HEYDON, Thomas (by 1527-72 or later), of Norwich and Sandringham, Norf.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1527, 3rd s. of Sir John Heydon of Baconsthorpe by Catherine, da. of Sir Christopher Willoughby of Parham, Suff.; bro. of Richard. m. by 1548, Dorothy, da. of Sir John Spelman of Narborough, Norf., wid. of William Cobb (d.1547) of Sandringham, 1da.2

Offices Held


Thomas Heydon was a younger son in a leading Norfolk family. Under his father’s will of September 1544 he was to receive £100 and several years before his father’s death in 1551 he married a widow who brought him the profits of manors in Appleton, Babingley, Sandringham and Wolverton, Norfolk, during the minority of her son Geoffrey Cobb. Heydon and his wife presented to the rectory of Sandringham in 1548 and he was resident there when he sued out a pardon in 1553. Whether he remained there after Geoffrey Cobb entered upon his inheritance in 1557 is not known.3

Heydon entered Edward VI’s first Parliament at a by-election, probably before the second session beginning on 24 Nov. 1548; his predecessor at Dunwich, John Harrison, is taken to have been the groom of the chamber buried in March the same year. He was a nephew of the local magnate Sir William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham, who may also have secured Harrison’s return. Heydon’s brother Richard was already sitting in this House of Commons for Thetford. The remainder of Heydon’s life is obscure. Apart from his single Membership of Parliament he appears to have been content to pursue the life of a country gentleman, filling no public offices. He was still alive in 1572, when he held the manor of Pencethorpe, Norfolk, which later passed into the possession of his son-in-law Edward Sulyard. No will or inquisition post mortem has been found.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), i. 253; ii. 186-8; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 152; PCC 23 Alen; Blomefield, Norf. ix. 72.
  • 3. Blomefield, iv. 26; vi. 502; ix. 71-72; PCC 33 Bucke, 33 Alen; CPR, 1547-8, p. 57; 1553-4, pp. 451, 454; 1555-7, p. 378.
  • 4. PCC 23 Coode; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 168; Blomefield, vii. 120.