MILDMAY, Thomas I (bef.1515-66), of Moulsham, Essex and London.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. bef. 1515, 1st s. of Thomas Mildmay of Chelmsford, Essex by his w. Agnes Read; bro. of Sir Walter. m. Avis, da. of William Gonson of London, 8s. inc. Thomas II 7da.1

Offices Held

Auditor ct. of augmentations 1536-c.54; jt. auditor, duchy of Cornw. 1537, sole 1556; auditor ct. of gen. surveyors by 1545; j.p. Essex 1541, q. 1554, commr. subsidy by 1550; sheriff, Essex and Herts. 1558-9; ‘ass. man.’ commr. duchy of Cornw. 1563.2


Mildmay, brother of Queen Elizabeth’s chancellor of the Exchequer, was born into an Essex family of humble origin which had risen to some prosperity by the efforts of his father. Mildmay himself married the daughter of a. treasurer of marine causes who was a colleague of Thomas Cromwell.3

It was Mildmay’s position as auditor of the duchy of Cornwall which gained him a parliamentary seat on six occasions. He had visited Lostwithiel, which he represented in 1559, in almost every autumn since 1537 to audit the duchy accounts. He was sufficiently prominent to secure his own return in 1559 and that of his son in the next Parliament. At the time of the return in January 1559, Mildmay was sheriff of his native county.4

In 1564 Mildmay was described by the bishop of London as ‘indifferent in religion’, an estimate confirmed by his earlier career. He retained his offices during Mary’s reign and was active as a justice in prosecuting protestants in Essex. Still, he was on intimate terms with Sir Philip Hoby who, when inviting Sir William Cecil to spend the Christmas of 1557 with him at Bisham, used Mildmay’s intended presence as an inducement. During the disturbed months following Queen Elizabeth’s accession, Mildmay was one of those to whom the Privy Council entrusted the task of suppressing (and sometimes arresting) unlicensed preachers in Essex.5

In November 1565 Mildmay’s name was deleted from a commission for piracy in Essex, probably because of ill-health, for two months later he made his will and within a year he was dead. He made provision for the education and maintenance of his younger sons, but left the bulk of his lands in Essex and property in London to his eldest son Thomas. Among several charitable bequests was an annuity of twenty marks to Chelmsford school, of which he and his brother Sir Walter were governors, and property at Moulsham out of which the bishop of London was to maintain six poor people of the parish. Mildmay died 21 Sept. 1566, was buried at Chelmsford beside his wife, and the will was proved in January 1567 by the heir and his uncle Sir Walter Mildmay.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 250-1.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xii(1), pp. 602-3; xiii(1), p. 573; xvi. p. 280; xx(2), p. 554; CPR, 1553, p. 353; 1553-4, p. 19; 1554-5, p. 107; Duchy Cornw. roll 123, m. 3d; 235, m. 5; 501, m. 1.
  • 3. Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. n.s. xv. 7-9, 12; LP Hen. VIII, xi, pp. 114-15, 140, 253, 367; xii(1), pp. 113, 218, 239, 265; (2), p. 282; xiii(1), p. 573; xv. p. 478; xix(1), p. 637; CPR, 1560-3, pp. 563, 613-14.
  • 4. Duchy Cornw. roll 123, m. 6v; 225, m. 13; LP Hen. VIII, xix(2), p. 271.
  • 5. Cam. Misc. ix (3), p. 62; Strype, Eccles. Memorials, iii(1), p. 440; APC, v. 172; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 95; APC, vii. 87-8, 92.
  • 6. HMC Hatfield, i. 266; APC, vii. 109, 285; PCC 3 Stonard; C142/147/142; T. Wright, Hist. Essex, i. 79.