Salisbury, Thomas (d.1643) (DNB00)

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SALISBURY, SALESBURY, or SALUSBURY, THOMAS (d. 1643), poet, was the eldest son and heir of Sir Henry Salisbury, first baronet, of Llewenny, Denbighshire, by Hester, daughter of Sir Thomas Myddelton (1550–1631) [q. v.] He has been confused with Thomas Salisbury (1567?–1620?) [q. v.] the printer.

He matriculated as gentleman-commoner of Jesus College, Oxford, but did not graduate; he became a student of the Inner Temple in November 1631, but, succeeding to the baronetcy on the death of his father, on 2 Aug. 1632, he ‘retired to his patrimony, after he had seen the vanities of the great city’ (Wood). He was sworn a burgess of Denbigh on 10 Sept. 1632, common councilman on 18 Feb. 1633, alderman 1634–8 and 1639, and was M.P. for Denbighshire from 25 March 1640 until his death. According to Wood, ‘he was an active man in the king's cause in the beginning of the rebellion, for which, though he died soon after, his family notwithstanding suffered.’ Pennant (Tours in Wales, ed. 1883, ii. 141) also refers to him as a ‘loyalist … as much distinguished by his pen as his sword.’ It was ordered by the House of Commons on 27 Sept. 1642 that he be sent for as a delinquent, and that an impeachment for high treason be prepared against him ‘for levying forces against the King and Parliament and marching in the head of those forces against the parliament’ (Commons' Journals, ii. 783). He was probably with the Welsh contingent at Edgehill on 23 Oct. 1642 [see Salisbury, William, (1580?–1659?)], and was a few days later at Oxford, where he received the degree of D.C.L. He died about August 1643, and was buried, it is supposed, at Whitchurch, Denbigh. His wife, Hester, daughter of Sir Edward Tyrrell of Thornton, Buckinghamshire, survived him. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas, who was born on 8 June 1634, and matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, on 4 Nov. 1651, but, dying without issue, was succeeded about 1653 by the second son, John, the fourth and last baronet, whose daughter and heiress was married to Sir Robert Cotton, first baronet of Combermere; the latter's descendant, Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton, fifth baronet, sold the Llewenny estates to the Hon. Thomas FitzMaurice about 1780.

Wood says that ‘having a natural geny to poetry and romance,’ he became ‘a most noted poet of his time;’ but his only known production is ‘The History of Joseph’ (London, 1636, 4to), ‘a very rare poem’ and a ‘scarce volume,’ dedicated to Lady Myddelton or Middleton, fourth wife and widow of the author's grandfather, Sir Thomas Myddelton, as an acknowledgment of her care for him in his youth. Among the commendatory verses printed at the beginning are some by two kinsmen of the author (John Salusbury senior and junior respectively), the latter most probably being of Bachegraig, Flintshire, and an ancestor of Mrs. Piozzi.

A portrait of Salisbury was formerly at Llewenny, and is described by Pennant.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. iii. 55–9; Fasti, ii. 42; Pennant's Tours in Wales, ed. 1883, ii. 141; John Williams's Records of Denbigh, pp. 130–2; W. R. Williams's Parl. Hist. of Wales, p. 73; Arch. Cambr. 3rd ser. vii. 120–2.]

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