Thomas de Scales, 7th Baron Scales

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Thomas de Scales
Coat of Arms of Sir Thomas de Scales, 7th Baron Scales, KG.png
Arms of Sir Thomas de Scales, 7th Baron Scales, KG
Born 1397
Died 25 July 1460
Allegiance England Arms 1340.svg England
Lancashire rose.svg House of Lancaster
Battles/wars Hundred Years' War (Patay)
War of the Roses
Awards Order of the Garter

Lord Thomas de Scales or Thomas Scales de Newselles or Thomas Scalles KG (1397 – 25 July 1460), 7th Baron Scales, Knight of the Garter from 1426[1] was one of the main English commanders in the last thirty years of the Hundred Years' War. The son of Robert de Scales, 5th Baron Scales (c. 1372–7 December 1402), he succeeded his brother Robert de Scales, 6th Baron Scales (died July 1419) as baron.

Thomas distinguished himself in France, against Jack Cade and in many other places. He was rewarded with a grant of £100 a year during his life and the privilege of a 200 tonne ship to transport goods wherever he saw fit (excluding Calais). He was summoned to Parliament from 1445 to 1460.

Scales was an important man of considerable wealth. This is alluded to in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3: King Edward IV's brothers George and Richard complain to Edward about his bestowal of Scales' heiress (one of the wealthiest in England) on his Queen's parvenu brother, instead of one of them.

Military commander

Cannons abandoned by Thomas Scales at Mont Saint-Michel

In 1422, Scales crossed the Channel to Normandy, and served as a lieutenant of John of Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford.

By 1423, Scales was captain of Verneuil. From 1424 to 1425, he fought alongside John Fastolf to recapture the fortress at Maine. He was captured at the Battle of Patay in 1429 and later ransomed.

According to a recruitment roll now at the National Army Museum, he commanded a corps of 728 archers (some with fire-tipped arrows) and about 50 infantry at the siege of Saint-Denis. In 1439, to cut off Mont-Saint-Michel, at the end of the French bridge in English-held territory, he founded the citadel of Granville. In 1442 Granville was taken by surprise by the French defenders of the Mont.

In the Wars of the Roses Scales fought for Lancaster, and as such appears in Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2. On 25 July 1460 Scales was murdered,[2] having, as commander of the Tower of London, turned its weapons against the city which was supporting the Yorkist Earl of Salisbury in besieging the Tower.[3]


Thomas held Rivenhall in Essex; Newsells and Barkway in Hertfordshire; and Ilsington, Middelton, Lynne, Hardwicke, Rongeton, Tylney and Clenchwarton in Norfolk.[4]

Coat of arms

Argent, a fess and a canton gules[2]


Thomas married Ismayne Whalesburgh (aka Esmania[5] aka Emma Whaleborough). They had two children:-


  1. His number is 139.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Philip Morant, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex
  3. Bennett, Vanora. "London and the Wars of the Roses". Retrieved 2013-08-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Feudal Aids 1284-1431
  5. Suffolk Feet of Fines

External links and sources

  • Thomas de Scales on
  • Pernoud, Régine; Clin, Marie-Véronique (1999). Joan of Arc: Her Story. Wheeler, Bonnie and duQuesnay Adams, Jeremy (translator). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 201–202. ISBN 0-312-22730-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert de Scales
Baron Scales
Succeeded by
Elizabeth de Scales Woodville
As baroness