30 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
with Elizabeth, and on July 3rd, 1561, she granted him
the Manors of Whatton, Hawkesworth and Towton, and
he finally passed away on November 23rd, 1583, despite
all his troubles, a very wealthy man. He was three
times married and was the father of 25 children.
1555, Oct. 14th. William Berners and John Wiseman. 1557-8, Jan. 18th. Thomas Sakevyle and Thomas Parker.
Thomas Sackville was a famous statesman, who afterwards became Lord Buckhurst and first Earl of Dorset. He was born at Buckhurst in 1536, and as a youth showed great ability and wrote some poetry which won him a very early reputation, while a play of his was produced with great success at Drury Lane 175 years after his death. He was first elected to Parliament for both East Grinstead and the County of Westmoreland and elected to sit for the latter, but when Elizabeth came to the throne he chose to represent East Grinstead. For six years, from 1561, he was Grand Master of the English Freemasons. He became attached to the Court of the Virgin Queen and, after his father's death, was granted by her the reversion of Knole. He was knighted on June 8th, 1566, by the Duke of Norfolk, and on the same day P]lizabeth raised him to the degree of a peer, making him Baron of Buckhurst. In 1570 he was sent as a special ambassador to Charles IX., King of France, and a year later was one of the peers who tried and condemned the Duke of Norfolk, the very man who knighted him, for high treason by reason of his connection with Mary, Queen of Scots. Lord Buckhurst was chosen to convey to this unfortunate lady her sentence of death, and he did this so delicately that she presented him with a carving from her private chapel, a gift which is still preserved at Knole. His conduct of a mission to the low countries to inquire into complaints against the Earl of Leicester incurred the Queen's disfavour and on his return he was confined to his house by her orders for nearly a year, during which time he never saw his wife or children. The Earl of Leicester dying soon after, Lord Buckhurst stepped immediately into Royal favour again, was made a Knight