HORSMAN, Thomas (c.1536-1610), of Burton Pedwardine, Lincs. and The Savoy, Mdx.

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



1604 - 26 Nov. 1610

Family and Education

b. c.1536, 1st s. of Thomas Horsman of Burton Pedwardine, sewer of the chamber, and Elizabeth, da. of Sir Robert Hussey of Linwood, Lincs. coh. to her bro. Thomas, and wid. of Thomas Ayscough of Stallingborough, Lincs.1 educ. household of Sir William Cecil†;2 Trin. Hall, Camb. 1555, LL.B. 1563.3 m. aft. 1586, Anne (d.1612),4 da. of Robert Wilson, wid. of Peter Richardson, Goldsmith, of the Savoy, s.p.5 suc. fa. 1553;6 kntd. 14 Mar. 1604.7 d. 26 Nov. 1610.8

Offices Held

Fell. Trin. Hall, Camb. 1559-72;9 escheator, Lincs. 1592-3;10 commr. sewers, Mdx. 1604.11

Sewer of the chamber c.1563-1603.12


Horsman’s father served in the chamber under Henry VIII and Edward VI, married into one of the most prominent families in Lincolnshire, and acquired Burton Pedwardine, midway between Grantham and Boston, in 1551.13 Horsman himself was brought up in the household of Sir William Cecil, before going to Court in the same capacity as his father before him.14 In 1576 Cecil, now Lord Burghley, tried unsuccessfully to arrange a match for him with one of the sisters of Sir George More*.15 Instead, rather late in life Horsman married the widow of the queen’s jeweller, who brought him a house in the Savoy. He retired from the chamber on the accession of James I. In the following year he was re-elected for Grantham with his neighbour, Sir George Manners, and received a knighthood shortly before the opening of the Parliament.

In the first session, Horsman was among those appointed to consider bills to restrict the use of gold and silver lace (2 June 1604), to provide for the charges of the Household (18 June), and to remove excuses for absence from church (27 June).16 In the next session he was named to consider two bills about debt (20 Mar. 1606; 18 Apr.), the attainder bill of the Gunpowder traitors (30 Apr.) and a private measure to enable the 1st earl of Salisbury (Sir Robert Cecil†) to enlarge Salisbury House, which was close to Horsman’s home in the Savoy (5 May).17 His appointment, together with Sir Henry Billingsley, to collect a Benevolence for the servants of the House (17 Apr. 1606), was gently mocked in the ‘Parliament Fart’ poem.18 Horsman’s appointments in the third session included bills to secure the real estate of the corporation and companies of London (4 May 1607), and to improve attendance in the Commons (28 May).19 He served again as a collector of the House’s Benevolence, but the yield was unimpressive, Sir Robert Wingfield reporting on 4 July that 87 Members had failed to contribute.20

Perhaps as a result of declining health Horsman left no further trace on the records of the Parliament. Childless, he died during the fifth session, on 26 Nov. 1610, aged 74.21 In his will, dated 16 October 1609, he left £10 to the poor of Grantham, £19 to four London parishes, £5 to Chertsey (where he leased the rectory) and £5 to Burton Pedwardine; his wife’s nieces and an old servant also received cash bequests. His funeral at Burton Pedwardine was to cost £150, and £60 was to be spent on a memorial, which was duly erected.22 His nephew Thomas inherited the Lincolnshire property, but died childless in 1631. No further member of the family entered Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Paula Watson / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. l), 61-63.
  • 2. Lincs. Church Notes ed. J. Monson (Lincoln Rec. Soc. xxxi), 66-7.
  • 3. Al. Cant.
  • 4. PROB 11/120, f. 178.
  • 5. The Gen. iii. 271.
  • 6. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 528.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 130.
  • 8. C142/324/133.
  • 9. Al. Cant.
  • 10. List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 80.
  • 11. C181/1, ff. 88, 100v.
  • 12. CPR 1572-5, p. 561; LC2/4/4, f. 48v.
  • 13. LP Hen. VIII, Addenda i (pt. 2), p. 503.
  • 14. Monson, 66-7.
  • 15. HMC 7th Rep. 629.
  • 16. CJ, i. 241b, 247b, 252b, 984a.
  • 17. Ibid. 287b, 300a, 303a, 305a.
  • 18. Ibid. 300a, 326b; Add. 34218, f. 21.
  • 19. CJ, i. 368b, 276a.
  • 20. Ibid. 381b, 390b-391a.
  • 21. Monson, 66-7.
  • 22. PROB 11/116, f. 337.