THROCKMORTON, Thomas I (by 1516-68), of Corse Court, Corse and Tortworth, Glos.

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 1516, 1st s. of William Throckmorton of Tortworth by Margaret, da. and coh. of Sir David Mathew of Radyr, Glam.; bro. of John II. m. by 1538, Margaret, da. and coh. of Thomas Whittington of Pauntley, Glos., 2s. inc. Sir Thomas 2da. suc. fa. by May 1537, uncle George Throckmorton 16 Oct. 1548. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.2

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Glos. 1543, musters 1546, chantries 1548, relief 1550; escheator 1546-7; j.p. 1547-63, q. 1564-d.; servant of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset by 1548; sheriff, Glos. 1558-9; member, council in the marches of Wales 1560-d.3


Thomas Throckmorton belonged to a cadet branch of the well known family of that name. His father, who was sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1529-30, acquired Tortworth by marriage and made it the family seat. Throckmorton inherited his substantial patrimony when he was in his early twenties and within a dozen years he was to add to it his own further inheritance from an uncle and his wife’s as a coheir.4

By 1547 Throckmorton had served his apprenticeship in local government and had seen some military service against France and Scotland. It may have been his soldiering which brought him within the orbits of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and Somerset’s right-hand man John Thynne: in a grant of December 1548 Throckmorton is described as a servant of the Protector and in the following April he addressed Thynne as ‘my master’. It was with Thynne that he was coupled in May 1549 in a grant of ex-chantry lands in Gloucestershire and other counties which cost them £4,340. There can be little doubt that Throckmorton’s return for Heytesbury to the first Edwardian Parliament was a by-product of this relationship, especially as his fellow-Member Thomas Eynns was both an uncle of Thynne’s and a connexion by marriage of Throckmorton’s, whose kinsman Clement Throckmorton had married Eynns’s sister-in-law Catherine Neville. Clement was one of the four Throckmortons of Coughton, Warwickshire, who also sat in this Parliament. Of Thomas Throckmorton’s part in its proceedings nothing is known, but until the fall of Somerset, and with it the temporary disgrace of Thynne, he was doubtless a supporter of the regime both within and outside the House. A justice of the peace for Gloucestershire from 1547, he was regularly nominated for the shrievalty from 1548, although he was not to be pricked until ten years later.5

The reign of Mary began auspiciously for Throckmorton with the knighthood conferred on him on 2 Oct. 1553. As this took place three days before the opening of the Queen’s first Parliament, it might be inferred that he had come up to take a seat in the Commons, but unless his name was confused with that of his younger brother John, who is recorded as sitting for Wootton Bassett, he does not appear to have been elected. Two years later he was returned, this time for Westbury, where it is likely that he again owed his nomination to Thynne. In this Parliament he was among the Members who under the leadership of his Gloucestershire neighbour Sir Anthony Kingston voted against one of the government’s bills. This seems to have been the limit of his overt opposition to the Marian regime, but it was otherwise with his brother John, who took part in the Dudley conspiracy and was executed for treason in April 1556. Throckmorton himself did not escape suspicion and his services seem to have been little used for the rest of the reign: it was not he but his younger namesake of Coughton who sat in the Parliament of 1558.6

The picture changed with the accession of Elizabeth: within a week of that event Throckmorton was pricked sheriff of Gloucestershire and within two years he was put on the council in the marches. During his remaining years he was a leading figure in his shire, serving on many commissions and being active in suppressing recurrent disorders. In 1564 he advised Bishop Cheyney as to the suitability of his fellow-members of the Gloucestershire bench to continue in office. Throckmorton expanded and reorganized the family estates. Apart from his acquisitions through his wife and uncle and his purchases with Thynne, he bought property in Walton from the crown and the remainder of the manor of Tortworth from Thomas Morgan. Some of the chantry lands he soon alienated and he also sold part of his patrimony. The Gloucestershire estates on his death were more compact, consisting of two groups of manors, one in the north of the county and the other in the south west: at his inquisition they were valued at rather more than £120 a year. By his will he left his daughter Margaret a dowry of 500 marks; his wife’s jointure had been fixed after her marriage as the manors of Corse Court, Haw and Turley. The manor of Tortworth was assured to his executors for 40 years to pay debts, legacies and annuities, but with this proviso it and all the other properties were to pass to his eldest son Thomas, on condition that he paid his mother an additional annuity of £20. Throckmorton appointed his wife and George Huntley executors. He died on 1 Mar. 1568—not, as is stated in many works on Gloucestershire, in 1586: contemporary references to ‘Sir Thomas Throckmorton’ between 1568 and his son’s knighting in 1574 were made in error. He was buried in the church at Tortworth where a monument was erected to his memory.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from livery of inheritance in May 1537, LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1548-9, p. 267; 1553, p. 354; 1563-6, p. 22; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 358-9.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1548-9, p. 267; 1553, p. 354; 1563-6, p. 22; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 358-9.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xii; C142/86/90.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xix, xxi; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. ix. 84; Bath mss Thynne pprs. 2, ff. 43-43v, 161-161v; CPR, 1548-9, p. 329; 1553, pp. 328, 339, 348, 376, 387.
  • 6. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; D. M. Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies, 188-230 passim.
  • 7. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. viii. 306; x. 212; lix. 119, 148; APC, vii. 241; VCH Warws. iii. 112; LP Hen. VIII, xviii; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 95, 96; 1557-8, pp. 97-98; 1560-3, p. 394; 1563-6, p. 135; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 32; C142/149/130; PCC 8 Babington; D. Verey, Glos.: the Vale and Forest of Dean, 389.