Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Paget, Thomas (d.1590)

PAGET, THOMAS, third Lord Paget (d. 1590), was second son of William, first baron Paget [q. v.], by Anne, daughter and heiress of Henry Preston, esq. Charles Paget [q. v.] was his brother; he matriculated as a fellow-commoner of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, on 27 May 1559 (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. iii. 4). On the death of his brother Henry, on 28 Dec. 1568, he succeeded to the title of Lord Paget, and to the estates of the family. Being a Roman catholic, and declining to conform to the established religion, he was subjected to imprisonment. There is a letter from him to the privy council, dated Windsor, 17 Nov. 1580, in which he states that he had been restrained of his liberty for fourteen weeks. In a letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, dated 10 Jan. following, he desired to be excused from attending St. Paul's on the following Sunday at the time of the sermon.

William Overton [q. v.], bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, in a letter to the council, dated 20 May 1582, complained that certain of Paget's servants or officers, under pretence of serving writs, came into Colwich church on Easter Sunday and arrested divers persons; moreover, Paget being bound to find communion bread for the parishioners of Burton-upon-Trent, ‘his officers would have forced them to use little singing cakes, after the old popish fashion, varying nothing at all in form from the massing bread, save only somewhat in the print.’ In a letter from the same prelate to Lord Burghley in February following is this passage: ‘The Lord Paget also and his confederates are not idle, but attempt most unjust suits and indictments against me and mine.’

On the detection of Francis Throgmorton's conspiracy in November 1583, Paget fled to Paris. On 2 Dec. he wrote thence to his mother, Lady Paget. He trusted she would not mislike the step he had now taken, that he might enjoy liberty of conscience and the free exercise of his religion. He had not done this upon any sudden motion, but after a long time and deliberation. To Lord Burghley he explained that he had been long minded to travel, for two reasons—one for cure of the gout; the other, of more moment, for the satisfying of his conscience, about which he had been with himself at a marvellous conflict almost three years. Paget spent much time in Paris with his brother Charles.

The queen issued a fruitless proclamation commanding Paget to return to England. In June 1584 the English ambassador at Paris made a formal demand to the king of France for the surrender of Paget and others, but the French king declined to comply.

Paget visited Milan and Rome, residing in the English College at the latter place, with two servants, from 22 Feb. till 19 March 1584–5. His brother states that he met with a cold reception in that city. Afterwards he went to Spain, and obtained from the Spanish monarch a pension of one hundred and eighty crowns a month. In 1587 he was attainted of treason by act of parliament, his estates and goods having been seized immediately after his flight from England. He died at Brussels in the early part of 1590.

He married Nazaret, daughter of Sir John Newton of Barrs Court, Somerset, and widow of Sir Thomas Southwell, of Woodrising, Norfolk. By this lady, from whom he was separated on articles in 1581–2, and who died on 16 April 1583, he had an only son, William, fourth baron Paget [q. v.]

[Blomefield's Norfolk, ii. 338, x. 270, 277, 280; Camden's Elizabeth, 1635, pp. 261, 389; Collect. Topogr. et. Geneal. v. 83; Collins's Peerage (Brydges); Froude's Hist. of England, 1893, xi. 64, 402; Hardwicke State Papers, i. 212, 240, 241; Lansd. MSS. 34 art. 7, 62 art. 50; Murdin's State Papers, pp. 439–531; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Eliz. and Scottish Ser.; Strype's Annals, iii. 61, 98, 136, 217, 247, Append. pp. 27, 31; Turnbull's Letters of Mary Stuart, pp. 104, 105, 130; Tytler's Scotland, 1864, iv. 114; Wright's Elizabeth, ii. 256.]

T. C.