittany, and on 17 June 1525 was granted the custody of Rochester Castle. In March 1526, on Francis I's release from captivity, Cheyne was again sent as ambassador to his court to join John Taylor (d. 1534) [q. v.], but he was again recalled in May after two months' service; Taylor wrote that he would 'find great lack of him, as he spoke French expeditely' (Letters and Papers, iv. 2205), He received a pension of 150 crowns from Francis for his services.

In July 1528 Cheyne was in disgrace at court, having quarrelled with Sir John Russell (afterwards earl of Bedford); Henry complained that Cheyne was proud and full of opprobrious words against his fellow-servants. In the following January he incurred Wolsey's displeasure; but Anne Boleyn, whose aunt had married a Cheyne, secured his restoration to favour, 'and used very rude words of Wolsey;' the circumstance was regarded as a presage of Wolsey's fall. Cheyne naturally approved of Henry's divorce, and in 1582 entertained the king and Anne Boleyn at Shurland Castle. On 17 May 1536 he was appointed warden of the Cinque Ports; he profited largely by the dissolution of the monasteries in Kent, and on 9 March 1538-9 he was made treasurer of the household (Wriothesley, Chron. i. 64). In that and the following month he was very active at Dover, providing against the threatened invasion by Charles V; on 23 April he was elected, and on 18 May installed, a knight of the garter. In June 1546 he was sent to Paris as Henry's deputy to be present at the christening of Henry III. He was a constant attendant at the privy council from 1540, when its records recommence, until his death; but in spite of his official position and long service he was named only an assistant executor to Henry VIII's will, and consequently had no voice in the election of Somerset as protector. According to Paget, Henry intended that Cheyne should be made a baron: this intention was not carried out, but on 22 Aug. 1548 he was paid the 200l. bequeathed him by the late king. He represented Kent in the parliament of 1542, and was re-elected on 29 Dec. 1544, in September 1547, in January 1552-3, September 1553, March 1553-4, on 22 Oct. 1554, and in January 1557-8. He signed the council's order for the imprisonment of Bishop Gardiner in June 1548, took part in the proceedings against Thomas Seymour in January-February 1548-9, and joined the majority of the council against Somerset on 7 Oct. following. On the 18th he was sent ambassador with Sir Philip Hoby to Charles V, to announce Somerset's deposition and to request the emperor's aid against the French; this he was unable to obtain, Charles hinting that his assistance would be dependent upon the council's reconsideration of its religious policy.

Cheyne concurred in all the acts of Warwick's government, and he signed both Edward's limitation of the succession and the council's engagement to carry it out. He was, however, at heart a conservative in religious matters, and appears to have urged in council the necessity of observing Henry's will; and as soon as Northumberland left London he began to work for Mary. On 15 July 1553 he was said to be endeavouring to escape from the Tower to consult with Mary's friends; on the 19th he signed the council's letter to Rich, ordering him to remain faithful to Queen Jane; but on that same day he got out of the Tower and was present at the proclamation of Queen Mary. She continued him in all his offices,and in August sent him to Brussels to recall her ambassadors, Hoby and Morison; but in January 1653-4 he fell under some suspicion on account of his slowness in attacking Wyatt. On 1 Feb. he wrote from Shurland excusing his delay on account of the 'beastliness of the people' and their indisposition to serve under him. He succeeded, however, in collecting a force, was at Sittingbourne on the 4th, and at Rochester on the 7th; but Wyatt had been defeated before Cheyne's advance had made itself felt. In the same year Egmont bestowed on hi a pension of a thousand crowns to secure his adhesion to the Spanish match. He retained his offices at Elizabeth's accession, but died on 8 or 15 Dec. 1558 in the Tower, and was buried on 3 Jan. 1558-9 in Minster church, Isle of Sheppey, where there is a fine monument to his memory (Harl. MS. 897, f 17 6; Machyn, pp. 184, 369; Archæol. Cantiana, vii. 288; Weever, Fanerall Mon. p. 284; Dugdale, Baronage, ii. 290).

Cheyne married, first, Frithwith or Frideswide, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Frowyk [q. v.], and had issue an only son, Sir John, who married Margaret, daughter of George Neville, third baron Bergavenny [q. v.], and was slain at Mutterd, leaving no issue; and several daughters, of whom Anne married Sir John Perrot [q. v.], lord-deputy of Ireland. He married, secondly, in 1528, Anne, daughter and heir of Sir John Broughton of Toddington, Bedfordshire; by her, who died on 18 May 1562, and was buried at Toddington on the 27th (Machyn, pp. 282-283, 390; there is an effigy of her at Toddington, Topographer, i. 156), he had issue one son, Henry (1530?-1587), who inherited the Cheyne and Broughton estates, was knighted in 1563, and summoned to ment as Baron Cheyne of Toddington from 8 May 1572 to 15 Oct. 1586; he married Joan (d. 1614), daughter of Thomas, first baron Wentworth [q. v.] but died without issue, and was buried at Toddington on 3 Sept, 1687, when the peerage became extinct.

[Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Brewer and Gairdner, vols. i–xvii. passim; State Papers, Henry VIII; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, For. 1547–58; Proceedings of the Privy Council, ed. Nicolas, vol. vii. ed. Dasent, 1542–88; Off. Ret. Members of Parl.; List of Sheriffs, 1898; Lit. Remains of Edward VI (Roxburghe Club); Rutland Papers, Chron. of Calais, Wriothesley's Chron., Chron. Queen Jane, Troubles connected with the Prayer Book of 1549, Greyfriars' Chron., and Machyn's Diary (all these Camden Soc.); Holinshed's Chron. ii. 1171; Herbert's Hist. of Henry VIII; Hayward's Edward VI; Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, ed. Pocock; Strype's Works (General Index); Gough's Index to Parker Soc. Publ.; Brewer's Reign of Henry VIII; Froude's Hist. of England; Pollard's England under Somerset; George Howard's Lady Jane Grey and her Times, 1822; Hasted's Kent; Cruden's Hist. of Gravesend, 1843, pp. 183–4; Burrows's Cinque Ports; Archæologia Cantiana, General Index to vols. i–xix., also xxii. 192, 279, xxiii. 87–90; Berry's Kent Genealogies; Wiffen's House of Russell, i. 396; Dugdale's Baronage; Burke's Extinct Peerage; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage.]

A. F. P.