Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fanshawe, Thomas (1530?-1601)
FANSHAWE, THOMAS (1530?–1601), remembrancer of the exchequer, was the eldest son of John Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate, Derbyshire, where he was born some time in the reign of Henry VIII, and probably about 1530. He studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, and became a member of the Middle Temple. His uncle, Thomas Fanshawe, took him under his protection, and procured for him the reversion of the appointment of the office of remembrancer of the exchequer, then occupied by the elder Fanshawe. This office was held during five tenures by members of the family. Fanshawe acquired considerable wealth in his office, to which he succeeded on his uncle's death in 1568. Besides Fanshawe Gate, which he let to his brother, he possessed the estates of Ware Park, Hertfordshire, of Jenkins, in Barking, Essex, and others.
He fulfilled the duties of his office with diligence, as we find by various entries in the State Papers of Elizabeth's reign. In 1597 (29 May) he wrote to Lord Burghley that ‘by my continually attending the business of my office all the term, I have too much neglected my health and business in the country, and as my presence is urgently required there I have left all things in such a state that the duties may be as well performed without me. I hope I may repair thither and stay until the term. … If there shall be any occasion for my attendance, I will speedily return, though to my hindrance both in health and profit.’
Fanshawe sat in the parliament of 1571 for Rye, in five succeeding parliaments for Arundel, and in 1597 for Much Wenlock, Shropshire. In 1579 he established, in accordance with the will of his uncle, the free grammar school of Dronfield. He died at his house, Warwick Lane, London, 19 Feb. 1601. His ‘funerall was worshipfully solemnised,’ 19 March, at the parish church of Ware. A portrait is in the possession of his descendant, J. G. Fanshawe, esq., of London, and Parsloes, Essex. Fanshawe married twice: (1) Mary (d. 9 June 1578), daughter of Antony Bourchier; and (2) Joan, daughter of Thomas Smith of Ostenhanger, and had issue by both marriages. His elder son by his first marriage, Henry [q. v.], succeeded him as remembrancer. Alice, his eldest daughter by the second marriage, was wife of Sir Christopher Hatton, a relative of the chancellor. Thomas, his eldest son by his second marriage, inherited Jenkins and other estates at Barking, to which he added by purchase from the crown in 1628. He was knighted in 1624, and held the offices of clerk of the crown in the king's bench and surveyor-general of the crown lands. He died intestate on 17 Dec. 1681. Thomas Fanshawe's widow was buried at Ware on 30 May 1622.
Fanshawe wrote: 1. 'The Practice of the Exchequer Court, with its severall Offices and Officers. Being a short narration of the power and duty of each single person in his severall place. Written at the request of the Lord Buckhurst, sometime Lord Treasurer of England,' 1658 (there is at Oxford a manuscript of this or a similar treatise by Fanshawe, Catal. MSS. Angl. (Coll. Oxon.), ii. 226), 2. 'An Answer to Articles concerning the Lord Treasurer's Office' (fragment in Lansd. MS. 253, art. 33).
[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabrigienses, ii. 295–6, and authorities there referred to; Notes Genealogical and Historical on the Fanshawe Family, 5 parts, 1868–72, where Thomas Fanshawe's will is printed, pp. 38–44; Memoir of Lady Fanshawe, new ed. 1830; Clarke's Bibliotheca Legum (1819), p. 256; various references in Cal. of State Papers of the Reign of Elizabeth; Members of Parliament, pt. i. p. 434; Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria, vol. iii.; Addit. MS. 24459, ff. 168–203; Fanshawe Papers, MS. Miscell. Queen's Rom. Excheq. P. R. O.; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, iii. 295.]