Thomas Underhill1

M, b. 1545, d. before 7 June 1591
FatherHugh Underhill b. c 1519, d. b 23 Jul 1593
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire - Courtesy of Wikipedea
     Thomas was born in 1545 in County Kent, England, at the Royal Palace at Greenwich.2,3 He was also raised there in the Royal Palace at Greenwich, and enjoyed the benefits of that circumstance. He was the god son of Thomas Maynman, quite possibly the man that his father lived with in his early years at Greenwich. He received an excellent education and was in a position to be known by many influential families that either lived in the household or spent much time in the environs. As he became his father’s assistant as Keeper of the Wardrobe, Thomas even had more contact with the royal family and friends. Queen Elizabeth certainly was familiar with him and his knowledge, reliability, and efficientcy as a household servant. After the queen returned Killingsworth Manor to Robert Dudley and created him as the Earl of Leicester, it was not surprising that Thomas was chosen to be the manager of the Manor. Once receiving the castle and manor, the Earl added a large addition, remodeled, and adorned the premises so lavishly that it truly was favorably compared to the palaces of the royal family. Thomas had the responsibility of managing these premises and was rewarded very well for his excellent work. Thomas moved to Killingsworth in 1571 and remained there until his death. Because of his economic position, Thomas was able to acquire land in the Killingsworth area which led to even better economic benefits, as his family moved in higher social circles of friends and associates of the Earl and families of the area. His status became such that the title of Gentleman was applied to his name and there is at least one instance where Thomas’ signature was preceded by the same title. Unfortunately, the Earl of Liecester died suddenly, probably of stomach cancer in 1588. There was much turmoil as to what was to become of the Killingsworth castle and those of the household. It was during this time that Thomas’ father began to worry about his son’s future and his position. Thus, he began the process to procure his position as Keeper of the queen’s Wardrobe for his son after his own death. It was all unnecessary as Thomas’ family were able to remain at Killingsworth in spite of all the political and financial maneuverings, and also of course because of Thomas’ untimely death.4 Thomas married Magdalen Amyas, daughter of John Amyas and Ann (?), circa 1571 in England. Thomas departed this life before 7 June 1591 in Warwickshire, England, at Kenilworth Manor. Magdelen was granted commission to administer the estate of her husband on 7 June 1591.5

Additional Notes.6


Magdalen Amyas d. c Dec 1597


  1. [S1092] J. H. Morrison, Underhills of Warwickshire, pages.
  2. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, page 75 - Tho in the prime of manhood - at the inquiry of the 16th of September 1590, his age was stated to be xlv years or thereaboutes.
  3. [S1092] J. H. Morrison, Underhills of Warwickshire, page 67 - this implied in Thomas Underhill's statement, made on November 16, 1590, that he was then age forty-five or thereabouts.
  4. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, Chapter II, pages 28-75.
  5. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, page 75 - …For on the 7th of June of 1591, commission was granted to Magdelen Underhill to administer the estate of her husband, Thomas Underhill “resident of Killingsworth, in the county of Warwick, deceased.
  6. [S1092] J. H. Morrison, Underhills of Warwickshire, page 67 - His mother was still living 18 October 1562, at that time she was mentioned in the will of Thomas Maynman, which includes a small bequest to "hugh underhilles wife."