TOLPAT, Peter (by 1526-63/64), of Chichester, Suss.

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 1526. m. by 1555, Anne, da. and h. of William Huntlowe ?of Dorset, wid. of Ralph Dunning (d.1544), of Chichester, d.s.p.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Chichester 1557, mayor 1559-60.2


Nothing has come to light about Peter Tolpat’s origin or upbringing. He may have been a kinsman of the Thomas Tolpat of Singleton and William Tolpat of Petworth who were assessed for subsidy in 1525 at £2 and £3 in goods respectively. In his will he was to mention three brothers, William, Robert and Richard, and a nephew John, but as none of these has been traced he must be accounted an exception to the family’s insignificance. This distinction he may have owed to his marriage to the widow of a local surgeon and cousin to a London haberdasher, whose property in Hayes and West Wickham, Kent, she received about 1553. Himself a mercer, in 1547 Tolpat leased a tenement in South Street, Chichester from the dean and chapter.3

Tolpat’s return to the last Marian Parliament followed an election dispute between the corporation and the commoners. As John Sherwin recalled the episode in the course of a Star Chamber suit nearly 30 years later, in the last Parliament holden in Queen Mary’s time, the commoners and the baser sort did of a will make choice in the guildhall of one Roger Drue, then a commoner and no free citizen or enfranchised of the said city.The Member elected by the commoners had to be either a citizen or a person whom the corporation was willing to admit to the freedom before his election was confirmed. On this occasion the corporation found Drue unacceptable an