TOOKER, Giles (c.1565-1623), of Salisbury, Wilts.

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.1565, s. of Charles Tooker, yeoman, of Maddingley by Matilda, da. of one Nipperhead. educ. Barnard’s Inn; L. Inn 1581, called 1589, treasurer 1617-18. m. 9 Sept. 1586, Elizabeth, e. da. of Thomas Eyre of Salisbury, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1571.

Offices Held

One of the 24, Salisbury, of counsel to Salisbury 1591, first recorder of the city 1611-23; recorder, Wilton.


Tooker was a natural choice for the burgesses of Salisbury to make to represent them in Elizabeth’s last Parliament. Nevertheless, such care as he took of their affairs in the Parliament of 1601 must have been of the nature of a watching brief; there is no record of his having taken part in any parliamentary business. He was a Wiltshire man, the son of a prosperous yeoman, and died possessed not only of a house in Salisbury but also of property in Maydenton, Madington, Burton, Hammington, Charleton, Chesenbury, Bulkington and Eston. His business associates were local men, William Bower, Michael Tidcombe, James Linch, and his brother-in-law William Eyre, and his daughters married into the Chaffyn and Smithers families. In June 1601 the bishop of Salisbury complained to Cecil that Tooker, ‘being the mayor’s fee’ed man’, who has

ever opposed himself against the lawful rights of the Church in Sarum ... hath of late obtained a new commission of the peace for this city wherein his name is placed ... against my rights ... that any such commission should be granted without my ... allowance.

Ten years later Tooker was to lead the movement for the borough’s emancipation. The newly incorporated borough commemorated him by a portrait which is still in its possession, and he remembered the borough in his will by founding a charity for two apprentices to be known as the recorder’s apprentices. Tooker died 25 Nov. 1623.

Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 196; H. Hatcher, Old and New Sarum, i. 306; ii. 711; PCC 4 Byrde; HMC Hatfield, xi. 235; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxv. 147.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. T. Bindoff