GOURNEY, Thomas (by 1529-74), of Townstall, Dartmouth, Devon.

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 1529. m. Thomasin, 1s. 1da.2

Offices Held

2nd bailiff, Dartmouth 1552-3, mayor 1557-8.3


Thomas Gourney’s parentage has not been established, although his descendants were to claim kinship with a gentle family in Norfolk and with Sir Richard Gurney, the royalist lord mayor of London at the outbreak of the Civil War. Gourney shipped cloth from Dartmouth, where he was a prominent figure. His Membership of Parliament was a natural extension of his local career, and he was mayor when returned to Mary’s last Parliament with Gregory Huckmore, a local gentleman linked with the 2nd Earl of Bedford. Nothing is known about Gourney’s part in this Parliament, but during the prorogation his questioning of a Spaniard arrested by a deputy to the vice-admiral of Devon led to an appearance before the earl and then before the court of Admiralty, the matter not being settled until 1562. Gourney was to sit twice more under Elizabeth, and to die intestate, the administration being granted to his widow on 16 Oct. 1574.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from his subsidy assessment in 1550, E179/99/321. Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 433.
  • 3. E134/28-29 Eliz.; C219/21/44; Exeter city lib. Dartmouth mss 2003, f. 11.
  • 4. Vis. Devon, 433; DNB (Gurney, Sir Richard); E122/201/13, ff. 20v, 26v; Exeter city lib. DD 61409; 61414A; 61415; 61418B; 61420; PCC admon. act. bk. 1574, f. 59v.