ANTROBUS, Thomas (c.1554-1611), of the Old Bailey, London and Heath House, Petersfield, Hants.

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.1554, o.s. of William Antrobus, yeoman, of Knutsford, Cheshire and Jane, da. of one Millington.1 educ. L. Inn 1572.2 m. 23 Sept. 15773 (with 400 marks),4 Elizabeth (d.1608),5 da. of Ralph Woodcock, Grocer, of Aldermanbury, London, 3s. 2da.6 d. 2 May 1611.7

Offices Held

Clerk of the outlawries, c.p. by 1602-?d.8


From a long-established yeoman family, Antrobus married the daughter of a wealthy London merchant of Cheshire origin, and became a successful attorney, with a large house in the Old Bailey.9 In 1589 he was rated for the subsidy on £20 in fees, and by 1602 he had obtained a clerkship in the court of Common Pleas with the help of Sir Edward Coke*.10 Described as a ‘well-willer’ of the 5th earl of Rutland, he was probably already contemplating the purchase of a Hampshire estate when he was returned for Andover, perhaps with the backing of the lord lieutenant, the 3rd earl of Southampton, at the general election of 1604.11 Later in that year he took out a grant of arms.12 In the Commons, he was named early in the first session to committees to examine grievances raised by Sir Edward Montagu* (23 Mar. 1604); to investigate the Buckinghamshire election (27 Mar.), and to consider the resulting bill barring outlaws from Parliament (31 March).13 Given his office as clerk of the outlawries it is likely Antrobus was responsible for producing evidence to the Commons that Sir Francis Goodwin*, originally elected for Buckinghamshire but then rejected, had in fact never been outlawed as his opponents alleged.14 Antrobus’s subsequent committees included three others of concern to his office, those for bills to disable recusants from sitting in Parliament (26 Apr.), to give protection from surreptitious outlawry actions (27 Apr.), and to codify the bankruptcy law (14 May).15 He was also among those ordered to consider the bill to confirm the charter of Bridewell hospital (9 June).16

In January 1605 Antrobus bought the manor of Easton, near Winchester, and may have retreated there after his son Thomas was involved in a fatal brawl in London a year later.17 His committees in the second session were for the bill against delays in executions (27 Mar. 1606) and the bill to relieve artisan skinners (2 May).18 In the third session he was again concerned with the outlawries bill (6 June 1607).19 He bought Heath House in Petersfield in 1608, making it his principal residence.20 In the fourth session his only appointment was to the committee for a bill to regulate warrants of attorney (29 Mar. 1610).21

Before his death Antrobus donated seven law books to the library and £20 to the new chapel at Lincoln’s Inn, and early in 1611 he gave a communion cup and paten cover to Petersfield parish church.22 He died suddenly, perhaps of a heart attack, on 2 May and was buried in St. Martin’s, Ludgate.23 No will or administration has been found. His sons were all dead without male issue by 1622.24 He was the only member of his family to enter Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. R.L. Antrobus, Antrobus Peds. 97.
  • 2. LI Admiss.
  • 3. St. Mary Aldermanbury (Harl. Soc. Reg. lxi), 40.
  • 4. PROB 11/69, f. 362v.
  • 5. Antrobus, 97.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. C142/321/94.
  • 8. HMC Hatfield, xiv. 222; xv. 368; Staffs. RO, D593/E/3/6/2.
  • 9. Antrobus, 2-3; CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 415.
  • 10. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cx), 160; HMC Hatfield, xiv. 222; xv. 368.
  • 11. HMC Rutland, i. 431.
  • 12. Antrobus, 8-9; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 5.
  • 13. CJ, i. 151b, 156b, 160b.
  • 14. E. Lindquist, ‘The Case of Sir Francis Goodwin’, EHR, civ. 670-77; HMC Hatfield, xvi. 40; W. Notestein, House of Commons, 1604-10, p. 75.
  • 15. CJ, i. 185b, 187b, 209a.
  • 16. Ibid. 236a.
  • 17. C66/1649, 1664; VCH Hants, iii. 118.
  • 18. CJ, i. 290b, 304a.
  • 19. Ibid. 379b.
  • 20. VCH Hants, iii. 118.
  • 21. CJ, i. 416b.
  • 22. LI Black Bks. ii. 117, 143; VCH Hants, iii. 120.
  • 23. C142/321/94; HMC Rutland, i. 431; J. Stow, Survey (1633), p. 373.
  • 24. C142/400/77; Antrobus, 97.