FARMER, alias DRAPER, Thomas (d.1609), of Great Marlow, Bucks.
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Family and Education
Prob. s. of Robert Draper of Great Marlow. educ. M. Temple c.1553. m., at least 1s. b. c.1570.
Steward, Chipping Wycombe Aug. 1558; reader’s assistant, M. Temple, Lent 1561, autumn 1566, autumn reader 1561, Lent reader 1565, bencher 1561, auditor 1566, 1571, 1572.
Farmer was a lawyer who had a fair amount of land in Buckinghamshire. He sat on a number of local commissions but did not achieve the commission of the peace. His arms, granted in 1571, appear in one of the Middle Temple Hall windows. He was one of 16 lawyers asked by the Privy Council, in December 1588, to suggest which unnecessary or defective statutes should be ‘repealed or reformed’ at the forthcoming Parliament, and what new legislation should be introduced ‘for the better and more exact administration of justice’. His failure to achieve legal office under the Crown was no doubt due to his Catholicism: a list of double readers at the inns of court, drawn up in 1577, described him as ‘papist, very learned, rich’. There is no evidence that he himself was ever in trouble for his religious views, but his son John was an open recusant. The last reference found to him, before his death on 30 Jan. 1609, is as a grantee of the 1608 Middle Temple charter. According to the inquisition post mortem, taken at Chipping Wycombe on 26 Sept. 1609, he owned property at Great Marlow, Medmenham (where a Robert Draper had been vicar in 1454), and at various other places in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, together with a house in London.
Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 157; C142/308/120; CPR, 1557-8, p. 372; 1563-6, p. 260; 1566-9, p. 303; VCH Bucks. iii. 66, 75, 207 et passim; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 177, 616; iii. 442, 597, 603, 616; iv. 285; Bucks. Rec. Soc. viii. 23; J. Parker, Early Hist. Wycombe, 57; APC, xvi. 416; Master Worsley’s Bk. ed. Ingpen, 231.