Thomas Leigh 1594/5-1672

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Thomas LEIGH, 1st Baron Leigh 1594/5-1672

Armorial stamp of Thomas Leigh (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

Son of Sir John Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, 1608, but did not graduate. In 1626 he succeeded his grandfather Sir Thomas to the title of 2nd baronet and extensive family estates in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Bedfordshire. MP for Warwickshire 1628, sheriff 1636-7. He supported the King during the Civil War (Charles stayed briefly at Stoneleigh in 1642 while besieging Coventry), and was created Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh in 1643. He was briefly captured and imprisoned by the parliamentary forces in 1644, and subsequently compounded for his estates.


Leigh's interest in books is manifested only in a handful of late 16th and early 17th century books with armorial binding stamps, suggesting some kind of family library of now unknown extent. The dates of these books, which are all pre-1626, suggest the possibility of some or all of them having belonged rather to his grandfather. His will has no mention of books, but is primarily concerned with distributing his extensive estates and wealth across his family; all the goods and chattels at Leighton Buzzard went to his eldest surviving son Charles (who inherited that property), and all other unspecified residue from his estate went to his grandson Thomas.

Characteristic Markings

Three armorial tools are attributed to him in the armorials database. CUL Z.11.32 (Chytraeus, 1599) has one of the unicorn crest stamps but no other markings/inscriptions.