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Arms of Sir Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre, KG

Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre of Gilsland, KG (25 November 1467 – 24 October 1525) was the son of Humphrey Dacre, 1st Baron Dacre of Gilsland and Mabel Parr; great-aunt of queen consort Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII of England.[1]

Early career[edit | edit source]

He was born in Cumberland, the eldest of nine children.[2] His father died of natural causes on 30 May 1485 and Thomas succeeded him as Baron Dacre of Gilsland.

Dacre took part in the Battle of Bosworth Field (22 August 1485) on the Yorkist side against Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, when Richard III of England was defeated and Richard killed. He however quickly made peace with the victor. This early support for the House of Tudor earned him some favor with Henry VII who would continue to trust his services for the remainder of his reign. Henry VII named him a Knight of the Bath in 1503. He swore loyalty to Henry's son and successor, Henry VIII of England in 1509.

Dacre was named a deputy to the Lord Warden of the Marches (an officer on the border with Scotland) in 1485, and then Warden of the Western marches, and finally Warden-general over all the marches in 1509. Dacre and his forces served under Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Flodden Field (9 September 1513) where the invading army of James IV of Scotland was defeated. Dacre commanded the "Border Lancers" at the battle, and their charge saved Edmund Howard, commander of the English right wing. James IV himself was killed and the Kingdom of Scotland ceased its involvement in the wider War of the League of Cambrai. The victory further helped solidify the reputation of Dacre as a soldier. After the battle, Dacre discovered the body of James IV, informed the Earl of Norfolk, and took it to Berwick upon Tweed. He later wrote that the Scots, "love me worst of any Inglisheman living, by reason that I fande the body of the King of Scotts."[3]

Henry VIII named him a Knight of the Garter in 1518, alongside William Sandys, 1st Baron Sandys of the Vyne. He died on the borders on 24 October 1525, killed by a fall from his horse and was buried in his family's mausoleum at Lanercost Priory. By the time of his death Dacre held about 70,000 acres (280 km²) of land in Cumberland, 30,000 acres (120 km²) in Yorkshire and 20,000 acres (80 km²) in Northumberland. Much of these lands had been inherited through marriages to the heiresses of the Greystoke, de Multon and de Vaux families as well as grants by both Henry VII and Henry VIII.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Circa 1488, Dacre eloped with Elizabeth Greystoke, 6th Baroness Greystoke (10 Jul 1471-14 Aug 1516), daughter of Sir Robert de Greystoke by Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent and Lady Katherine Percy. Elizabeth Dacre was the eldest granddaughter and heiress of Ralph de Greystoke, 5th Baron Greystoke. She had only recently succeeded her grandfather in the barony, but their marriage made Dacre the jure uxoris Baron Greystoke. The lands of the Greystokes passed to the Dacre family through this marriage.

Thomas and Elizabeth had eight children:[4]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

His illegitimate son Thomas Dacre, nicknamed "the Bastard", successfully led a few hundred English bordermen against part of the invading force of James V of Scotland on 12 November 1542. His success paved the way for the Scottish defeat at Battle of Solway Moss (24 November 1542). This Thomas was rewarded with land grants and from him starts a secondary line of "Dacres of Lanercost".

Ancestry[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta ancestry, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2005. pg 253.
  2. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011.
  3. Mackie, R. L., King James IV. Oliver & Boyd (1958), p.269: Letters & Papers Henry VIII, vol.1 (1920), no. 2193
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "richardson" defined multiple times with different content
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Humphrey Dacre
Baron Dacre
Succeeded by
William Dacre

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