RAWLINS, Thomas (d.1605 or 1606), of Little Wakering, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of (?John) Rawlins of Little Wakering by his w. Elizabeth. m. Mary, s.p.

Offices Held

Servant of 1st and 2nd Earls of Essex; j.p. Essex from c.1599, q. by 1601, sheriff 1604-5.


As on other occasions Cardigan Boroughs looked far afield for their representative in 1597. In the previous Parliament the influence of the Devereux family had procured the return of the end Earl of Essex’s comrade in arms, Sir Ferdinando Gorges. The same influence was no doubt behind Rawlins in 1597. He had been in the service of the 1st Earl, and he was one of the five confidential agents chosen, on the eve of the Earl’s death in 1576, to. carry out his last wishes and to serve as feoffee of his will, with special regard to the infant heir. No mention of Rawlins occurs in the journal of the 1597 Parliament, but he may have attended the committee on Newport bridge appointed 29 Mar. 1597. The Captain Rawlins in the service of the 2nd Earl was probably Thomas Rawlins’s brother John, to whom the Earl’s secretary Edward Reynolds wrote 2 Jan. 1602, saying that the death of Essex had dispersed all their friends and admonishing him ‘Perform well the business handed to you by your brother’. Again when Captain Rawlins was away, Reynolds wrote ‘your brother is in the country playing the good husband. His wife I think has the gift of enchanting’. Both John and Thomas Rawlins borrowed heavily from Reynolds, who wrote to his own brother, 30 June 1605:

Mr. Thomas Rawlins is extreme sick, and in great danger. You know how much of my poor state rested in their hands, and therefore it behoved me to hearken after them ... But you must inquire ... as in kindness, not ministering any suspicions of doubtfulness, for they are very apprehensive. If God call him, I pray you to advertise me by the first opportunity, for I must not [let] businesses of such moment to sleep, and be secure in such accidents, not knowing in what sort their state may be enjoyed.

Rawlins’s will—proved by his brother John 23 Mar. 1606—does not mention these debts. All his lands went to John Rawlins; another brother Edward and the poor of Little and Much Wakering were remembered and the widow Mary was to have his plate and his coach. Edward and Mary disputed the will, and sentence was given in favour of John Rawlins 2 Dec. 1606.

PCC 4 Alenger; 1, 28 Sainberbe; 31, 91 Stafforde; APC, xxix. 682-3; xxx. 436; CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 172; 1601-3, pp. 141, 213; 1603-10, passim; D’Ewes, 565; HMC Hatfield, viii. 261; xi. 407, 418-19; xiii. 553; Cam. Misc. xiii(3), 5; Lansd. 23, f. 152; SP14/14/62.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler