PALMER, Thomas I (1542-by 1616), of Angmering, Suss. and Blackwall, Mdx.

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. Oct. 1542, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John Palmer of Angmering, being o.s. by his 2nd w. Mary, da. of William, 1st Baron Sandys. educ. ?G. Inn 1562. m. (1) Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Palmer of Parham, 7s. 1da.; (2) Alice. suc. fa. 1563. Kntd. 1573.1

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. 1572; sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1572-3; dep. lt. Suss. June 1585-at least 1591.2


The Palmers had been established in Sussex from at least the beginning of the fourteenth century, and towards its end a fortunate marriage brought them lands in Angmering. It was there that the senior line resided under Elizabeth. Collateral branches of considerable influence also appeared, after the dissolution of the monasteries, at Parham, Sussex, and Wingham, Kent.3

Palmer was elected to Parliament for the county at a time when there was little competition. He served on committees dealing with the maintenance of the navy and the increase of tillage (21 May 1571), and the sheriffs of Surrey and Sussex (28 May). On 12 July 1574 he was sent to the Fleet for slandering the 12th Earl of Arundel. He was released 27 July. During the 1580s, he became deputy lieutenant of Sussex in partnership with Thomas Shirley I and Walter Covert, and was given a variety of local duties, including the disarming of Sussex recusants and the regulation of grain. In 1585 he took charge of the armour of William Shelley, a Sussex gentleman indicted for treason, and was granted some of his land. He was responsible for a survey of the Sussex coast in preparation against invasion in 1587. He was senior knight of the shire in the 1589 Parliament and thus entitled to serve on the subsidy committee appointed on 11 Feb. He was granted leave of absence ‘to repair home ... for his special occasions of business’, 22 Feb., but had evidently returned by 27 Feb. when he was nominated to attend the Lords over the purveyors bill. However, it may be that the clerk confused Sir Thomas with Andrew Palmer, who is also noted as being concerned with the purveyors bill. In May 1591 he was still a deputy lieutenant of Sussex, described as residing mainly at Blackwall, near London.

He built a new house at Angmering, known as ‘New Place’, which descended to his third son, Thomas, his eldest having died an infant and his second having become a gipsy. A fourth son, William, became a captain in the Netherlands, perhaps through the influence of Sir Thomas Shirley. Palmer was nominated to the Stepney Vestry in 1612 and marked ‘dead’ in or before 1616.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Suss. (Comber’s copy at Chichester), 46; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 24; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv. 175.
  • 2. PRO Assizes 35 S.E. Circuit Suss. 14; HMC Hatfield, iii. 297; APC, xxi. 91.
  • 3. Mousley thesis, 621 seq.; DNB.
  • 4. D’Ewes, 187, 189, 431, 432-3, 440; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 20; APC, viii. 261-2, 267, 275; xxi. 91; Harl. 474, ff. 80v, 90v, 92; Suss. Arch. Colls. lv. 298; lviii. 161; Suss. Rec. Soc. xx. 289, 490; Lansd. l, f. 39; D. G. C. Elwes and C. J. Robinson, Hist. West Suss. 11; Lysons, Environs, iii. 449; Mems. Stepney Par. ed. Hill and Frere, 61, 73.