WALKEDEN, Thomas, of London.

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. by 1542, 1st s. of Geoffrey Walkeden, skinner, of London by Margaret, da. of John Loker of Bridgnorth, Salop. educ. M. Temple 1564, called 1582. m. Anne (d.1575), da. of William Goodere of Hadley, Herts., at least 1da. suc. fa. Apr. 1599.1

Offices Held


Walkeden was descended from a family of minor gentry settled at Stone, Staffordshire. His father was a master of the Skinners’ Company, a charter assistant of the Muscovy Company of 1555, a promoter of the Guinea voyage of 1558, and an assistant of the Merchant Adventurers on their re-incorporation in 1564. He was rejected when proposed as alderman of London in January 1567 and never held office in the city.2

Since Thomas Walkeden was to be joined with his father in conveyances from the beginning of 1563 he was probably born not later than 1542. His entry to the Middle Temple may thus have followed some other form of training, perhaps in business or an inn of Chancery since there is no trace of him at either university. By then his father had acquired a suburban seat at Tottenham High Cross, and during the next few years the names of father and son are found associated in further property transactions in Edmonton which may represent Edward’s introduction to conveyancing practice. His brother Robert, who followed their father into the Skinners’ Company, presumably helped in the family business, which centred on the export and import of cloth.3

The little that has come to light about Thomas Walkeden’s early career contains nothing to account for his return to Parliament in 1572. Ludgershall had recently emerged from its dependence upon the Brydges family and was becoming an asylum for parliamentary vagrants. Walkeden’s appearance among them would be most readily explained if he had made a professional link conferring local influence, with the Kingsmills for instance, or even with the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, but no such link has been discovered. His father’s connexion with the cloth industry could have been of service: we know that Geoffrey Walkeden acted at aldermanic elections with Edward Jackman, whose son Henry was later to make some name for himself in the House, sitting for Wiltshire boroughs. However he procured it, Walkeden’s membership has left no trace in the proceedings of the House; nor did it inaugurate a parliamentary career. The rest of his life is hardly less obscure than its beginning. He found a wife at Hadley, not far from Tottenham, and when she died he erected a monument to her in Hadley parish church: their only known child married a Londoner and died in 1633. His father lived until April 1599 (and has an epitaph in the parish church at Tottenham), and his brothers Robert and Geoffrey until 1587 and 1603, both leaving wills which reflect material prosperity. It may be that Thomas Walkeden was affluent enough not to need to practise, and that his belated call to the bar, at the age of 40 or thereabouts, was of social rather than professional significance. He is last heard of in 1608 participating in an action over a charitable bequest in his family’s parish of St. Giles Cripplegate.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: S. T. Bindoff


  • 1. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. i), 18; (Harl. Soc. xvii), 365; ‘Vis. Staffs. 1583’, Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii(2), 135.
  • 2. Wm. Salt Arch. Colls. passim; Grants of Arms, 264; APC, xiii. 256; Recs. of Skinners of London, Edw. I to Jas. I, passim; J. F. Wadmore, Skinners’ Co. p. 191; T. S. Willan, Muscovy Merchants, 126; CPR, 1555, pp. 56-7; 1557, p. 419; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 4, 25, 57, 147, 182, 192, 208, 218, 246; PCC 15 Spencer.
  • 3. CPR, 1560-3, p. 547; 1563-6, p. 139; 1566-9, p. 112; Muscovy Merchants, p. 126.
  • 4. Beaven, Aldermen, i. 4, 218; Vis. Mdx. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 24; Lysons, Environs, ii. 521; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xvii), 365; W. Robinson, Hist. Par. Tottenham, ii. 52; PCC 15 Spencer, 76 Bolein; C2/296/58.