DALLISON, Sir Thomas (c.1554-1626), of Greetwell, Lincs. and the Cathedral Close, Lincoln, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1554,1 3rd s. of (Sir) William Dal[l]ison† (d.1559), of Greetwell and G. Inn, London, and Elizabeth, da. of Robert Dighton† of Lincoln and Little Sturton, Lincs.2 educ. Oxf., BA 1572; Barnard’s Inn 1574; G. Inn 1574.3 m. by 1595,4 Anne (d. 9 May 1626), da. of Humphrey Littlebury of Stainsby, Lincs.5 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 2 da.6 kntd. 23 July 1603.7 d. 20 Mar. 1626.8 sig. Th[omas] Dalyson.

Offices Held

J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) by 1593-at least 1608;9 commr. sewers, Gt. Fens 1604, Lincs. and Notts. 1607-1610, Lincs. 1608, preservation of ditches, Gt. Fens 1605;10 collector, tenths and fifteenths, Lincs. (Lindsey) 1608.11


Dallison was a member of a junior branch of an ancient family from Laughton, Lincolnshire, which had settled at Greetwell, two miles east of Lincoln, in the 1560s. Though of limited landed estate, his father, a justice of Queen’s Bench who took a county seat in 1553, had important family connections among the principal gentry of the locality, including the Tyrwhitts, Monsons and Dightons.12 A child at his father’s death in 1559, Dallison’s inheritance was limited to a parsonage and two farms, though provision was made for him to be trained in the law at Gray’s Inn.13 In 1581 he and his brother Robert were executors to the estate of their eldest brother, William, and they retained control over the estate, including the manor of Greetwell, until William’s son, Maximilian*, sued them in 1598. They subsequently released the larger part of the estate to their nephew, but Dallison continued to reside at Greetwell, at least part of the time, until at least 1608.14

Dallison was elected to Parliament for Malmesbury in March 1604 along with his courtier cousin, Sir Roger Dallison*. Both men owed their place to Sir Roger’s patron Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk, whose property at nearby Charlton Park gave him control of the borough. Dallison was named to seven bill committees, but is not recorded as having made any speeches. In the first session he was appointed to consider measures for draining the Fens (12 May), of interest to him as a Lincolnshire resident, and to confirm an exchange of property between his cousin, Sir Thomas Monson* and Trinity College, Cambridge (26 May). In addition Sir Roger, who owned a ferry on the Trent, had an interest in the bill for restricting the building of weirs on navigable rivers, to which Dallison was named on 23 June. His other appointments concerned the maintenance of arable farming (25 June) and Henry Butler’s estate (1 May).15 Dallison left no trace on the records of the second and third sessions, and received only two appointments in the fourth, for bills to confirm property belonging to the London Salters’ and Brewers’ companies (20 Feb. 1610) and a further measure for draining the Fens (24 March). He played no recorded part in the fifth session.16

Dallison had purchased Lincolnshire property in Burton-by-Lincoln, where his enclosures were demolished by rioters 1607,17 and North Elkington, but in so doing he evidently over-extended himself, for in 1610 he was compelled by his sureties, among them Sir Roger Dallison, to sell North Elkington for £1,700. However, having failed to use this money to pay his debts he attempted in April 1611 to convey part of his wife’s jointure to trustees for sale. Not surprisingly his wife, Anne, refused to agree to this. Sir Roger therefore insisted that her lands be made over to him and arranged for the sheriff, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, to imprison Dallison in Lincoln gaol, where the latter languished ‘in great misery and to his great cost and charges’. Sir Roger continued to press Anne to exchange her lands for an annuity of £40, while blocking all attempts to secure Dallison’s release. The length of Dallison’s incarceration is unknown, but in May 1614 Chancery ordered him to sell certain non-jointure lands to satisfy his creditors.18 These probably included his extensive property at Burton-by-Lincoln, for his cousin Sir Thomas Monson was paying £30 tax there by 1623. The crisis in his finances presumably explains why he was not re-elected, either in 1614 or subsequently.19

Other than a date of death, nothing has been ascertained of Dallison’s later life, nor has a will or letters of administration been found. Both his elder sons became royalist colonels in the Civil War, for which they suffered: William had his estate at Greetwell plundered while Charles, a commissioner at Newark garrison who became recorder of Lincoln, was refused a pardon in 1649.20 None of Dallison’s immediate descendants sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Henry Lancaster / Ben Coates


  • 1. Age calculated from C24/350/35.
  • 2. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 286-7.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; GI Admiss.
  • 4. T. Allen, Hist. Lincs. 50.
  • 5. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 600.
  • 6. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), pp. 286-7, 936; IGI.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 122.
  • 8. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 286-7.
  • 9. Hatfield House, ms 278; SP14/33, f. 37.
  • 10. C181/1, ff. 75, 118; 181/2, ff. 48, 75, 119.
  • 11. E179/283/6, f. 5
  • 12. Allen, 50; E. Foss, Judges, v. 478-9; HP Commons, 1508-58, ii. 5-6.
  • 13. PROB 11/42B, f. 69v.
  • 14. PROB 11/63, f. 317v.; WARD 9/525, unfol., entries for 12 Nov. 1597, 26 May 1598; E179/139/618; E115/131/91.
  • 15. CJ, i. 193b, 207b, 226b, 245b.
  • 16. Ibid. 397b, 414b.
  • 17. C. Holmes, Seventeenth-Cent. Lincs. 97.
  • 18. C2/Chas.I/D64/91; C78/324/14.
  • 19. E179/139/698.
  • 20. CCC, 1339; J. Hill, Tudor and Stuart Lincoln, 122; W. Boyd, ‘Dalison Notes’, Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), ii. 289; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 185.