PARKER, Thomas I (by 1519-58), of London and Notgrove, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. by 1519, s. of Humphrey Parker. m. by 1546, Jane, da. of John Moore of Dunclent, Worcs., wid. of James Dingley and Michael Ashfield, 3s. 1da.1
Clerk of the treasury and auditor, Gloucester abbey, Glos. by 1540; clerk of the crown and of the peace, Glos. 1544, of the peace 1555-7; commr. sewers, Glos. and Worcs. 1554.2
Thomas Parker seems to have begun his administrative career in the service of Gloucester abbey. He was probably the nephew of William Malvern aliasParker, the last abbot, who appears to have taken up residence with him at Notgrove after being denied a pension for refusing to accept the surrender of his house. Another uncle, also Thomas Parker, who died in 1538, had been chancellor of Salisbury and an important ecclesiastical officer in Hereford and Worcester dioceses. In 1549 the dean and chapter of Salisbury regained direct control of Abingdon Court, one of the manors in Cricklade, which they had previously leased to Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley: it is probable that they influenced Parker’s return to the Parliaments of October 1553 and November 1554. To this sponsorship Parker could have added his own landed interest in the neighbourhood of Cricklade. Of his part in the work of the Commons all that is known is that he was absent when the House was called early in January 1555. For this dereliction he was informed against in the King’s bench in the following Easter term. A writ of venire facias was issued but no further action was taken against him.3
Some time before 1546 Parker had lived in London where he may have acquired legal training, but he later settled in Gloucestershire. In 1554 he was granted an exemption from going to the French wars, perhaps because he was then clerk of the peace and of the crown for the county; in February 1545 he was a tenant at Cirencester and Tewkesbury; in April 1546 he and his wife acquired the lease of the manor of Northleach, not far from Cricklade, which had belonged to Gloucester abbey; and some time during Henry VIII’s reign he purchased the nearby manor of Notgrove. In 1549 he was involved in a dispute in the Star Chamber over the ownership of another manor in the district, at Farmington. In 1555 his name was included on a list of pensions payable to the former staff of Gloucester abbey.4
The nature of Parker’s religious beliefs remains uncertain as the Catholic preamble to his will was written before the death of Queen Mary. Parker made this will on 16 Aug. 1558 at Notgrove and asked to be buried there or at Northleach. He left most of his lands to his eldest son Edmund, with the provision that his wife and executrix should enjoy the revenues during her life. He also left lands to his two younger sons, Thomas and Michael, and bequests of money and cattle to his stepchildren and other kinsmen. The exact date of his death is not known but as he described himself as ‘somewhat sick’ it is probable that he died within a few weeks of making his will which was proved on 15 Dec.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Elizabeth McIntyre
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 56 Noodes; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 257; Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 128-9; N. and Q. (ser. 11), xi. 106.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xvi, xviii; CPR, 1554-5, p. 107; Stephens, Clerks of the Peace, 58; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxix. 106, 118; xlix. 110.
- 3. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. vii. 34; ix. 123-4; PCC 56 Noodes, 4 Spert; C142/98/25; LP Hen. VIII, iv, x, xiii; Le Neve, Fasti, ii. Hereford, comp. Horn, 9, 23, 30; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 433; VCH Wilts. iii. 186-7; Cricklade, ed. Thomson, 17, 59; Fac. Off. Reg. 1534-49, ed. Chambers, 376; KB27/1176, 29/188.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xx, xxi; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxix. 106, 118; xlix. 110.
- 5. PCC 56 Noodes.