HANMER (HANDMERE), Sir Thomas (1526-83), of Hanmer, Flints.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. 1 Feb. 1526, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Hanmer of Hanmer by 1st w. Jane, da. of Sir Randal Brereton of Malpas, Cheshire. m. Catherine, da. and h. of Thomas Salter of Oswestry, Salop, 3s. inc. John 1da. suc. fa. 1545. Kntd. 22 Feb. 1547.1

Offices Held

Commr. relief, Flints. 1550, goods of churches and fraternities 1553; sheriff 1553-4, 1569-70; j.p.q. by 1558/59-d.2


The compilers of the Official Return read the name appearing on the Flintshire election indenture of 6 Feb. 1553 as ‘Thomas Hanmer’, but closer scrutiny reveals the beginning of the word ‘miles’ after the first mention of the name. The Member concerned was therefore not, as has been concluded, Thomas Hanmer of Fens, Flintshire, but the head of the house of that name. An English family which had settled in Wales following the Edwardian Conquest, adopted the name of its residence and intermarried with its neighbours, the Hanmers had produced in Sir Thomas Hanmer’s father and namesake a soldier and administrator whose record was only momentarily blemished in 1541-2 by a suspicion of treason, on what ground is uncertain.3

Before establishing his inheritance Hanmer was involved in a chancery suit with his stepmother over lands in Flintshire and Shropshire. He was knighted at the coronation of Edward VI while still three weeks under age and not, as has been claimed, seven months later at the battle of Pinkie, although he may have justified the honour by service on that campaign. He was returned as knight for Flintshire to the second Parliament of the reign during the shrievalty of Peter Mostyn, for whom 16 years later he would act as feoffee. Nothing is known of any part he may have taken in the House or in the succession crisis of the following summer but he was himself to be pricked sheriff in the autumn. Although in 1574 an adherent of Mary Stuart described him as a Catholic, Hanmer was to serve on the Flintshire bench until his death in 1583, taking a second turn as sheriff in 1569-70. His standing was evidently unaffected by a dispute with his sister-in-law over his deceased brother’s property in the course of which, according to his sister-in-law’s evidence in the Star Chamber in 1565, he defied an adverse judgment of the council in the marches.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Date of birth given in J. Hanmer, Par. and Fam. of Hanmer , 47, 49; Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 312; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 43; Vis. Salop (ibid. xxix), 427; C1/1129/10.
  • 2. CPR, 1553, pp. 363, 419; 1560-3, p. 446; 1563-6, p. 30; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 141, 212.
  • 3. C193/12/1; 219/20/189; H. Taylor, Hist. Notices, Flint, 123; DWB (Hanmer fam.).
  • 4. C1/1129/7-10; Hanmer, 47, 49 and n; NRA 14045, p. 4; Flenley, 75; Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 92; St. Ch.5/H4/14.