TIMPERLEY, Thomas (1523/4-94), of Hintlesham, Suff. and Flitcham, Norf.

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



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. 1523/4, 1st s. of William Timperley of Hintlesham by Margaret, (prob. illegit.) da. of Thomas, 3rd Duke of Norfolk; bro. of William. m. (1) by 26 Sept. 1557, Audrey, da. of Sir Nicholas Hare, 2s. 7da.; ?(2) Catherine. suc. fa. 1528.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Gt. Yarmouth 1563.

Comptroller of household to Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk by 1560; receiver, Suff. for 4th Duke of Norfolk by 1572, for Philip, 13th Earl of Arundel by 1589.2


Timperley’s father died when he was only four or five years old, and he became the ward of his maternal grandfather, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Had the 4th Duke not fallen into disgrace, Timperley might have expected a prosperous career as a courtier, but as it was, it looks as though he retired to his Suffolk estates, remaining there during the reign of Edward VI. He was one of Queen Mary’s earliest supporters, but there is little detailed information about him between her accession and the execution of the 4th Duke of Norfolk in 1572. He went on the Scottish campaign with his master in 1560, and in July 1569 he was one of the trustees to whom the Duke enfeoffed his ‘liberty’ in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Sussex and Surrey. Norfolk’s heir, Philip, Earl of Arundel, employed him as his receiver in Suffolk, but there is little evidence of personal association between the two men. After 1572 Timperley seems again to have retired to Hintlesham, where he rebuilt the old house. This was probably completed by the summer of 1579, when Queen Elizabeth, his distant relative, visited Ipswich on progress. She must have passed Hintlesham, which was on the road from the Waldegrave seat at Smallbridge, where she had broken her journey, but there is no evidence that she stopped there. Possibly the family were already in disfavour for their Catholicism: while the court was at Norwich the Privy Council took action against two of Timperley’s brothers-in-law as obstinate recusants. Timperley himself apparently conformed until 1577, when he was presented as a recusant in the Norwich diocese. His wife, his son Nicholas, and at least three of Nicholas’s sisters, were avowed recusants. Thus it came about that Timperley, a man of wealth and local standing, able to subscribe £25 to the Armada fund, was excluded from the commission of the peace in his county and absent from the Elizabethan Parliaments after his one appearance for a Norfolk borough early in the reign. He owned considerable freehold and copyhold land in East Anglia, and was made a free burgess of Great Yarmouth at the time of his election.3

He died, blind, 13 Jan. 1594, and was buried in Hintlesham church, where there is a monumental inscription to him and his wife, joined with one to his son Nicholas, who married Anne Markham. His will, drawn up in October 1592, gave instructions that 10 marks should be given ‘by twopenny dole’ to the poor who came to his burial, and left £30 for a bell in Hintlesham church, ‘to be agreeable for a bass to the other two which be in the steeple there’. His servants were to have six months’ wages. The will shows no sign of the financial difficulties caused by recusancy fines which impoverished his heir in later years. In 1577 Timperley’s lands and goods had each been valued at £100, and at the time he made his will he was able to leave annuities of £13 and £20 to his brothers William and Henry, with another of £13 to his unmarried daughter Anne if she chose a husband with the consent of her brother Nicholas and the executors, William Timperley, William Hare and her father’s old ‘servant’, Robert Munings. Copinger, Manors of Suffolk, vi. 55-7, says that Timperley married a second wife, Catherine, and that she is buried at Hintlesham. Nothing, however, is known of her, and she is not mentioned in Timperley’s will.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C142/49/15; G. H. Ryan and L. J. Redstone, Timperleys of Hintlesham, passim (individual references not given below); Vis Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 38; Copinger, Suff. Manors, vi. 55-7.
  • 2. Gt. Yarmouth ass. bk. 1559-70, f. 39; Add. 19152, f. 53v; Egerton 2074, f. 84.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, vi(3), p. 2810; Cath. Rec. Soc. xxi. 313; xxii. 59; APC, iv. 429-32; Add. 19152, f. 53v; Egerton 2074, f. 84; N. Williams, Duke of Norfolk, 55, 119; T. C. Noble, Names of Those who Subscribed, 61.
  • 4. PCC 60 Dixy.