GAMULL, Thomas (1571-1613), of Bridge Street, St. Mary-on-the-Hill, Chester and the Inner Temple.

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



12 May 1606

Family and Education

b. 1571, 1st s. of Edmund Gamull (d.1616)2 of Chester, alderman and merchant and his 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Case of Eaton, Cheshire; bro. of William*.3 educ. King’s sch. Chester 1579-83;4 Brasenose, Oxf. 1587 aged 16, BA Queen’s 1591; I. Temple 1593, called 1603.5 m. Alice, da. of Richard Bavand† of Chester, wid. of David Lloyd of Chester, 1s. 3da.6 d. 11 Aug. 1613.7 sig. Tho[mas] Gamull.

Offices Held

Freeman, Chester 1601,8 alderman 1602,9 recorder 1606-d.,10 j.p. 1606-d.,11 commr. subsidy 1608, 1610, 1611,12 aid, 1609.13


Originally from Staffordshire, the Gamulls settled in Cheshire at the end of the fifteenth century. Gamull’s father married the widow of a Chester alderman and rose through the corporation hierarchy, eventually serving as mayor in 1585. Gamull himself attended King’s School, Chester, and received a traditional gentleman’s education at Oxford and the Inner Temple. Although called to the bar in 1603, he did not neglect his native city. Through his father he was admitted a freeman in 1601 and became an alderman the following year.

Chester customarily elected its recorder to Parliament, but in 1601 the incumbent, Richard Birkheved†, was ill. Consequently Gamull was elected in his place. Although unrecorded in the parliamentary sources, Gamull and his fellow Member, Hugh Glasier, helped secure the enactment of a bill for levying fines in the city’s portmoot court,14 at a cost of £42, for which expenditure they were reimbursed by the corporation.15 In 1604 Thomas Lawton became recorder and assumed the parliamentary responsibilities of his office. Following Lawton’s death in 1606, however, Gamull occupied the recordership and was re-elected to Parliament.16 He took no recorded part in its proceedings, although in 1610 Chester asked its Members to investigate the possibility of removing an additional imposition of 5s. levied on yarn imported from Ireland.17 Gamull was also requested to see whether Londoners could be prevented from claiming the same rights as Chester merchants to buy and sell goods in Cheshire. He and Glasier were instructed to seek the assistance of Bristol’s Members and to inquire whether Prince Henry might intervene on the city’s behalf.18 Gamull continued to lobby against London’s claim after the Parliament ended and subsequently won a test case in the Chester Exchequer Court and the Prince’s Council against a London merchant. Chester rewarded his success by dramatically raising his annual fee as recorder, from 26s. 8d. to £13 6s. 8d.19 In 1612 the corporation again employed Gamull as a lobbyist, this time to plead before the Privy Council not to pay a new royal loan as several loans made to Elizabeth has not been repaid. In this Gamull failed, but he did get the demands that were directed to various individuals in Chester (including himself) altered into one sum levied on the entire city.20

Gamull died on the morning of 11 Aug. 1613 and was buried 12 days later in St. Mary-on-the-Hill, Chester, where an elaborate tomb still survives. Bishop Lloyd of Chester preached the sermon, taking as his text Psalm 103: 13-14.21 The major beneficiaries of his will, made shortly before he died, were his wife and surviving son, Francis, who received lands in Chester and Buerton in Cheshire, as well as property in Shropshire and Staffordshire.22 His widow married Edward Whitby*, who succeeded him as recorder, while his brother, William, represented Chester in 1626.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. Cheshire Archives, SIE/7.
  • 2. Cheshire Archives, CR60/83, f. 27v.
  • 3. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 268-9; Vis. Cheshire, (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lviii), 103-4.
  • 4. Cheshire Archives, ‘L. and I. of King’s Sch. Chester’, transcript, unpag.
  • 5. Al. Ox.; I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 6. Vis. Cheshire (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lviii), 103-4; Tomb, St. Mary’s Centre, Chester; JRL, Eng. 922, bdle. D-H, unnumb.
  • 7. Cheshire Archives, CR60/83, f. 22v.
  • 8. Freemen of Chester ed. J.H.E. Bennett (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. li), 84.
  • 9. Cheshire Archives, AB/1, f. 272v.
  • 10. Ibid. f. 290.
  • 11. Cal. Chester City Mins. ed. M.J. Groombridge (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. cvi), p. xiii.
  • 12. E115/112/30; SP14/31/1; Cheshire Archives, CAS/9.
  • 13. SP14/43/107.
  • 14. SR, iv. 982-3; Sir Simonds D’Ewes, Jnls. of Parls. Q. Eliz. 651; D. Dean, Law-Making and Soc. in Eliz. Eng. 253.
  • 15. Cheshire Archives, CR60/83, f. 18-v.
  • 16. Cheshire Archives, AB/1, f. 290; AF/7, no. 4; SIE/7.
  • 17. Cheshire Archives, ZML/2/233.
  • 18. Cheshire Archives, ZML/6/38, 51.
  • 19. Cheshire Archives, AB/1, f. 317v; AF/9, no. 27; ZML/6/63.
  • 20. Cheshire Archives, ZML/6/83, 84, 87.
  • 21. Cheshire Archives, CR60/83, f. 22v.
  • 22. Harl. 1991, ff. 123-5; Cheshire IPMs (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxvi), 32-6.