MAY, Thomas (c.1645-1718), of Rawmere, Lavant, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1645, o.s. of John May of Rawmere by Constance, da. and coh. of Thomas Panton of Westminister. m. lic. 14 May 1675, aged 30, Anne (d.1726), da. of Richard Aldworth of Stanlakes, Berks., s.p. suc. fa. 1677; kntd. 9 Mar. 1697.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Suss. 1679-80, 1689; common councilman, Chichester 1685-Feb. 1688; j.p. Suss. by 1690-?d.2


May’s uncle, a first cousin of Sir Algernon May, Baptist May, and (Sir) Richard May, sat for Midhurst in the Long Parliament until disabled for his part in the royalist occupation of Chichester, three miles from Rawmere, for which he was fined £900. Nothing is known of the political attitudes of May’s father, who did not inherit the estate until late in life. May himself was a churchman and a Tory, appointed to the corporation of Chichester under the new charter of 1685 and removed three years later, presumably as an opponent of James II’s religious policy. He was returned for the city in 1689, but he was not active in the Convention. He did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and attended the dinner given by the corporation of St. Pancras in Chichester to celebrate the first anniversary of William’s landing. He was added to the committee to examine prisoners of state on 15 Aug., and after the recess was appointed to those for the Duke of Buckingham’s estate bill and the illegitimation of the children conceived by the wife of John Lewknor II during her elopement. May served in two more Parliaments for Chichester as a Tory and was buried at Lavant on 30 July 1718. Under his will his cousin Thomas Brodnax inherited Rawmere and changed his name to May, later sitting for Canterbury as a Tory from 1734 to 1741.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: B. M. Crook


  • 1. Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 229; Narthants. N. and Q. i. 28.
  • 2. A. Hay, Hist. Chichester, 589; PC2/72/613.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 271; Cal. Comm. Comp. 639; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxiv. 137; Add. 5699, f. 575; PCC 220 Tenison.