Name: Thomas Rede or Reade
Burial: 27 APR 1556
Residence: Abingdon & Dunstew, Oxon; & Barton, Berks
Change Date: 2 JUN 2006
Thomas Reade was a prominent citizen of Abingdon in the 16th Century. He inherited Barton Court, a royal manor house, from his aunt Kathryn Audlett, whose husband John was the last Steward of Abingdon Abbey. The Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538, and Thomas Reade rebuilt the manor house with stone from the tower of the demolished Abbey church. This house was burned down during an ambush in the Civil War, but some ruined walls still stand in the middle of the Barton Court housing estate. The later manor house was demolished in 1967 when the housing estate was built.
Thomas Reade was one of the last Masters of an ancient charity, the Fraternity of the Holy Cross (also dissolved by Henry VIII). He became one of the first governors of its successor, Christ's Hospital, in 1553. One of the main functions of this new charity was to support the town's Grammar School, and Thomas Reade clearly shared this concern for education. He left £10 in his will towards the building of a "free Scole in Abyngdon", and instructed that his own son Thomas should be kept at school.
In 1538 the Abbey of Abingdon was dissolved, at which time Barton farm was leased to John Audlett, the Abbot?s bailiff. Audlett?s wife, Katherine, was a joint lessee and through her will the lease passed to her family, the Reads, who in 1548 acquired, the freehold. The Reads built a new house at Barton Court about 1540, out of the stone robbed from the Abbey. It was this house which was destroycd during the Civil War and whose ruin still stands about 79m south-east of the
Barton Court? Farm Roman villa.
Father: William Rede or Reade
Mother: Dorothy Beaumont
- Thomas Reade b: 1 JUL 1545
- Text: Archaeology at Barton Court Farm, Abingdon, Oxon
edited by David Miles
Oxford Archaeological Unit. 1986