Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
   Introduction      INSCRIPTIONS at Solihull, Co.Warwickshire
Inscriptions at
the Church of St. Alphege, Solihull, Warwickshire
Church of England - Diocese of Lichfield
Church of St.Alphage, Solihull, Co.Warwickshire  (Diocese of Lichfield)
Rev. Thomas Blennerhassett (b.c1509 d.1544/5)
Rector of Solihull 1527-1544/5
Painted on the backs of churchwardens' stalls at Solihull is a list of Rectors, including "Thomas Blenerhayset (or Hassell) 1527 to 1544". These painted dates were taken from [SC p.26], which took them from [DUGDALE vol.2 p.943]. The alternative name "Hassell" is a transcribing error for "Hassett", an error made during the 1817 printing of [VE temp. Hen.VIII", vol.3 p.79], which lists "Thomas Hassell" as Rector of Solihull, c1535.
 Thomas Blennerhassett was instituted as Rector of St.Alphege on 1-May-1527, aged 18yrs, while still a minor cleric, not an ordained priest. This was following the death of previous incumbent Walter Walmer (or Wulmer). Thomas' patron for the benefice was his father, Sir Thomas Blennerhassett, Knt.
The Lord of the manor of Solihull 1524-28 was Sir Thomas's employer, Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Surrey, who became 2nd Duke of Norfolk in 1524 and in 1528 sold the manor of Solihull to Sir George Throckmorton [DCL/REG14 book 2, register Blythe, f.12v at LRO B/A/1/14 ii f.12v], [VENN part I, p.166], [DUGDALE vol.2, p.943], SC pp.26, 68-69, 131] [LIPKIN p.57].
Between 1523 & 1532/3 Thomas Blennerhassett was being educated at Cambridge (MA 1532/3), he employing a vicar to minister to the parish at Solihull 1527-1534.
Dispensation was given at Canterbury on 19-May-1534 to "Thomas Blennerhassett, acolyte, of Norwich Diocese" to take holy orders [FOR p1, register Vv, f.1r]. Thomas was ordained as both Deacon & Priest at Norwich 1-Jun-1534, the year of the "Act of Supremacy" [NRO Ordination Register DN/ORR 1/1], [VENN part I, p.166], becoming parish priest at Solihull, where he was already Rector.
Thomas continued as Rector of Solihull until he died shortly before 5.2.1544/5 [DCL/REG14 book 4, register Sampson, f.46 at LRO B/A/1/14 iv f.46] but did not serve as priest there after 1539, from which date he appears to have employed John Howman, DD (a.k.a. John Feckenham, formerly a Benedictine monk from Evesham Abbey) as vicar at Solihull [SC pp.26, 68], himself returning to Co.Norfolk as Rector of Bressingham.

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