TICHBORNE, Nicholas (by 1508-55), of Tichborne, Hants.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1508, 1st s. of Nicholas Tichborne of Tichborne and London by Anne, da. of Robert White of South Warnborough, Hants. educ. I. Temple. m. (1) by 1529, Julian, da. and coh. of Robert Fenrother of London, 1s. 3da.; (2) c.1540, Elizabeth, sis. and h. of James, Thomas and William Rithe of Totford, Hants, 6s. inc. Benjamin 4da. suc. fa. 1540 or later.1

Offices Held

Butler, I. Temple 1541-5.

Escheator, Hants and Wilts. 1536-7, 1544-5; j.p. sheriff 1547-d.; sheriff 1547-8, 1553-4; commr. chantries, Berks. and Hants 1548, relief, Hants 1550, proclamations 1551, goods of churches and fraternities 1553.2


The Tichborne family had held the Hampshire manor of that name since the 12th century and throughout that time had served the neighbouring see of Winchester. Nicholas Tichborne’s father did not die, as has often been stated, in or before 1513 but survived until at least 1540; there is, however, little risk of confusion between father and son, whose recorded careers hardly overlapped either at the Inner Temple or in their county. It was the ‘young Mr. Nicholas’ whose thanks for favours John Kingsmill conveyed to Thomas Wriothesley after visiting Tichborne in 1538 and whom in the following year he advised Wriothesley to have summoned to the Parliament then in session to act as ‘an indifferent man’ in the contention between Wriothesley and Gardiner. The Nicholas Tichborne assessed for the subsidy of 1541 on goods worth £40 in Bassinghaw ward, London, was probably also the son, whose first marriage had been to an alderman’s daughter, and it was almost certainly he who bought the Hampshire manor of Merifield from the crown in 1543.3

The war with France saw Tichborne engaged in the campaign for Boulogne and after its capture in the supply of troops from Hampshire for its garrison. When in 1545 the French raided the Isle of Wight he and his younger brother mustered and led 160 men to the defence of Portsmouth. His service in the field may have yielded him a seat in Henry VIII’s last Parliament, for which the names of the knights for Hampshire are lost, and it is possible, although unlikely, that he was the second knight in that of March 1553, whose name is also unknown. In 1547 it was his neighbour Sir Henry Seymour and his uncle Thomas White II who were elected, while he began his first shrievalty. On Mary’s accession, and with Gardiner restored to favour, he joined White in representing the shire, and but for his second shrievalty he might have done so again in either or both of the Parliaments of 1554. Although his Latin speech of welcome to the Queen and her new consort on their passage through Hampshire in July 1554 is to be taken as an official, and not necessarily a personal, statement of belief, there is no reason to doubt that Tichborne shared the Catholicism of his patrons and kinsmen or that he transmitted it to his children.4

Tichborne made his will on 15 May 1555 and died eight days later. He asked to be buried in the parish church, provided for his wife and children, and named Sir Thomas White overseer. His goods were valued for probate at £656. His 25 year-old heir Francis did not long survive him and in 1571 the Tichborne lands passed to the next son Benjamin.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 82, 125-6; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 166.
  • 2. CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1548-9, p. 136; 1550-3, p. 142; 1553, p. 358; NRA 10665 (Hants RO, Kingsmill ms 1223).
  • 3. Wilkes, Hants, ii. 17; VCH Hants, iii. 337; HP, ed. Wedgwood, 1439-1509 (Biogs.), 855-6; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 1 et passim; LP Hen. VIII, iii, v, x, xiii-xv, xviii; E179/144/120.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xix, xx; Wilkes, ii. 293; M. A. R. Graves, ‘The Tudor House of Lords 1547-58’ (Otago Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1974), ii. 201; J. E. Paul, ‘Hants recusants in the reign of Eliz. I’ (Southampton Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1958), passim.
  • 5. Hants RO, B wills 1555; C142/106/58; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 4-5, 148.