MOIGNE, Thomas (by 1510-37), of Willingham, Lincs.

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 1510, 1st s. of Alexander Moigne of Sixhills by Anne, da. of John Copledike of Harrington. educ. I. Temple. m. c.1531, Bridget, da. of Sir William Hansard of South Kelsey, 2da. suc. fa. 1528/29.2

Offices Held

J.p. Lincs. (Kesteven) 1531, (Lindsey) 1531-2; commr. sewers, Cambs., Hunts., Lincs., Norf., Notts. and Lynn 1531, tenths of spiritualities, Lincs. and Lincoln 1535; recorder, Lincoln 11 July 1532-d.; escheator, Lincs. 1532-3.3


Thomas Moigne came of an old Lincolnshire family which had furnished several sheriffs and Members of Parliament in the 15th century. Active in his inn of court from 1529 and placed on the Lincolnshire bench in 1531, he was made a freeman of Lincoln two weeks after becoming recorder in July 1532. On the death of Richard Clerke in 1530 Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, had asked for the nomination to the recordership, but nothing has been found to suggest that Moigne was his candidate; his employment by the city to negotiate with the earl over its fee-farm may or may not imply that he was. It was evidently as recorder that Moigne was elected to the Parliament of 1536, when he replaced William Sammes despite the King’s request for the return of the previous Members. On 4 May 1536, just over a month before the Parliament opened, Moigne was paid 30s. towards his costs in riding up to London to seek a grant of the Lincoln chantries on behalf of the city; he and his fellow-Member Vincent Grantham also attempted to secure an Act of Parliament conveying to the city the property of the Black Monks there, thus anticipating the suppression of the house by three years.4

Moigne’s life was to be cut short by the Lincolnshire rebellion. At its outbreak in October 1536 he narrowly escaped capture at the Caistor sessions, only to be taken the next day at his own house and forced to serve as a captain of the rebels. When a letter arrived from the King on 10 Oct. Moigne was made to read it aloud, and on his own showing was in some danger when it was discovered that he had omitted a sentence, presumably the one stigmatizing the insurgents as ‘the rude commons of one shire, and that one of the most brute and beastly of the whole realm’. After the rising was over, most of the gentlemen who had been forced to join it were pardoned, but Moigne, who had been seen in friendly conversation with Robert Aske, was arrested and sent to London. He was returned to Lincoln and tried on 6 Mar. 1537, the only gentleman among 34 defendants and, as a lawyer, their spokesman. His ‘subtle allegations’ did not save any one of them, but the full penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering was reserved for himself and two others: it was carried out on 7 Mar. Moigne was named in the general Act of attainder of 1539 (31 Hen. VIII, c.15), passed when his successor as recorder, Anthony Missenden, was sitting for Lincoln, but his lands were to be recovered by his younger brothers in 1544. His widow married Vincent Grantham.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. M. Hofmann


  • 1. Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, ff. 254, 255v.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first commission. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 679; Lincoln Wills, ii (Lincoln Rec. Soc. x), 79-80.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, v, vi, viii; Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, f. 244.
  • 4. Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 94-114 passim; J. W. F. Hill, Tudor and Stuart Lincoln, 28, 42; Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, ff. 216v, 224-4v, 254, 255-5v.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xi-xv, xix; M. H. and R. Dodds, Pilgrimage of Grace, i. 36, 55, 90, 98-100, 106, 110, 126-7, 140-1; ii. 150-2.