THROCKMORTON, Thomas (d.1411), of Throckmorton in Fladbury, Worcs.
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Family and Education
Commr. of array, Worcs. Dec. 1399, Sept. 1403; inquiry July 1401 (trespass).
J.p. Worcs. 16 May 1401-Nov. 1403, 19 July 1404-Feb. 1410.
Escheator, Worcs. 8 Nov. 1401-29 Nov. 1402.
Constable of Elmley castle, Worcs. by appointment of Richard, earl of Warwick, by 1404-aft. 1405.
Tax collector, Worcs. Mar. 1404.
Verderer, Feckenham forest, Worcs. bef. d.
There has been some confusion over the pedigree of the early Throckmortons, who were tenants of the bishops of Worcester at Throckmorton from before 1182, but it seems clear that Thomas was the son of Robert, and certainly his mother was called Lucy. The family was closely connected with their neighbours the Besfords, and this friendship was cemented by Thomas’s marriage to one of Alexander Besford’s daughters. By June 1380 he had inherited land at Throckmorton and nearby at Evesham, this being then entailed on him and his wife, saving to his mother (now the wife of John Schelve) her life interest in the property. Throckmorton subsequently acquired premises in Rous Lench, and salt workings at Droitwich, but he never became a landowner of much substance.1
Throckmorton’s career began with military service, from June 1380 until March 1381, in the retinue of Sir William Windsor on the expedition to France led by Thomas of Woodstock. At the Worcestershire elections of 1385 he stood surety for Henry Bruyn* and Sir John Sapy†, and something of his standing in the county is also suggested by his presence (along with his father-in-law and Bruyn) as a witness in February 1392 to the final accord in the dispute between Bishop Wakefield of Worcester and the prior of Worcester over the latter’s use of episcopal insignia. The connexion between Wakefield and Throckmorton, his tenant, was evidently a personal one: when the bishop made his will in March 1395 he named among his executors John Besford, the rector of Fladbury and Throckmorton’s kinsman by marriage, and Throckmorton himself. The executors were faced with excessive demands at the Exchequer for sums owed from the diocese since the time of Wakefield’s predecessor, Bishop Lenn, and they subsequently paid £100 to obtain exoneration from having to find nearly four times that amount. Throckmorton’s father-in-law, Alexander Besford, and certain of his other associates, such as Henry Bruyn, were among the circle of legal advisors and retainers surrounding Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and it was no doubt with their help that he himself joined this affinity. He had done so by 1396, when he received as his fee for six months the sum of £2 10s., although Warwick’s imprisonment and forfeiture in 1397 left him in a precarious position, which prompted him to purchase two royal pardons in the following year.2
Throckmorton’s ties with Warwick were not so strong as to prevent him from serving in Ireland from May 1399 in the retinue of Thomas, Lord Despenser, one of the eight lords who had ‘appealed’ the earl of treason in the Parliament of 1397 (Sept.). However, his involvement in Richard II’s last expedition and his brief connexion with Despenser did not harm his career; to the contrary, it was only on Henry IV’s accession that he was appointed to royal commissions, including that of the peace. In March 1401 he stood surety at the Exchequer for two others from Worcestershire, Henry Wybbe of Droitwich and Richard Ruyhale* of Birtsmorton, when they obtained leases of land in the region, and later that year he was made royal escheator. During his term of office he was elected to his only known Parliament. In July 1406 it was alleged that he and his fellow justices at an assize of novel disseisin were of the ‘kinship and affinity’ of Ruyhale and his wife Elizabeth, and therefore likely to show them favour. Whatever the truth of the matter, he attended the Worcestershire elections of 1407, when Ruyhale was returned for the last time.3
Meanwhile, not long after Henry IV’s accession, Throckmorton had re-entered the service of Earl Thomas of Warwick and his successor Earl Richard, and had been appointed, presumably by the latter, as constable of Elmley castle, which lay only three miles to the south of the Throckmorton estate at Fladbury. The family association with the Beauchamp affinity was strengthened when, in 1409, the marriage was arranged between our MP’s only son, John, and the daughter of another of Earl Richard’s retainers, Guy Spyne* of Coughton. Throckmorton is last recorded alive in January 1411 when he and his wife placed their property in the hands of feoffees, namely John Besford (her kinsman) and Robert Whittington* of Pauntley, a prominent figure in the local administration of Gloucestershire. He evidently died before the end of the month, for on 28 Jan. his post as verderer of Feckenham forest (which he probably owed to his Beauchamp connexions) was lying vacant. Throckmorton’s widow was still living in 1428.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), vi. 225-53; CIPM, xvi. 785-6; VCH Worcs. iii. 356-7.
- 2. C76/64 m. 6; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiv. 230; C219/8/12; Reg. Wakefield (Worcs. Hist. Soc. n.s. vii), p. xlv, no. 683; CPR, 1391-6, p. 596; Egerton Roll 8769; C67/30 mm. 10, 12.
- 3. CPR, 1396-9, p. 526; CFR, xii. 106, 118; C219/10/4; CCR, 1405-9, p. 152.
- 4. W. Dugdale, Warws. ii. 749-50; CP25(1)260/26/26; VCH Worcs. iii. 499; CCR, 1409-13, p. 139; Feudal Aids, v. 318.