PLOMER, John (c.1567-1615), of New Romney, Kent

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.1567, 2nd s. of Thomas Plomer (d.1591), jurat of New Romney. m. Rebecca, da. of William Jenkin, jurat of Folkestone, Kent, 4s. 3da. and 4 other ch. d.v.p. d. 9 Oct. 1615.1 sig. John Plomer.

Offices Held

Commoner, New Romney 1594, jurat 1575-d., kpr. of keys of the common chest 1601, 1603,2 mayor 1605-6, 1610-11;3 dep. for New Romney, gen. brotherhood of the Cinque Ports 1594, 1595, 1602, 1605, 1606, 1607, 1608, 1609, 1610, 1614, 1615, bailiff of the Cinque Ports to Great Yarmouth, Norf. 1602-3, auditor 1609; dep. for New Romney, guestling of the Cinque Ports 1594, 1598, speaker 1600;4 commr. sewers, Kent and Suss. 1604-at least 1611;5 capt. militia, New Romney.6

?Registrar (jt.), High Commission, Canterbury prov. 1603-d.7


The youngest of two brothers, Plomer was less than 19 years old in September 1586 when his father, Thomas, a jurat of New Romney, drew up his will.8 On the latter’s death in 1591, Plomer inherited property and leases in New Romney and nearby Ivychurch. He evidently prospered, becoming a member of New Romney’s corporation in July 1594 and one of its jurats nine months later. In 1599 he was prosecuted in the local ecclesiastical court for refusing to pay tithes to the rector of Ivychurch, in whose parish he rented 30 acres of marshland. Although he apparently settled his arrears, six years later the rector was again forced to take legal action for nonpayment.9 Plomer may have been the man of this name who, along with George Paule*, was appointed principal register of the Court of High Commission in May 1603.

At the 1604 general election Plomer was returned as junior Member for New Romney, whereupon the corporation assented to pay him wages at 2s. per day, plus travelling costs. He apparently attended the opening session, indenting for 109 days’ wages on 15 July 1604, but left no mark on the parliamentary records.10 Elected mayor of New Romney in April 1605, at which time Parliament stood prorogued, he did not attend the Commons when it briefly reassembled the following November. In mid-December 1605 Plomer and several other men from New Romney were accused in Star Chamber of violently ejecting a labourer named John Spence from his dwelling, and of falsifying the legal record to justify their behaviour. Plomer in particular was accused of being ‘puffed up’ with his mayoral authority, and of disregarding his oath of office, which required him to do justice to rich and poor alike. The New Romney corporation denied the charges, and on 18 Jan. 1606 it agreed to finance the lawsuit and to allow Plomer the services of its fee’d counsel, James Thurbarne* and Henry Finch†.11 Plomer subsequently travelled to Westminster, where he resumed his Commons’ seat, Parliament having reassembled after the Christmas recess on 21 January. Once again he played no part in the House’s proceedings, and on 13 Mar., pleading sickness, he was granted leave to return home.12 Eight days later he attended a meeting of the New Romney corporation, at which it was agreed to pay him his parliamentary wages and the money he had recently expended in the Star Chamber suit.13

Plomer attended the third session of 1606-7, for which he was paid wages, and also the fourth session until 21 Mar. 1610, when he obtained leave of absence, presumably to allow him to take up office as mayor of New Romney for a second time.14 Following the adjournment of the fifth and final session on 24 Nov. he retired to his home. Two days later he attended a meeting of New Romney’s corporation at which he was again allowed wages. He seems to have returned to Westminster soon thereafter, as he was subsequently allowed travelling expenses for the period 4-8 December. However, on his arrival the king prorogued the Parliament and he was obliged to turn back.15

Plomer formed part of the deputation sent up to London in 1612 to persuade the lord warden of the Cinque Ports not to grant a new charter to New Romney’s dependant borough, the neighbouring town of Lydd.16 In July l615 he represented New Romney at the Brotherhood of the Cinque Ports, the last of 11 occasions on which he did so. He drafted his will on 3 Oct. 1615, by which time he was sick. After asking to be buried in St. Augustine’s, Brookland, two or three miles west of New Romney, he instructed his wife to execute his will and granted her an annuity of £15. His best gelding he left to his ‘most worthy friend’ Sir Edward Hales*.17 According to his inquisition post mortem, he died six days later. His funeral monument at Brookland states that he actually expired on 12 Oct., but this may be inaccurate, as it also claims, falsely, that he served three terms as mayor of New Romney.18 None of Plomer’s descendants sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. PROB 11/77, f. 159v; C142/349/162.
  • 2. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/ACo/1, ff. 20, 22.
  • 3. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/AC/1, ff. 144, 188v..
  • 4. Cal. of White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports ed. F. Hull (Kent Recs. xix), 342-3, 346, 354, 365-6, 373-5, 378-9, 382-3, 387-8, 391-2, 401, 408.
  • 5. C181/1, f. 91; 181/2, f. 148v.
  • 6. Parsons, 382.
  • 7. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 8; 1635, p. 188.
  • 8. PROB 11/77, f. 159v.
  • 9. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, DCb/J/J/5/29; DCb/J/J/11/112.
  • 10. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/AC/1, ff. 135v-6, 138v.
  • 11. Ibid. f. 152r-v.
  • 12. CJ, i. 284a.
  • 13. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/AC/1, ff. 152r-v.
  • 14. Ibid. ff. 163v-4, 188v; CJ, i. 413b.
  • 15. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/AC/1, f. 192v-3.
  • 16. E. Kent Archives Cent., NR/ACo/1, f. 28v.
  • 17. Cent. Kent. Stud., PRC 32/45, ff. 1-3v.
  • 18. C142/349/162; P. Parsons, Monuments and Painted Glass of One Hundred Churches in Kent (1798), p. 382.