The extraordinary story of its Elizabethan owner, Sir Thomas Sherley, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1573. His raised social status soon had him thinking about a new stone house to replace the medieval timber-framed home of his ancestors. Sherley was appointed Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex for a year in 1577, when he was about 35 years of age, and he also became a very fair local Justice of the Peace. Ten years later he was appointed Treasurer-at-War in the Netherlands, reckoned to be the most lucrative in the army due to the ‘perks’ available. Fraud and corruption were rife and Sherley was spending at a great rate, particularly on luxurious possessions for his newly-built house
The story of his fall from grace is a fascinating one that will be illustrated with photographs of Wiston House, portraits and contemporary quotations. As a Member of Parliament for Steyning in 1604, Sir Thomas Sherley played a role in constitutional history, and this, unfortunately, has echoes in the behaviour of some of our Members of Parliament in the present century.