THRELKELD, Thomas (by 1527-1598/1603), of Burgh by Sands, Cumb.

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 1527, s. of William Threlkeld of Burgh by Sands. m. (1) at least 1s.; (2) Magdalen, at least 1s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Burgh by Sands ?1564-d.3


Only the christian name Thomas and the opening ‘Th’ of the surname survive on the return as clues to the identity of the first knight of the shire for Cumberland in the fourth Marian Parliament. It was Browne Willis who first suggested that he was Thomas Threlkeld, and what has come to light about Threlkeld makes this the most acceptable of several such guesses. One of the Threlkelds of Melmerby, a branch of the better known family settled at Threlkeld, he was a younger son of a bailiff of Burgh by Sands who died in or before 1564 and his own tenure of the office probably began at that time; in October 1566 he and three others obtained a lease for 21 years of the rectory of Burgh. The manor of Burgh belonged to the Dacre family, and Threlkeld could have been returned in 1555 at the instance of William, 3rd Lord Dacre, whereas his fellow-knight Henry Curwen was a client of Thomas Wharton, 1st Baron Wharton. Neither he nor Curwen appears on the list of Members of this Parliament who opposed one of the government’s bills.4

Threlkeld was one of the tenants of lands in and around Newbiggin, near Penrith, bought in December 1548 by a London scrivener, Thomas Brende. This was shortly after his brother John Threlkeld had been captured by the Scots while commanding the horsemen of the barony of Burgh; Wharton’s description on this occasion of the Threlkelds, father and sons, as poor men may have been meant to discourage hopes of a large ransom. Another brother, Edward, rose in the Church to become archdeacon of Carlisle and chancellor of Hereford; by his will of 1588 he bequeathed property in Burgh and Holme Cultram to his nephews Richard and William, Thomas Threlkeld’s sons by his two marriages, with remainder to their father. Threlkeld made his own will on 24 Aug. 1598. Describing himself as bailiff of Burgh, he made his wife Magdalen and his daughter Elizabeth the chief legatees and appointed them executrices. It was his widow who proved the will on 23 June 1603, Elizabeth being still a minor.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. C219/24/36; Browne Willis, Notitia Parl. iii(2), 48.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. W. Jackson, Pprs. and Peds. (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc.), ii. 322-5, ped. bet. pp. 328-9.
  • 3. Ibid. 324.
  • 4. Ibid. 282 seq., 296, 305, 312-13, 320; CPR, 1563-6 p. 462.
  • 5. CPR, 1548-9, p. 70; CSP Dom. 1601-3, Add. 1547-65, p. 374; Al. Cant. i(4), 238; Jackson, 322-5; PCC 9 Leicester.