GLEMHAM, Thomas (c.1647-1704), of Glemham Hall, Little Glemham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1681
1685 - 1687
1689 - 1695

Family and Education

b. c.1647, 1st s. of Sir Sackville Glemham of Glemham Hall by Frances, da. of Sir Thomas Gardiner† of Cuddesdon, Oxon., attorney-gen. 1645–6.  educ. ?Bury St. Edmunds g.s.; Trinity, Oxf. matric. 11 May 1665, aged 17; I. Temple 1667.  m. (1) 24 June 1673, Dorothy, da. and coh. of Borrowdale Mileson of Norton, Suff., wid. of John Stuteville of Dalham, Suff., s.p.; (2) 21 Dec. 1685, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe, Norf., 1s.  suc. fa. by 1667.1

Offices Held

Portman, Orford 1685–Oct. 1688, common councilman 1693–?d.; freeman, Dunwich 1694.2


In March 1690 Glemham was classed as a Tory supporter of the Court by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†), who also forecast in December that Glemham would support him in the event of an attack on his ministerial position in the Commons. The following April Robert Harley* listed Glemham as a supporter of the Country party. Financial difficulties obliged the sale of Little Glemham to Sir Dudley North† in 1691, but the transaction was not completed until four years after Glemham’s death, and he continued to reside there. At first his position in Orford seemed unaffected, and it was reported in August 1692 that ‘the greatest part of the corporation are for him’. Active in supporting the Tory interest in the corporation in 1693, he joined forces with Sir Edward Turnor* for the next election, but soon the two men were at odds. Turnor remarked at one point that he was unwilling ‘to bestir myself for Mr Glemham’s interest or to make myself a party in his cause, since he would not vouchsafe to stir one step for me when I had formerly an occasion for his interest’. Glemham escaped the purge of Tories from the Suffolk commission of the peace in 1694, perhaps because he was a Member. In the 1695 election, faced with a formidable Whig opponent in Thomas Felton*, he decided to save himself by breaking his word to Turnor and coming to an agreement to stand with Felton, only to be ditched at the last minute at the behest of Felton’s leading supporters. His complaints of ‘hard usage’ found little sympathy among Tories, Turnor denouncing him for having ‘so ungenerously deserted us and a cause [in which] he has so mightily laboured’. However, he seems to have become reconciled to his former friends soon enough, for there was talk in 1697 of him opposing the Felton nominee for a vacancy at Orford, though this came to nothing. A year later he was reported ‘very zealous’ for the Tory candidates in the general election. Thereafter he appears to have remained a loyal Tory, though he did not stand again.3

Glemham died on 24 Sept. 1704, ‘a gentleman’, according to one who knew him, ‘endowed with great civility, as inheritor of the virtue . . . of . . . his ancestors’. The sale of his estate raised only some £15,000, and much of this was swallowed up in mortgages, so that there was not enough left for his son to be ‘put into the world’. ‘Sure none ever had a more unnatural father’, commented a close relative of the ‘unfortunate young man’, who, having been helped to an army commission by the generosity of an aunt, died unmarried in Spain in 1711.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Add. 19132, ff. 53–54; Bury St. Edmunds G.S. List (Suff. Green Bks. xiii), 158; Vis. Suff. (Harl. Soc. lxi), 30; St. Lawrence Jewry (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxxi), 98; Mar. Lic. Vicar-Gen. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 220; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 46.
  • 2. W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss Ac.454/977, Nathaniel Gooding to Sir Edward Turnor*, 11 Dec. 1699; Suff. RO (Ipswich), Dunwich bor. recs. EE6/1144/13, p. 81.
  • 3. Add. 19101, ff. 2, 7, 64; Shillinglee mss Ac.454/949, 975, 906–7, 992, 1009–10, 993, 829, 836, 835, 1152, Gooding to Turnor, 8 Aug. 1692, 7 Nov. 1698, Edward Pratt to same, 1, 10 Oct. 1693, Theophilus Hooke to same, 16 May 1694, 4 Nov. 1695, 11 Feb. 1696–7, Turnor to Hooke, 23 May 1694, 18 Aug., 30 Nov. 1695, same to mayor of Orford, 27 Oct. 1695, Thomas Palmer to Turnor, 3 Nov. 1701; Bohun Diary ed. Wilton Rix, 121.
  • 4. Shillinglee mss Ac.454/1199, John Morgan to Turnor, 25 Sept. 1704; HMC Egmont, ii. 197; Add. 19101, ff. 7, 59; Norf. RO, Knyvett-Wilson mss, Mary Knyvett to Oliver Le Neve, 1, 29 Mar. 1705.