Barnardiston, Sir Thomas d. 1669, parliamentarian, was the eldest son of Sir Nathaniel and Lady Jane Barnardiston, and was knighted by Charles I on 4 July 1641. He was frequently one of the parliamentary assessors for Suffolk from 1643 onwards, and was on the committee of the Eastern Counties' Association. Cromwell addressed a letter (31 July 1643) to Sir Thomas and his neighbours, in which he spoke of them as his noble friends, and urged them in very forcible terms to raise 2,000 foot soldiers (Camden Society Miscellany, v. 87). In 1645 Barnardiston became M.P. for Bury St. Edmunds, in place of a member disabled as a royalist; he brought a regiment of foot to the assistance of the parliamentary forces at Colchester in 1648, and was perhaps the Thomas Barnardiston appointed by the parliament in 1649 comptroller of the mint (Cal. Dom. State Papers, 1649-50). Sir Thomas was M.P. for Suffolk in Cromwell's parliaments of 1654 and 1656, and in Richard Cromwell's parliament of 1658-9. He was in 1654 one of the commissioners for ejecting scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and schoolmasters from Suffolk. On 20 Nov. 1655 he headed the list of those who signed a declaration to secure the peace of the commonwealth in the eastern counties; to his signature great importance was attached by the major-general of the eastern counties (Thurloe, State Papers, iv. 225). But Sir Thomas's republican sympathies disappeared with the Restoration. He was elected M.P. for Sudbury in 1661 on a double return, but was unseated. He received a baronetcy from the king on 7 April 1663 for the antiquity of the family and the virtues of his ancestors. He died in October 1669, and was buried at Ketton. He married Ann, daughter of Sir William Armine [qv.], of Osgodby, Lincolnshire. Their eldest son, Thomas, succeeded to the baronetcy on his father's death; was twice returned to parliament for Great Grimsby (1685 and 1689), and thrice for Sudbury, Suffolk (1690, 1695, and 1698); he died in 1698. The baronetcy became extinct in 1745.

     Davy MS. Suffolk Collections, xl. 353 et seq. in Brit. Mus. (Addit. MS. 19116)
     Proc. Suffolk Instit. Archæol. iv. 143-8.

Contributor: S. L. [Sidney Lee]

Published: 1885