THROCKMORTON, Anthony (d.1592/3), of London and Box, Wilts.

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

8th s. of Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton, Warws. by Katherine, da. of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux; bro. of Clement, George, John I, Kenelm, Sir Nicholas and Robert. m. bef. Apr. 1555, Catherine, da. and coh. of William Willington of Marcheston, Warws., wid. of William Catesby of Ashby Legers, Northants., 5s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Keeper, Haseley park, Warws. 1553.2


Throckmorton was a citizen and mercer of London who combined trade with the role of landed proprietor. Of his early life the only hint is that a ‘gentleman’ of that name was the tenant, and perhaps the occupier, of a tenement in St. Mary-le-Bow, London, in 1548. But from 1553 his career can be traced in some detail. Early in Mary’s reign Anthony Throckmorton, described as the Queen’s servant, was granted the keepership of Haseley park, Warwickshire, at a fee of 2d. a day, and an additional 20s. a year for the bailiwick of the lordship; he was also given a lease for life of the herbage and pannage of the park. The office had been held by his father, and its grant to Sir George’s youngest son was doubtless a mark of royal favour to this prominent family.3

In April 1555 Throckmorton’s father-in-law, Willington, put lands in trust for himself for life and then for his son-in-law and daughter. The property concerned lay on the borders of Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire. After Willington’s death his daughter and her husband went to law with Sir Ambrose Cave over his personal estate. Throckmorton’s purchases of Milbourne Grange, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in February 1556 (sold in April 1565 to Sir Thomas Leigh) and, in partnership with Sir Robert Lane, of the crown manors of Addington, Northamptonshire, and Brinklow, Warwickshire, with parcels in other counties, for over £1,000, suggest an ability and disposition to dabble profitably in land speculation. In these transactions Throckmorton was styled ‘of Chastleton’, Oxfordshire.4

Throckmorton’s role in public affairs during these years is briefly illuminated by his examination, in March 1556, by Sir John Browne in connexion with the Dudley conspiracy. It does not appear that he was either implicated in, or punished for, this affair, with which his own later career suggests that he would not have been sympathetic.5

Towards the end of his life Throckmorton was described by the 2nd Earl of Pembroke as ‘her Majesty’s sworn man’ and no servant of his. It thus appears that he stood in the same relation to Elizabeth as he had to Mary. Although there is no evidence that his service was more than nominal, it may have been of some help to him in finding a seat in the Commons. His return to Elizabeth’s second Parliament for Cricklade he doubtless owed, in common with most of that borough’s Members during the reign, to his connexion with the Brydges family. Among his fellows in that House were his brother Sir Nicholas, elected for Lyme Regis at a by-election in 1566, and Sir Nicholas’s father-in-law, Sir Nicholas Carew, who sat for Castle Rising. As a resolute Catholic, however, he must have found much of the proceedings obnoxious; and even if he had wished to sit again, the imposition of the oath of supremacy would have inhibited him.6

The last 15 years of Throckmorton’s life were clouded by his sufferings for his faith. In May 1564 he had bought the site of Cheshunt priory from Henry Denny, and in the following May he acquired from Sir John Mason the manor of Charlton, Middlesex. He continued to receive an income from Warwickshire property, but it was as a resident in Hertfordshire that he was presented, with his wife, in October 1577 as having ‘obstinately for many years refused to come to their church to hear divine service’. Throckmorton had already spent six weeks in the Fleet during May and June 1577, and he was to undergo at least three further spells of imprisonment, in 1581 in the King’s bench prison, in 1582-3 in the Gatehouse, and in 1592 in a prison unnamed. He may also have been the recusant about whose custody Archbishop Whitgift wrote to Sir Thomas Heneage in January 1587. Throckmorton was doubtless the victim, not simply of his own recusancy, but of the treasonable activities associated with his named.7

Throckmorton died between 24 July 1592 and 13 Nov. 1593. His will, made on 20 Feb. 1591, opens with an affirmation of his membership of the Catholic Church. The value of his estate shows that his sufferings did not include impoverishment. By the will itself, and two codicils of 20 and 24 July 1592, he left to his wife all the houses and tenements which he had on lease from the Mercers’ Company, all his household goods and plate (including certain items formerly belonging to Arnold Everden), £500 and the forfeiture of an outstanding recognizance of £200. She was also to have, if she chose, his mansion house or houses in St. Martin’s Lane for 30 years, or her lifetime, at an annual rent of £15. To the four friends whom he named his executors, John Talbot of Grafton, Worcestershire, Francis Browne of Henley Park, Surrey, Edward Gage of Bentley, Sussex, and John Gage of Wormesley Grange, Herefordshire, he bequeathed the remainder of his goods and lands, including his property in St. Lawrence’s Lane, London, and at Box, Wiltshire. Of two debts owing to him by Sir Thomas Throckmorton he forgave one, of £190, and bequeathed the other, of £50, to Sir Thomas’s son William: he also left Sir Thomas’s three daughters £200 between them. Other bequests to relatives, friends and servants amounted to £343, and there were in addition two annuities of 26s.8d. each. The testator directed that his clothes should be sold and the proceeds distributed in alms; and he left £10 to ‘the poor prisoners Catholics’ at Wisbech and £5 to those ‘about London’.8

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. T. Bindoff


  • 1. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 87-9; CSP Dom 1547-80, p. 76; Add. 1547-65, p. 439; CPR, 1566-9, p. 412; PCC 79 Nevell.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 200.
  • 3. CPR, 1547-8, p. 411; 1553-4, p. 200.
  • 4. CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, p. 439; C3/182/24, 25; CPR, 1555-7, pp. 63-4; 1557-8, pp. 237, 258; 1563-6, p. 271; VCH Warws. vi. 43.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 76.
  • 6. Lansd. 63, f. 187.
  • 7. CPR, 1563-6, pp. 135, 309; CSP Dom. Add. 1566-79, pp. 461, 505, 559; Cath. Rec. Soc. xxii. 51, 130; APC, xiii. 175-6, 217-18; HMC Hatfield, iv. 267; HMC 3rd Rep. 257.
  • 8. PCC 78, 79, Nevell.