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Arms of Gorges: Lozengy or and azure, a chevron gules. For the history of these arms see Warbelton v. Gorges

Sir Thomas Gorges (1536 – 30 March 1610) was an Elizabethan courtier and Groom of the Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I.[1] By his great-grandmother, Lady Anne Howard, daughter of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, he was a second cousin of queens consort Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.



Gorges was born in Wraxall, Somerset, the son of Sir Edward Gorges. Thomas's mother was either Mary Newton or Mary Poyntz (sister of Nicholas Poyntz (d.1557), who were married to Sir Edward in succession.[citation needed]

In 1573, Thomas Gorges acquired the manor of Langford, now Longford Castle, in Wiltshire.

Gorges was governor of Hurst Castle when, during the Spanish Armada, one of the Spanish ships was driven aground there. Lady Gorges asked the Queen if she could have the wreck, and the request was granted - the ship was one of the Spanish treasure ships laden with silver [1].

He was knighted at Beddington in 1586.

In the reign of James I, Sir Thomas Gorges and the dowager Lady Northampton, his wife, were granted the office of Keeper of the palace of West Sheen or Richmond, keeper of the wardrobe, vessels and provisions there, and keeper of the gardens and of Richmond Park; and Letters of Privy Seal granting her an allowance of £245. 5s. p.a.[2]

Sir Thomas was buried in Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, where he and his wife Helena have a remarkable monument decorated with carved polyhedra.[2]

The Gorges Monument (1635) in Salisbury Cathedral is the tomb of Helena, Marchioness of Northampton and her husband Sir Thomas Gorges. Each side of the elaborate canopy above the tomb displays two cuboctahedra and an icosahedron. The monument as a whole is crowned by a celestial globe with a dodecahedron on top [3].

He was the uncle of Arthur Gorges, the poet and translator.


In 1576, he married Helena Snakenborg, the dowager Marchioness of Northampton and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, and they built a triangular Swedish pattern castle - Longford Castle - on the banks of the River Avon. The castle had a round tower in each corner, and a park, fruit garden and kitchen garden.

Longford Castle

Their children were:

  1. Elizabeth Gorges (married, firstly, Sir Hugh Smythe of Long Ashton, Somerset[3][4] and then colonial entrepreneur Sir Ferdinando Gorges, 28 Sep 1629, Wraxall, Somerset, England)
  2. Francis Gorges
  3. Frances Gorges (married Thomas Tyringham, circa 1610, Little Langford, Wiltshire, England)
  4. Edward Gorges (1st Baron Gorges of Dundalk)
  5. Theobald Gorges
  6. Bridget Gorges (married Robert Phelips)
  7. Robert Gorges


  1. ^ Streynsham, George (1900), Collections for a Parochial History of Wraxall. p19
  2. ^ Wenninger, Magnus J. (1974). Polyhedron Models. Cambridge University Press. p. xi. ISBN 0521098599.
  3. ^ Rylands, John Paul (1882), Cheshire and Lancashire Funeral Certificates; A.D. 1600 to 1678. p170
  4. ^ Burke, John (1823), A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England.p493

Further readingEdit

  • Gorges, Raymond; Brown, Frederick (1944). The Story of a Family through Eleven Centuries, Illustrated by Portraits and Pedigrees: Being a History of the Family of Gorges. Merrymount Press.