PARKER, Thomas (c.1510-70), of Norwich, Norf.

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.1510, 5th s. of William Parker, worsted weaver of Norwich by Alice Monings of Suff.; bro. of Matthew Parker, abp. of Canterbury. m. Joan Agas, 1s. 5da.

Offices Held

Freeman, Norwich 1538, sheriff and alderman 1559, mayor 1568-9.


Parker was a Norwich haberdasher, not among the wealthiest of the city’s merchants. With his brother Matthew, he went into the rebels’ camp outside Norwich in 1549 in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Ket’s followers to disperse; He did not reach the higher civic offices until his brother—with whom he always remained friendly—had become powerful. There is no record of any activity by Parker in his one Parliament, for which the city paid him the regulation wages of 2s. a day. During his mayoralty he served on a commission, led by the bishop of Norwich, to survey the state of the cathedral. During this period also, against local opposition, the rules governing the conduct of the immigrants from the Netherlands in Norwich were confirmed. Archbishop Parker’s friendly feelings towards the ‘strangers’ were probably shared by his brother. Parker died in 1570, leaving ‘unto my Lord my brother for a remembrance’ a gold ring, and small bequests to the archbishop’s children and other kinsmen. He bequeathed money for six sermons by ‘a godly preacher’, and requested that his ‘great bible’ should be given to a Walsingham church. Most of his goods he left to his wife, the sole executrix; his ‘old acquainted and worshipful friend Mr. John Aldrich’ was overseer. The will. dated will, dated 6 Apr. 1570. was proved 24 Apr.

Strype, Parker, i. 3-6, 52-3; iii. 49; Cal. Norwich Freemen, 106; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 108; Norwich corp. ct. bk. 1562-9, p. 122; CPR, 1566-9, pp. 205-6; The Walloons and their Church at Norwich (Hug. Soc. i), pt. 1, pp. 19, 38; PCC 13 Lyon.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe