WATERTON, Thomas I (by 1501-58), of Walton Sandal, Yorks.

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 1501, o. s. of Sir Robert Waterton of Walton and Sandal by Muriel, da. of John Leeke of Sutton in the Dale, Derbys. m. (1) by 1526, Joan, da. of Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell and Bowling, Yorks., 5s. inc. Thomas II 7da.; (2) 1549, Agnes, da. of John Cheyne of Drayton Beauchamp, Bucks., wid. of Edward Restwold (d. June 1547) of The Vache, Bucks., ?s.p. suc. fa. 26 Feb. 1541. Kntd. 11 May 1544.2

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks. (W. Riding) 1539-45; commr. benevolence 1544/45, relief 1550; sheriff, Yorks. 1553-4.3


The Waterton family was an ancient one of Lincolnshire origin; it had come to Walton through the marriage of Richard Waterton. The earliest references to Thomas Waterton show him enjoying the support of his father-in-law Sir Richard Tempest. In 1532-4 Tempest backed his claim to the wardship of Edward, son and heir of Joscelyn Percy of Beverley and grandson of Henry, 4th Earl of Northumberland. The nine year-old Edward had been married to Waterton’s daughter Elizabeth, a match which his uncle Sir William Percy called ‘a sorry bargain, his blood considered’. Since a Waterton was a fit bride for a Percy, the complaint may echo a traditional hostility between the families. The dispute was eventually settled in Waterton’s favour, and of the children of the marriage one, Alan Percy, was to sit for Beverley in the Parliament of 1604 and his younger brother Thomas to be connected with that Parliament in a less conventional way. In June 1542 Waterton was granted another wardship, that of Thomas Pilkington, whom he married to his daughter Rosamund.4

Nothing has come to light about Waterton’s conduct during the rebellion of 1536 but unlike his father-in-law he seems to have emerged from it uncompromised and within three years he was named to the West Riding bench. From 1542 he was engaged in the Scottish war. In May 1544 he had command of 100 men and was knighted by the Earl of Hertford at Leith. In the following March he was among the captains appointed to garrison the borders but at the end of April (Sir) Robert Bowes reported that he wished to return home on weighty private business. It was Bowes, then a prisoner of the Scots, whom he had replaced as a knight for Yorkshire in the Parliament of 1542, to which he was returned on 5 Feb. 1543, only a week before Bowes’s release; he presumably attended the remainder of the second session and the third early in 1544. The sheriff who returned him, Sir Thomas Tempest, was either his brother-in-law or the more distant relative who had sat for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1529. The names of the Yorkshire knights in the next Parliament are lost, but Waterton was probably not re-elected as he would then have superseded Bowes, returned on this occasion for Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is also unlikely that Waterton was the first knight of the shire in March 1553, whose christian name ‘Thomas’ alone survives on the indenture; his four nominations as sheriff between 1548 and 1551 without being pricked, and his subsequent choice as the first Marian sheriff, alike argue against his choice for that Parliament. As sheriff at the election for Mary’s second Parliament he doubtless had a hand in his son’s adoption for Thirsk.5

Waterton may have owed his second marriage into a Buckinghamshire family to the Tempest connexions with that county. The marriage allied Waterton with the Peckham family, and it was with Sir Edmund, Sir Robert, Henry and George Peckham, and Sir Francis Hastings of Fenwick, Yorkshire, that in 1555 he received a lease for 21 years of certain lands of Richard Bunny in Yorkshire, lands which he had himself seized into the hands of the crown when sheriff.6

Waterton died apparently intestate on 28 July 1558.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: L. M. Kirk / Alan Davidson


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/63/58. Glover’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 105; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxx. ped. bet. pp. 418 and 419; Gooder, Parlty. Rep. Yorks. ii. 4; VCH Bucks. iii. 188; Misc. Gen. et Her. ii. 134-5.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xiv-xvii, xx; CPR, 1553, p. 353.
  • 4. Yorks Arch. Jnl. xxx. 349, 371, 391, 397; LP Hen. VIII, v-vii, xvii, add.; G. Brenan, House of Percy, ii. 99, 370-1; DNB (Percy, Thomas).
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xvii, xix, xx; HMC Bath, iv. 58, 66, 72, 92; CPR, 1553, pp. 328, 338, 348, 375.
  • 6. Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 314; CPR, 1550-3, p. 427; 1554-5, pp. 294-5.
  • 7. C142/116/38.