This is a collection of letters and documents amongst the town records labelled 'The Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Captain Thomas Stockwell of St Mary's near the town of Southampton.' The label bears the dates 1594 to 1608, but the contents actually range from 1591 to 1611. It consists of about 250 documents connected with the Southampton estates of Sir Oliver Lambert, for which Stockwell acted as bailiff from 1597. The collection does not appear to be the official accounts, but rather a multifarious collection of fragmentary notes, accounts, receipts, etc. Lambert's Southampton estates, which he inherited from his father Walter Lambert, included St Mary's, Townhill Manor and Shirley parsonage.
Apart from his connection with Sir Oliver, Stockwell appears elsewhere in the town records. He was a sea captain with a history of privateering and in 1599 he was entrusted with the important mission of patrolling the Channel on the look-out for a threatened second Spanish Armada: this invasion was never attempted. In 1611 he appears to have fallen upon hard times and was imprisoned for debt. He left Sir Oliver's employment in 1613 and was appointed Town Sergeant. He died in 1614
Sir Oliver Lambert was a military man who campaigned in Ireland and the Netherlands and took part in the Cadiz expedition in 1596. However, his deserved reputation for energy and bravery in the field was tarnished by his ruthless pursuit of self-interest and probable corruption in his personal dealings.
He returned to Southampton on the death of his father in 1596 intending to retire, but was recalled to active service in Ireland just three years later in 1599. He spent the next 18 years in Ireland where he was made Governor of Connaught in 1601 and privy councillor for Ireland in 1603. He was elevated to the Irish Peerage in 1618, as Lord Lambert, Baron Cavan. He died in the same year and was buried at Westminster.
His only prolonged stay in Southampton was between 1596 and 1599. He was returned as MP for Southampton in a by-election of 1597.

Further reading:
The Stockwell Papers 1590-1611, Vol. 1 1591-1605, by J Rutherford. (HS/l)
The Stockwell Papers 1590-1611, Vol. 2 1597-1614, by J Rutherford. (HS/l)

For Sir Oliver lambert
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, Volume 32.
The History of Parliament website,


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