LUCAS, Thomas (1530/31-1611), of the Inner Temple, London and Colchester, Essex.

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. 1530-31, 1st s. of John Lucas* of London and Colchester by 1st w. Mary, da. of John Abell of Essex. educ. Trinity Hall, Camb. matric. 1549; I. Temple, adm. 1550. m. Mary, da. of Sir John Fermor* of Easton Neston, Northants., 2s. 3da., 2 other ch. suc. fa. 13 Sept. 1556. Kntd. Sept. 1571.1

Offices Held

Bencher, I. Temple 1568-71.

J.p.q. Essex 1564-?d.; sheriff 1568-9, 1583-4; commr. musters 1572-73; recorder, Colchester c.1575.2


Thomas Lucas succeeded in 1556 to an estate which included St. John's abbey, Colchester, and extensive lands there and elsewhere in Essex. It was no doubt in recognition of this, and his father's services to the town, that he was elected at the close of the following year to the last of Mary's Parliaments: his fellow-Member was his step-uncle George Christmas. He had followed his father to the Inner Temple, where in November 1556 an outburst of the 'imperious and violent temper' which he was to display throughout his life had led to hsi expulsion from the inn and imprisonment in the Fleet. He was re-admitted and remained to become a bencher in 1568, although he afterwards bought himself out of the office and its concomitant reading with a fine of £20.3

Although judges a 'favourer of religion' in 1564 Lucas was not to sit in Parliament again: perhaps the turbulence which characterized both his public and private life told against him. He incurred repeated reprimands and two spells in prison, once for alleged complicity in an assauly committed by a servant upon one of the Queen's footmen at the assizes; but he could also earn commendation, as he did in 1596 for his handling of Sir John Smith's attempt to seduce the troopps under Lucas's training at Colchester. His feud with his brother Robert, which had begun before their father's death, brought them into the courts, and Robert Lucasdied owing him the £100 damages and costs awarded him in the King's bench.4

Lucas lived on until 1611, dying in August or September of that year and being buried in St. Giles's Colchester. His son and heir Thomas had killrf Sir William Brooke alias Cobham, and while uncertain of his son's fate Lucas had disposed of his lands to prevent their forfeit to the crown if his son were condemned for murder. In the event Thomas Lucas was pardoned, and his father's will, besides revoking the disposition of his lands, provided for his wife and the two sons and three married daughters who survived him. He left to the heir a 'needleword bed wrought with solk' by his step-mother with a direstion that it should never leave the family.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558


  • 1. Aged 80 at death. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 71, 235-6; Vis Suff. ed. Howard, ii. 13-14; PCC 20 Ketchyn; Morant, Essex, i. 124, app. 22-23.
  • 2. Essex RO, Ass. 35/7-32; Morant, i. 124; APC, ix. 340.
  • 3. Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 187, 259.
  • 4. Cam. Misc. ix(3), 62; APC, x. 69; xi.451; xii. 9, 153; xxv. 450, 459; xx. 178, 204; xxxii. 506; Lansd. 39, f. 152; CSP Dom. 1595-7, pp. 235-45, 249-50; St.Ch.3/9/69, 7/25/36; PCC 20 Carew, 50 Kidd.
  • 5. PCC 95 Wood.