BACON, Thomas (c.1505-73 or later), of London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1547

Family and Education

b. c.1505, 1st s. of Robert Bacon of Drinkstone and Hesset, Suff., and bro. of Nicholas. m. (1) disp. 26 Feb. 1536, Jane (d.1563), da. of one Mery, at least 1s. 1da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. and h. of Thomas Mery of Hatfield, Herts. suc. fa. Aug./Dec. 1548.1

Offices Held

Auditor, London 1548-50; member of Queen Elizabeth’s household in 1558; j.p. Herts. 1561-?d.; commr. benevolence 1564.2

Biography

Thomas Bacon was of yeoman origin, his father being sheepreeve of the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk until the Dissolution. He was the elder brother of Nicholas Bacon, Elizabeth’s first lord keeper, and of James Bacon, alderman of London. By 1532 he was a citizen and salter of London. For a time he traded in partnership with a grocer, Thomas Woolley, and after Woolley’s death bought up his goods, which included white soap, steel, Spanish iron, glass, canvas, madder, herrings and hops.3

Bacon visited Harwich in 1535 and was cited as a witness to the popish inclinations of the curate there. His home was in the London parish of St. Dunstan in the East, where the parishioners were quarrelling with their parson, over the payment of tithes. This particular dispute was remitted to the arbitration of the court of aldermen in February 1545 but the quarrel was not confined to a single parish. In the Parliament which met later in the year the curates of London exhibited a bill against the citizens for tithes: on 10 Dec. 1545 the court of aldermen ordered the two under sheriffs of the city to devise an answer to it ‘by the advice and consent’ of six commoners, including Bacon.4

He was himself a Member of the next Parliament, which opened in November 1547, and there are some traces of his activity in it. On 22 Nov. the court of aldermen heard read a bill prepared for presentation forbidding foreigners to live by the r