TAMWORTH, Christopher (1529-71), of Leake, Lincs.; later of Ryall, Rutland.

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

b. 1529, 1st s. of John Tamworth of Leake by Anne, da. of John Meres of Kirton. m. (1) Margaret, da. of John Digby or Driby of Preston, 3s. 2da.; (2) Elinor. suc. fa. 1539.

Offices Held


Tamworth was the cousin of the better-known John Tamworth. John made Christopher an executor and substantial beneficiary of his will, including his lease of the duchy of Lancaster manor of Sutton in Lincolnshire, and the reversion to his house in St. Botolph’s without Aldersgate, and his other lands in London. Two of Christopher’s sons also benefited. They received John’s interests in the mines royal and the mineral and battery works. In 1563 Christopher sat in Parliament for Knaresborough, where the duchy of Lancaster had influence, and since John Tamworth nominated as another of his executors Sir Walter Mildmay, auditor of the duchy, it is likely that Christopher secured his seat at Knaresborough through the duchy. However, John Tamworth also knew the Earl of Leicester, and Christopher too had dealings with him.

In his will of 19 Dec. 1569, Tamworth described himself as of Ryall in Rutland. The poor of Tilton and Hallstead, Leicestershire, and Ryall and Besthorpe, Rutland received £3. 6s.8d. If his wife, Elinor, accepted £40 a year out of the manor of Hallstead in lieu of thirds, then she was also to receive all the goods, including the corn and cattle, in and about his houses at Ryall and Coswick. His younger daughter, Dorothy, was to have 300 marks as her marriage portion, as well as all the goods, corn and cattle at Tilton and Hallstead. A codicil was made eight or ten days before Tamworth’s death when he was lying ‘sick in his bed’ at the sign of the Bear in Smithfield. Asked whether he wished to change anything, Tamworth replied that he did not. Pressed to give his daughter, Dorothy, something more he said that he would not, adding that she should ‘get her living with the travail of her body’. Tamworth named Kenelm and Everard Digby, as well as his eldest son John, executors, but the will was proved on 4 Apr. 1572 by John alone. Tamworth had died the previous 13 Dec.

C142/62/14, 161/98; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. liii), iii. 948; CSP Dom. Add. 1547-65, p. 546; CPR, 1563-6, p. 132; PCC 8 Lyon, 11 Daper.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière