FALLOWFIELD, Thomas (by 1516-73 or later), of Great Strickland, Westmld.

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



Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1516, s. of Nicholas Fallowfield of Great Strickland. m. 1s.1

Offices Held

Servant of 1st and 2nd Earls of Clumberland by 1537; constable, Brougham castle, Westmld. c.1537; commr. i.p.m. Westmld. 1543, 1564.2


The family of Fallowfield is mentioned in Westmorland in 1422 but Thomas Fallowfield appears to have been the first of the line to cut a figure in the county. This he did as a follower of the 1st Earl of Cumberland, whose service he had entered by 1537 and of whose castle at Brougham he became constable at about the same time. It was in 1537 that he was also retained by the crown in the west march on the advice of (Sir) Thomas Wharton I, the newly appointed deputy warden there: this was to involve him in border operations such as the razing of Liddesdale in 1543 for which he was ordered by Wharton to supply 100 horsemen. Later, when Wharton and Cumberland came to feud with one another, Fallowfield was one of the earl’s supporters charged in the Star Chamber in 1551 with riot and unlawful assembly at Kirkby Stephen and injury to various of Wharton’s relatives and followers; the defendants contended that they had been provoked, with what effect on the case is not known. In the following year Fallowfield acted as one of the earl’s attorneys in a conveyance of property.3

Fallowfield’s election to the first two Marian Parliaments as senior knight for Westmorland was undoubtedly the work of his master, who was both hereditary sheriff and lord lieutenant of the shire: as his fellow-knight on both occasions, Thomas Warcop, was a kinsman of Wharton’s, the rival magnates may have agreed to share the patronage. Nothing is known of Fallowfield’s part in the work of the Commons save that he was not among the Members who in the first of these Parliaments ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism. This was, however, perhaps less a measure of religious zeal than of indifference, for when in 1564 the bishop of Carlisle reported on the Westmorland justices he neither recommended Fallowfield as one fit to be put on the commission nor judged him ‘not good in religion’. Although it was as formerly of Strickland Hall that Fallowfield sued out his pardon in January 1559 he evidently continued to own that property. He also remained in the service of the Earl of Cumberland: thus in 1560 he is found holding the earl’s courts at Casterton, Crosthwaite and Lyth, Grasmere and Windermere. His work for the crown was, however, limited to such minor functions as that of taking depositions for the council of the north about the occupation of a tenement in Temple Sowerby.4

Fallowfield seems to have acquired more land at Great Strickland and also had a tenement in Newby and property in Cumberland. His estate management at Strickland, particularly in the matter of enclosure, was contested by Alan Bellingham and denounced in the Star Chamber by Agnes Musgrave, who contended that these ‘intakes or improvements’ were ‘like to be a beggarous and undoing’ to the tenants of the manors concerned. Fallowfield also had dealings with the German miners in the Lake District; he provided them with large quantities of charcoal and was involved in several lawsuits possibly arising out of these transactions. Neither a will nor an inquisition post mortem has been discovered to throw light on his end, but he is last mentioned in 1573 and his heir was his son Edward.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. J. Taylor


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. lv. 175-6; Nicolson and Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. i. 448.
  • 2. Northern Hist. i. 49; LP Hen. VIII, xviii; CPR, 1563-6, pp. 35, 36.
  • 3. Nicolson and Burn, i. 448; M. W. Taylor, Old Manorial Halls of Westmld. and Cumb. 99; F. J. Field, An Armorial of Cumb. 137-8; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. viii. 330, lxiii. 185; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xviii; Hamilton Pprs. ii. 42; St.Ch.3/22/182.
  • 4. Nicolson and Burn, i. 448; CPR, 1558-60, p. 202; Recs. Barony of Kendal, ii (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. rec. ser. v), 11, 76, 110, 332; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 51; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. lviii. 154, 157.
  • 5. Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. xxviii. 267, lv. 174-6; Beetham Repository (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. vii), 78, 111, 116, 137, 143; Reg. Bps. Tunstall and Pilkington (Surtees Soc. clxi), 111; Nicolson and Burn, i. 448.