ARUNDELL, Thomas (d.1443), of Tolverne in Philleigh, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

2nd. s. of (Sir) John Arundell I* and yr. bro. of John II*. m. (I) by 1407, Margery (d. 26 Oct. 1420), da. and coh. of Sir Warin Archdeacon† of Ruan Lanihorn, Cornw., s.p.; (2) 1426, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Thomas Paulet, wid. of William Bigbury of Bigbury, Devon, 2s. 2da. Kntd. by Mar. 1419.1


Offices Held

Commr. of array, Cornw. Mar. 1419, June 1421, May 1435, Jan. 1436, Mar. 1443; inquiry Aug. 1426 (necromancy), July 1429 (trade), Devon Mar., May 1430, May, June 1431 (piracy), Cornw. Aug. 1431, Dec. 1432 (wastes at Helston), Devon Dec. 1431, June 1432, Aug. 1433, Cornw. June 1433, Feb., Apr. 1434 (piracy), Sept. 1434 (extortion), Mar., Aug. 1435 (piracy), Oct. 1435 (suicide of Edward Burnebury*), Nov. 1435, Devon May 1436, Cornw. May, Nov. 1441, Mar., Aug. 1442 (piracy); oyer and terminer Feb. 1429, July 1432, July 1440; to take musters, Fowey and Falmouth June 1430, Plymouth June 1431; assess a parliamentary grant, Cornw. Apr. 1431; of arrest Dec. 1433; to raise loans Nov. 1440; treat for payment of subsidies Feb. 1441.


Sheriff, Cornw. 1 May 1422-13 Nov. 1423, 12 Dec. 1426-7 Nov. 1427, 5 Nov. 1432-5 Nov. 1433, Devon 7 Nov. 1437-3 Nov. 1438.


J.p. Cornw. 20 July-Sept. 1433, Jan. 1436- d. 2



Arundell, whose father and elder brother both sat in Parliament for Cornwall, succeeded to a tradition of service only to be expected in a family of such prominence. Arundell’s own activities were hardly to be compared with those of his father, and were confined to the south-west, but here he did notable work, particularly in commissions of inquiry into piracy.

Arundell was present at the Cornish elections to the Parliaments of 1414 (Nov.) and 1416 (Mar.), when he was still in his early twenties. In July 1417 he undertook to serve in Henry V’s second expedition to Normandy and was mustered in the retinue of his distant relation, Lord Mautravers. However, he could not have stayed abroad for long, since he accompanied his father to Parliament in November following. Knighted before 1419, perhaps for further services abroad, he was then sent with his brother, John Arundell II, to Parliament, the two shire knights having been returned by their father as sheriff of Cornwall. Both brothers made advantageous marriages, Thomas himself succeeding to a part of the extensive Archdeacon estates in right of his first wife, to whom he had been contracted when still a minor. Her share, by agreement with her two surviving sisters, comprised the manors of Antony, Penpoll, Landege (Kea) and Roseworthy, £12 rent from Elerkey (in Veryan) and the advowson of Lanihorne, all in Cornwall. More directly, Arundell also received property from his own family: he and his second wife held two manors of the gift of his father, and he was to die seized of six others, together with 63 messuages and 54 furlongs of land, scattered over Cornwall, which Sir John had also settled on him. The 1428 assessment for parliamentary taxation found him also holding Bigbury (Devon), his wife’s dower from a previous marriage. That Henry, duke of Warwick, sought to obtain the marriage of his heir in 1445 is some indication of his territorial standing.3

Although apparently more active than his elder brother’s, Thomas Arundell’s public life was rather uneventful, for his four annual terms of office as sheriff only reflected his family’s position. Indeed, after his third term, he was amerced five marks ‘for his insufficient return of a writ ... at the suit of the King’. However, whether or not such neglect was characteristic, his continuity of service as a j.p. seems to have been interrupted only because he was sheriff when fresh commissions were issued in 1433. When sheriff, he ex officio held the parliamentary elections of 1422, 1423, 1427 and 1433, on every occasion returning one or two members of his own family. But he was no stranger to the hustings while out of office: indeed, he attended in 1421, 1425, 1427, 1431 and 1436 as well. As might be expected, his name appears in the list of those who in 1434 were to take the general oath not to maintain breakers of the peace.4

After his father’s death in 1435, and until his nephew’s minority ended in 1443, Sir Thomas was the head of the family. The arrangements whereby he married his daughter to a local squire during this period show how important financial considerations were in matrimonial matters. In December 1438 an indenture was drawn up between Arundell and Ralph Reskymer for the marriage of the former’s daughter (Philippa) to the latter’s son. Reskymer was to settle land to the value of £10 on the couple within two weeks of the marriage, more at a later date. Arundell, who paid 100 marks for the arrangement, was to have the ‘kepyng and the governance’ of the young couple ‘tille that thei kune rewele ham by reson and discrecion’. If Philippa should die before the marriage, her place was to be taken by her sister. (This is what in fact happened, and within two years.) In the event of the bride’s death within six years of the contract, the lands settled on her by Reskymer were to revert to Arundell for the next six years. Arundell’s own heir married into the influential family of Courtenay. died on 24 June 1443.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421


  • 1. J.P. Yeatman, House of Arundel , 214; CPR , 1416-22, p. 209; Devon and Cornw. N. and Q. xvii. 171; xx. 154-6, 160.
  • 2. He was included in two commissions posthumously: CPR , 1441-6, p. 468.
  • 3. C219/11/4, 8; Gesta Hen. V ed. Williams, 271; CFR , xiii. 86; xvii. 272-3; CCR , 1409-13, p. 159; 1413-19, p. 310; Feudal Aids , i. 220, 233-5, 452; CPR , 1441-6, p. 372; C139/112/57; Huntington Lib. San Marino, Hastings ms HAM box lxxiv.
  • 4. C219/12/5, 6, 13/1-3, 5, 14/2, 4; CFR , xv. 224; CPR , 1429-36, p. 377.
  • 5. CAD , iv. A7401, 10006, 10331; Yeatman, 214; C139/112/57.