BASSEDEN, Thomas (by 1462-1524 or later), of Rye, Suss.

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




Family and Education

b. by 1462.2

Offices Held

Mayor’s sergeant, Rye 1483-5, chamberlain 1492-3, 1496-7, jurat 1505-8, 1518-24, mayor 1522-3; bailiff to Yarmouth 1506.3


One of the comparatively few Members of the Parliament of 1523 whose names have come down, Thomas Basseden is otherwise known only in his official career at Rye. That it was no smooth one appears from his record as a jurat. First elected in 1505, he was dropped in 1508 and, despite Richard Berkeley’s attempt to have him reinstated in 1510, not re-elected until 1518; this was the work of the new Mayor, Thomas Cheseman alias Baker*, but 12 months later his successor Nicholas Sutton, who had resisted Basseden’s restoration in 1510, expelled Basseden and Cheseman, both of whom were, however, readmitted within a few months. What issues underlay this factional struggle remain unknown. One effect of it was to interrupt Basseden’s sequence at the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports, which even so he attended 22 or whose career months later whom even so times in all, with one visit to Yarmouth as bailiff.4

It was during his mayoralty that Basseden was elected to his only Parliament. In a statement of his expenditure during his year of office he claimed parliamentary wages of 2s. a day for the 41 days between 13 Apr. and 23 May and the 68 days (sic) between 8 June and 15 Aug. 1523; this covered every day of the Parliament and two days at either end of each session for travel. Of the £10 18s. thus due he was paid, according to the town accounts, only about two thirds, £4 on 13 Apr. ‘at his first going out’, 26s.9d. ‘at his coming home’, and the late summer.5

Basseden’s name does not appear in the list of jurats of Rye of August 1524: as there is no entry to account for his disappearance it is probable that he had died earlier in that summer. While he was still mayor it was stated that he was too ill to come into court to answer a plea of debt laid against him, Thomas Cheseman and other jurats, an excuse which the plaintiff rejected.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Add. 34150, f. 136; Rye chamberlains’ accts. 4, f. 118v.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
  • 3. Rye chamberlains’ accts. 2-4 passim; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. (Kent Arch. Soc. recs. br. xix) 136.
  • 4. Rye chamberlains’ accts. 3, ff. 156v, 204, 252; 4, ff. 60, 73; Cinque Ports White and Black Bks. 95, 132-40, 174-90.
  • 5. Rye chamberlains’ accts. 4, ff. 118v, 121, 122v, 123.
  • 6. C1/591/12.