GAMULL, Thomas (1571-1613), of Chester.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1571, 1st s. of Edmund Gamull of Chester by his 1st w. Eliza, da. of Thomas Case of Eaton, Cheshire. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1587, BA Queen’s 1591; I. Temple 1592, called 1603. m. Alice, da. of Richard Bavand of Chester, wid. of David Lloyd of Chester, 1 surv. s.

Offices Held

Freeman, Chester 1601, alderman 1602, recorder 1605.


The Gamulls came originally from Knighton in Staffordshire, settling in Cheshire at the end of the fifteenth century. They became known at Chester when Gamull’s father was admitted to the freedom in anticipation of his marriage to his second wife, the widow of an alderman. Later he acquired property and influence there, becoming mayor in 1585. Gamull himself probably spent most of his early years in London, first studying and later practicing law. He retained his Chester connexions, joining his father in purchasing lands in and around the city, and marrying the daughter of a former mayor and widow of another. His name is not mentioned in the parliamentary journals for 1601, but he may have attended two committees to which the Members for Chester were appointed concerning fines in Chester (25 Nov.) and the vicarage of Rotherstone (2 Dec.). His election as recorder in 1605 was a triumph for the city. On the death of the previous holder, James I wished to nominate an outsider, but the citizens insisted on their rights under the charter to choose someone who was already an alderman. In 1607 the 6th Earl of Derby recommended Gamull to Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, when he had a suit before the Privy Council about a causeway on the river Dee.

In his will, made 2 Aug. 1613, Gamull confirmed various agreements about purchases made with his father, but asked in return that the settlement on his wife of lands in Staffordshire and Shropshire and at Buerton and Audlem in Cheshire should be performed. To his brother-in-law he left his chambers in the Inner Temple with half the books there, the other half going to his ‘kind and faithful friend Hugh Davenport’. The remainder of his property he bequeathed to his wife and sole surviving son, except the manors of Little Saghall and Shotwick, which he left to his brother William. After bequests of plate to the city of Chester and rings to a number of friends, including Sir John Savage, he appointed his wife, his father and Hugh Davenport executors. He died v.p. eight days later and was buried at St. Mary-on-the-Hill, Chester, where a monument records that his ‘remarkable sweetness of temperament was worthily matched by a consummate dignity of manner’. The widow married his successor as recorder, Edward Whitby.

J. P. Earwaker, St. Mary-on-the-Hill, Chester, 39-41; Vis. Cheshire 1580 (Harl. Soc. xviii), 268-9; Vis. Cheshire 1613 (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lviii), 103-4; Chester RO ass. bk. f. 269v, 272v; G. Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 474-5; CSP Dom. 1603-10, pp. 378, 426; D’Ewes, 651, 662; G. L. Fenwick, Chester, 179-81; Harl. 1991, f. 123-5; Cheshire Inquisitions (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxvi), 32 seq.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Patricia Hyde