SOTHERTON, Thomas (by 1525-83), of Norwich, Norf.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Common councilman, Norwich prob. 1547-54, common speaker 1554, 1555, auditor 1547, 1550, 1555, 1558, 1560, 1569, sheriff 1556-7, alderman 1557-d., mayor 1565-6.2
Thomas Sotherton, grocer, was admitted to the freedom of Norwich on 22 Dec. 1546 as the son of a citizen and alderman. Under his father’s will of six years before he had been given the reversion of the family house in Norwich on his mother’s death and £100 when he reached the age of 24. His early civic career is liable to confusion with his uncle’s of the same name, but he was probably a councilman from 1547, auditor in that and later years and twice common speaker. At the close of his term as sheriff in 1557, during which he had served with his brother Leonard, he was granted ‘his two free men’, that is, two nominations to the freedom, ‘as is accustomed to the sheriffs’. As sheriff he had to play his part in the Marian persecution.3
Sotherton was connected by marriage with many leading citizens: he and his brother John each married a daughter of Augustine Steward, whose will he was to supervise and who left him £10, and his sister married John Aldrich. It was during Aldrich’s mayoralty that Sotherton was first elected to Parliament. Of his part in that or the succeeding Parliament nothing has come to light. He died in 1583.4