Sir Thomas Stapleton 5th Bart.

1727 - 1781


Son of Sir William Stapleton 4th bart. (MP for Oxfordshire 1727-1740), grandson of Sir William Stapleton 3rd bart.of Nevis and father of the 22nd Baron Despencer. MP for Oxford 1759-1768. Sir Thomas Stapleton 5th bart. remodelled Greys Court (which had belonged to the family of his mother Catherine Paul) after his marriage to Mary Fane in 1765. He was the contingent beneficiary of the will of the Earl of Westmoreland, after the life-interest of the Earl's nephew Sir Francis Dashwood, and the property (including Mere house at Mereworth in Kent, which Dashwood built) and the title of Lord Le Despencer passed to Sir Thomas Stapleton 5th bart.'s son, also Thomas (q.v., under Sir Thomas Stapleton 6th bart.).

  1. Under his will proved 26/11/1781, Sir Thomas pledged property in Britain and Nevis (the latter unspecified) to support portions for the younger sons of his daughter of daughters, and entailed his property in Great Britain, but did not otherwise address his West India holdings in his will.

  2. The family appear to have leased out their Nevis estate from c. 1750 onwards.


Greys Court: National Trust; considerable background on the Stapleton family's holdings in the Caribbean from 1701-1884 is given in the description of the Stapleton-Cotton papers in the Bangor University Archives; other archive material on the Stapleton-Cotton family can be found here; a detailed study of the Jennings and Ball Range estate on Nevis up to 1740 is given by Keith Mason, 'The world an absentee planter and his slaves made: Sir William Stapleton and his Nevis sugar estate, 1722-1740', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 75 (1) (1993), pp. 103-131; available here, accessed 03/09/2015.

  1. PROB 11/1084/294.

  2. J. R. V. Johnston, 'The Stapleton sugar plantations in the Leeward Islands', Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 48 (1) (1965), pp. 175-206 at p. 189; available here.

Further Information

Mary Fane

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1750 [EA] - → Owner

An unnamed estate in St John Figtree was leased by Sir Thomas Stapleton 5th bart in 1750 to Thomas Ottley for 14 years. The compensation records for Nevis no. 16 suggest it was probably Stapletons which was coupled with Montpellier in the Slave Registers.

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Greys Court 
description →
Remodelling of the interiors of Greys Court, the Tudor house that passed by marriage to Sir William Stapleton 4th bart., by Sir Thomas Stapleton c. 1750. Held by the Stapleton family 1724-1935. Now...

Political (1)

West India interest 
election →
Oxford Oxfordshire
1759 - 1768

Relationships (3)

Father → Son
Grandson → Grandfather
Grandson → Grandmother

Addresses (1)

Greys Court, Rocky Lane, Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, Central England, England