PALMER, Thomas II (c.1541-1625), of Wingham, Kent.

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. c.1541, s. of Sir Henry Palmer of Wingham by Jane, da. of Sir Richard Windebank of Guisnes. educ. ?G. Inn 1562. m. c.1562, Margaret, da. of John Poley of Badley, Suff., 6s. 5da. suc. fa. 15 Jan. 1559. Kntd. 1603; cr. Bt. 1621.

Offices Held

J.p. Kent from 1577, sheriff 1595-6; gent. of privy chamber to James I.1


The identification of Thomas Palmer of Wingham as the MP for Arundel rests upon his being the only one of the Sussex family and its branches then living who was both an ‘esquire’ and of a suitable age to sit. He farmed one of the Earl of Arundel’s manors, and was first cousin to Thomas Palmer I of Angmering, Sussex, who lived only four miles from Arundel and may have helped to place him in Parliament. He was only 17 years old when his father died a year after being captured by the French at Guisnes, and became the ward of one John Muschamp, until 1562, when he entered on his property, including Wingham, a dissolved religious house.2

Possibly he was the Thomas Palmer appointed in or about November 1564 by Lord Cobham, on instructions from the Privy Council, to keep the moats and bulwarks of Kent at 6d. a day, and to have charge of munitions there. At any rate, in 1589 he and two others were called on by the Privy Council to sort out a local dispute concerned with the alleged smuggling of munitions to the enemy. In 1591 he was among those charged by the Council to investigate the ‘great disorders and factious divisions’ at New Romney, dating from the parliamentary election of 1588. He and his lady are said to have kept 60 ‘open Christmases’ at Wingham without intermission. He died 7 Jan. 1625 and was succeeded by his grandson Thomas, his eldest son having died in 1608. Neither will nor inquisition post mortem has been found.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. C142/123/93; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Suss. (Comber’s copy at Chichester), 206; Lansd. 35, f. 133v; R. Jenyns, Palmer Fam. of Suss. (1672), 31-2.
  • 2. SC 6 Eliz. 2213; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 105; CPR, 1558-60, p. 43.
  • 3. APC, vii. 275; xviii. 396; xxi. 287-8; Jenyns, 6, 31-2; Wards 7/42/142.