CONSTABLE, Thomas (by 1500-58 or later), of Flamborough, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. by 1500, 2nd s. of Sir Robert Constable, and bro. of Sir Marmaduke II. m. (1) Barbara, da. and h. of one Catherall of Great Grimsby, Lincs., 1s. 1da.; (2) a da. of Robert Haldenby of Haldenby, Yorks., 1s. 1da.1
Alderman, Grimsby by 1554.2
Thomas Constable is first heard of in 1534, when he was wounded in an affray at York assizes arising from the long-standing feud between his father and his uncle Sir William Percy. Two years later Sir Robert Constable’s part in the Pilgrimage of Grace led to his attainder and execution. Like his elder brother Marmaduke, Constable came through unscathed but without his share in the forfeited patrimony, although in 1540 inquiries were made into his father’s gift of a manor to him and his younger brother William and in 1546 their title to lands in Lincolnshire was again under review. By that time, however, his fortunes had probably been revived by his marriage to a Grimsby heiress: in August 1544 he was one of a 32-man consortium which paid £2,136 for monastic lands in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. When in 1549 there was a threat of rebellion in Yorkshire, Constable manifested his loyalty by pursuing and capturing the ringleader.3
Constable was associated with Grimsby from at least 1545, when he was appointed an arbitrator to settle a local dispute in the mayor’s court. It was doubtless his municipal standing which secured his election for the borough to two of Mary’s Parliments, but this was probably reinforced by his relationship with the 5th Earl of Westmorland, who married Constable’s niece Jane in or after 1549. He was also related to the earls of Rutland, who had considerable Lincolnshire property, and in 1542 he had witnessed the will of the 1st Earl. As a Member of the Parliament of November 1554 Constable was one of those informed against in the King’s bench in Easter term 1555 for withdrawing without leave before the dissolution. He failed to appear, even though he attended the next Parliament towards the close of that year, and was distrained 12 times, to a total amount of £2 0s.8d., before the case lapsed with the death of the Queen. He did not join the opposition to one of the government’s bills in the Parliament of 1555.4
The final distraint of Michaelmas 1558 is the last reference which has been found to Constable, who may thus have died at about that time, perhaps of the epidemic disease then abroad.
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: T. M. Hofmann
- 1. Date of birth estimated from elder brother’s. Foster, Yorks. Peds. ii. unpaginated.
- 2. C219/23/79.
- 3. M. H. and R. Dodds, Pilgrimage of Grace, i. 47; DNB (Constable, Sir Robert); LP Hen. VIII, xv, xix, xxi; Foxe, Acts and Mons. v. 740.
- 4. Great Grimsby AO, ct. bk. 1539-48, f. 82 et passim; PCC 28 Pynnyng; KB27/1176-88.