Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Thomas Billing

Male Abt 1410 - 1481  (~ 71 years)


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  • Name Thomas Billing 
    Born Abt 1410  of Astwell in Wappenham, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 5 May 1481  [1, 3, 4, 5
    Buried Bittlesden Abbey, Northamptonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Person ID I21615  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 3 Sep 2018 

    Family Katharine Giffard,   b. Abt 1399,   d. 8 Mar 1480  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married Bef 1447  [1
    Children 
    +1. Margaret Billing,   d. Aft 1472
    Last Modified 31 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F13316  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Asserted by Ancestral Roots to have been a son of John Billing of Rowell, Northamptonshire, but other sources appear to regard his origins as unknown. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that Thomas Billing was "perhaps born in Northamptonshire, the county with which he was most closely associated in later life. His parentage is unknown, and so his origins were doubtless modest. His coat of arms included an annulet in fesse point, apparently for difference, which would suggest that he was a fifth son."

      The ODNB continues:

      "In his professional career he appears to have been most closely associated with the city of London: without break, he served successively as its common serjeant (elected October 1443), under-sheriff (elected July 1449), and finally recorder (elected September 1450; resigned October 1454). In the last office he so pleased the mayor and aldermen that after his resignation he was granted both a fee of 20s. yearly and an annual present of 5 yards of good woollen cloth, for his diligent and fruitful service at the time of the 'great disturbance' (Cade's uprising of 1450) and afterwards. He was MP for Northamptonshire in the parliament of 1445-6, and for London in the first parliament of 1449.

      "Billing was created serjeant-at-law on 2 July 1453, and on 21 April 1458 was appointed a king's serjeant; as the latter he was again summoned to parliament, from 1459 onwards. In the early 1450s he was one of the lawyers retained by Queen Margaret of Anjou, and he was doubtless regarded as a supporter of the Lancastrians; at the Coventry parliament of November - December 1459 he was apparently one of the crown's legal advisers who drafted the bill attainting the duke of York and his leading followers. Nevertheless he must have changed his allegiance -- perhaps after the battle of Northampton (10 July 1460) -- for he was reappointed king's serjeant on 8 April 1461. On 9 August 1464 he was made a justice of the court of king's bench, and on 23 January 1469 he succeeded Sir John Markham as chief justice of that court; he retained the office through the Lancastrian readeption and after the restoration of Edward IV (being reappointed on 9 October 1470 and 17 June 1471), until his death. He appears to have been knighted only in 1475."

  • Sources 
    1. [S1526] The Ancestry of Dorothea Poyntz, Wife of Reverend John Owsley, Generations 1-15, Fourth Preliminary Edition by Ronny O. Bodine and Bro. Thomas Spalding, Jr. 2013.

    2. [S2164] The Paston Letters: A Selection in Modern Spelling ed. Norman Davis. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983., place only.

    3. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., year only.

    4. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing).

    5. [S2164] The Paston Letters: A Selection in Modern Spelling ed. Norman Davis. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983., year only.