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Sir Thomas Bendysh, 2nd Baronet (c.1607–1674), served as the English ambassador to the Ottoman sultanate in the mid-17th century.[1]

Son of Sir Thomas Bendish, 1st Baronet of Bower Hall, Steeple Bumpstead in the county of Essex, Bendish the younger enrolled in Middle Temple in 1626, after earlier studying at St John's College, Cambridge.[1] Later in life, he would donate fifty books to St John's, of which forty are still kept today.[2]

Sir Thomas succeeded to the Baronetcy on 1636.[1] A decades later he was banned from Essex, had his estates seized, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London after siding with King Charles I during the English Civil War. He was released on 28 September 1644, after paying a 1,000 pound fine - although he remained banned from coming within 20 miles of Essex.[3]

Bendysh was appointed on 8 January 1947. On 29 January 1647 the House of Lords confirmed that Sir Thomas was named as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire,[4] although upon his entrance to Istanbul he was confronted by the earlier ambassador who refused to relinquish his post, and had to be forcibly removed from office.[2]A Royal Commission set up by parliament followed on 1 February. Bendysh received articles with the Levant Company from 18 March. Sir Thomas set sail and arrived in Constantinople by 26 September.

While in office, it is known that Sir Thomas personally saw to Isaac Barrow, during the latter's visit to Constantinople.[5] He was imprisoned by the Ottomans at one point due to a commercial dispute with clerics. Bendysh was recalled from his post some time before 1655. He was recalled by Cromwell's Protectorate at the Restoration on 25 June 1660. However, in light of the changing political situation delayed his departure until 11 March 1661.

He died at his home in Bower Hall in 1674. He was succeeded by son and heir Sir John Bendish, 3rd Baronet (1630–1707).[6]


Sir Thomas and his wife Anne, the daughter of Henry Baker, had two sons John (1645-6) and Thomas (1646). Anne died before 1661 in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey and was buried at Steeple Bumstead, Essex, England.[1][7] Thomas his younger son married Bridget, daughter of General Henry Ireton and Bridget, Oliver Cromwell's eldest daughter.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Bendish, Thomas (BNDS624T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b Sir Thomas Bendish's bookplate
  3. ^ House of Lords Journal Volume 6 - 28 September 1644, British History Online
  4. ^ House of Lords Journal Volume 8 - 29 January 1647, British History Online
  5. ^ Isaac Barrow LoveToKnow 1911
  6. ^ Sir John Bendish, 3rd Bt.,, cites Cokayne p. 64.
  7. ^ Anne Baker,, cites Cokayne p. 64.
  8. ^ Anderson p. 383)


  • Anderson, James. Memorable women of the Puritan times, Volume 2, Blackie and son, 1862.
  • Cokayne, George Edward (editor). The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume I, page 64.

Further reading

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Sackville Crowe
British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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