CRESSENER, Thomas (by 1466-1515/44), of Bures, Essex; Whissonsett and London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1466. 2nd s. of Sir Alexander Cressener of Alphamstone, Essex by Cecily, da. of Sir John Radcliffe of Attleborough, Norf. m. Eleanor, da. of Sir Edward Woodhouse of Kimberley, Norf., wid. of Edmund Hastings (d.1487) and John Bozom (d.1490) of Whissonsett, at least 1s.2

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Essex 1514, 1515.3


That one of the Members for Maldon in the Parliament of 1512 bore the surname Cressener is revealed by an entry in the Maldon chamberlains’ account for that year; that his christian name was Thomas is inferred from the appointment of Thomas Cressener as a commissioner for the subsidy granted by that Parliament in 1514. The only Thomas Cressener with the necessary qualifications was probably in his forties in 1512. Known to have owed suit of court to Maldon in 1510-11, either as a freeman or as a landholder, he evidently did not need to be admitted to the freedom at the time of his election, as did many of the borough’s Members, but whether he had acquired it at an earlier one the incomplete records do not show. Under his father’s will of 1496, of which he was an executor, he had received a life interest in lands at Moores and Boxted in Suffolk, and to this he added one in Whissonsett, Norfolk, through his marriage to the widow of John Bozom; it was as of Essex, London and Norfolk that he sued out a pardon in 1509. Morant’s statement that Cressener had narrowly escaped execution for supporting Perkin Warbeck may well be true, for his cousin John Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter, was beheaded in the same cause in 1496. Cressener probably served his second cousin Robert Radcliffe, afterwards 1st Earl of Sussex, and benefited by his patronage at Maldon: it is possible that Cressener had sat for the borough in the Parliament of 1504 at which Radcliffe was restored in blood. After doing so in 1512 he is also likely to have been re-elected in 1515, when the name of only one of the Members, John Strangman, is known; on that occasion the King asked for the return of the previous Members, and Cressener’s reappearance on the subsidy commission of that year suggests that he had sat again. Of what befell him thereafter all that has been established is that he was dead by 1544 when his widow made a will containing a bequest to their son John. This John Cressener was probably the servant, described as of Woodham Walter, to whom the Earl of Sussex had left an annuity two years earlier. It is not known whether the elder Cressener had lived to promote his stepson John Bozom’s election for Maldon in 1523.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Essex RO, D/B3/3/64.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from appointment as a feoffee to use in 1487. Morant, Essex, ii. 265-6; Norf. Arch. xxii. 104-5; PCC 31 Vox.
  • 3. Statutes, iii. 115, 119.
  • 4. Essex RO, D/B3/1/2, f. 105; D/B3/64; CCR, 1485-1500, p. 329; Feet of Fines, Essex, iv. ed. Reaney and Fitch, 88; LP Hen. VIII, i; PCC 31 Vox, 1 Alen; Morant, ii. 266; Norf. Arch. xxii. 104-5.