CHAFFYN, Thomas II (by 1519-58/59), of Salisbury, Wilts.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1519, s. of Thomas Chaffyn I. m. by 1549, Sybil, da. of Robert South of Salisbury, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. May/Oct. 1558.1

Offices Held

Member of the Forty-Eight, Salisbury 1540, of the Twenty-Four 1541, auditor 1546, mayor in 1547, dep. mayor in 1551.2


Thomas Chaffyn was in all likelihood the eldest son of Thomas Chaffyn I and not a younger son of the same name. His father, who suffered from ill-health, was probably not returned to Parliament again after 1529, but Thomas Chaffyn junior, as he is called in the heralds’ visitation and on the parliamentary return for Salisbury in 1555, may also have been elected for Heytesbury in November 1554, unless that Member came from another branch of the family, settled at Mere.3

In 1547 the goods owned by Thomas Chaffyn junior in the Market ward of Salisbury were assessed for subsidy at £60, one third of the value placed on his father’s; in 1550 and 1551 the assessment on these goods was £45 and on others in St. Martin’s ward £20, figures which were reduced in the following year to £40 and £17. In May 1546 and again in April 1547 Chaffyn heard the accounts of the stewards of the mass of Jesus in St. Edmund’s church, and in May 1558 those of the churchwardens there; he served as city auditor with his father in 1546 but the Thomas Chaffyn ‘draper’, who heard the accounts of St. Edmund’s in 1553, was probably his younger brother. In 1548 Chaffyn received £25 for his mayoral pension and additional costs.4

His lineage, his family connexions and his civic standing all made Chaffyn an obvious choice as one of Salisbury’s Members in Queen Mary’s fourth Parliament; his fellow was his brother-in-law John Hooper. Their subsequent claim for wages, amounting to £14 16s., covered the 50-day session at the standard rate, with a substantial addition presumably for travel and incidental expenses, but on 3 Jan. 1557 they agreed to remit 16s. of this total. Their experience in the House had included the stormy finish to the session when Sir Anthony Kingston led the opposition to a notable, if short-lived, triumph. The omission of their names from the only known list of Kingston’s followers might seem to imply that both Members were solidly loyal to crown and church, but this is not true of Hooper and no more than probable of Chaffyn. It is true that during his mayoralty in 1547-8 Chaffyn had rebuked the reformer Thomas Hancock for preaching against the eucharist in St. Thomas’s church, but in doing so he was implementing an Act of 1547 (1 Edw. VI, c.1) and a proclamation to that effect.5

After his father’s death Chaffyn in his turn briefly styled himself ‘the elder’ to distinguish himself from his younger brother and from his own son and heir. By his will made on 15 Nov. 1558 and proved two months later he made provision for his family and named his son executor and his brother Thomas and brother-in-law George Snelgar overseers.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Salisbury corp. ledger B, f. 292v; Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 36; PCC 5 Alenger, 4 Coode, 32 Welles, 64 Noodes.
  • 2. Ledger B, ff. 292v, 294, 301, 302, 307.
  • 3. Wilts. Vis. Peds. 36-37.
  • 4. E179/197/240; 198/256, 260, 262; Churchwardens’ Accts. of St. Edmund and St. Thomas, Sarum (Wilts. Rec. Soc. 1896), 93, 104, 271, 272; Wards 7/11/105; ledger B, f. 304.
  • 5. Ledger B, f. 316v; Narr. Ref. (Cam. Soc. lxxvii), 73