TitlePapers of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593-1641)
AdminHistorySon of William Wentworth (1562-1614) and of Anne Wentworth (formerly Atkinson) of Wentworth Woodhouse.

Matriculated from St John's College, Cambridge in 1609. In 1611 he married Margaret Clifford (died 1622), the eldest daughter of Francis Clifford, the Earl of Cumberland. He was knighted the same year.

In 1614, he became baronet, on his father's death. The same year he was elected one of the knight's of the shire for Yorkshire (along with Sir John Savile, later a sworn enemy). He was later MP for Pontefract and then again for Yorkshire.

In 1615 he was appointed Custos Rotulorum or the West Riding, after Sir John Savile was forced to step down on charges of fraud; though Wentworth himself was forced to relinquish this post in 1626 (he was also dismissed from the Commission of the Peace).

He married for the second time in 1625 (Lady Arabella Holles (1608/9 - 1631).

In 1628 he was created Baron (Viscount) Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse and Baron of Newmarch and Oversley.

Also in 1628, as Lord President of the North, he strengthened the Council of the North's authority and in 1633 the King recognised Wentworth's success and brought its powers into lien with those of the Star Chamber in the south.

Wentworth was created a Privy Councillor in 1629.

In 1632 Wentworth was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland and he delegated his Lord Presidency of the North to his friend and vice president, Sir Edward Osborne. Wentworth was recalled to England by Charles I in 1639 and was elevated to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1640. The same year he was created Earl of Strafford and Baron of Raby, but as the crisis surrounding Scotland and Ireland deepened Strafford was arrested and later condemned to death. The King's attempt to free him from the Tower with force was seen as a clear affront to Parliament. Wentworth was executed on 12 May 1641.

Three of his children survived into adulthood: William (1626 - 1695), Ann (1627 - ) and Arabella (1630 - ); Wentworth married again in 1632, this time to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Godfrey Rodes. They had one daughter, Margaret (died 1681).
DescriptionThe correspondence of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, consists of letter books (in which he or his secretaries recorded both incoming and outgoing correspondence) and bound volumes of original letters (mainly addressed to Strafford but including a number from him), as well as a number of miscellaneous items.

Letter Books, 1617 - 1640 (WWM/StrP/1)

Bound volumes of letters, 1546 - 1639 (WWM/StrP/2)

Royal letters, from Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, and other items, 1604 - 1772 (WWM/StrP/3)

Miscellaneous Official Papers, 1558 - c. 1658 (WWM/StrP/4)

Estate, personal and family records, [1612 c. 1655] (WWM/StrP/5)

Records of Public Office, 1553 - 1614 (WWM/StrP/6)

Copy documents, 19th cent (WWM/StrP/7)
Datec. 1546 - 19th cent
Extentapprox. 550 items
RelatedMaterialThe Earl of Strafforde's letters and dispatches: with an essay towards his life by William Knowler (1739) is available as a Google eBook ( - contains transcriptions of Strafford letters with hyperlinked index at back.
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