ALDWORTH, Thomas II (d.1599), of Bristol, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

3rd s. of Robert Aldworth of Wantage, Berks. m. Margery ?Webb, s.p. legit.

Offices Held

Alderman, Bristol, sheriff 1566-7, mayor 1582-3, 1592-3; member, Bristol staple; member, Bristol branch, Spanish Co.


The son of a Berkshire tanner, Aldworth was one of a number of his family to migrate to Bristol. By 1574 he was engaged in trade with Spain and Portugal in association with a number of Bristol merchants, among them William Carr I, of whose will he was overseer. As one of the leading citizens, he had considerable dealings with the government. In 1577 he and other Bristol merchants, including William Saltern, were instructed by the Privy Council to stop trading with Spain. In 1593 he and a relative built a vessel for the navy, the Gabriel, and in July the following year received 105 crowns to be paid out of customs due on merchandise she had carried.

Aldworth twice represented Bristol in Parliament without leaving any mark on its proceedings. On the second occasion he came in at a by-election vice William Saltern. He died 25 Feb. 1599 and was buried in St. Mark’s, Bristol. In his will, dated 22 Nov. 1598 and proved 5 Mar. 1599, he left £200, plate weighing 300 oz., an annuity of £100 and a house to his wife, and money to numerous friends and relations. His charity was extensive: £50 to Queen Elizabeth’s hospital, Bristol; £40 to the churchwardens of Wantage; and smaller bequests to the poor, the prisoners of Newgate and others. Most of his estate went to one Thomas Aldworth alias Darbridge. He appointed his ‘cousin’ (perhaps a bastard son), Robert Aldworth, John Aldworth and Francis James overseers of the will. The Marchants Avizo, published in 1589, was dedicated to him.

J. Foster, Dict. MPs, 28; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. v. 230; xv. 81; xix. 134-7; xxvi. 136-7; xlviii. 211; Bristol Rec. Soc. v. 187, 227; xiv. 104; xvii. 84; Bristol Wills (Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc.), passim; HMC Hatfield, iv. 119; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 90; 1591-4, pp. 449, 524; Lansd. 41, f. 108; 64, f. 97; 75, f. 100; APC, x. 16; D. Powell, Bristol Privateers and Ships of War, 48; PCC 25 Kidd.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.