CRYMES (GRYMES), Sir Thomas (1574-1644), of Peckham, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

b. 20 Feb. 1574, 1st s. of Thomas Crymes, Haberdasher, of London and Jane, da. and coh. of Thomas Muschamp, Goldsmith, of London and Peckham. educ. G. Inn 1594. m. by 1602, Margaret (bur. 15 Nov. 1655), da. of Sir George More* of Loseley, 3s. 12da. (7 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1586;1 kntd. 24/25 June 1603.2 d. 28 Apr. 1644.3

Offices Held

J.p. Surr. 1603-at least 1642;4 commr. sewers, Surr. and Kent 1603, 1624-5, 1632-at least 1639, Surr. 1613,5 archery, London 1606,6 inquiry, Wandle river, Surr. 1610,7 oyer and terminer, the Verge 1610-1626, Home circ. 1617-42,8 annoyances Surr. 1611, Mdx. 1613;9 gov. of Camberwell g.s. 1615;10 commr. brewhouse survey, Surr. 1620,11 inquiry, lands of Agnes Phillips, Surr. 1620,12 subsidy 1622, 1624, 1640-1,13 new buildings, London 1625, 1630,14 dep. lt. Surr. by 1627-42;15 commr. Forced Loan, Surr. 1627,16 knighthood fines, 1630, collector 1631-4;17 commr. array, Surr. 1642,18 assessment 1643.19

Freeman, Fishmongers’ Co. 1616.20

Commr. logwood imports 1620,21 aliens 1621-2, poor prisoners 1624; member, High Commission, Canterbury prov. 1624-5; commr. regulation of starch manufacture 1631,22 exacted fees 1637-c.1640.23


Crymes’s father was the younger son of a prosperous London Haberdasher of Cheshire origin; the elder son founded the family seated at Buckland Monachorum in Devon. Thomas Crymes senior was granted arms in 1575 and was building a house at Peckham in Camberwell at his death in 1586. Crymes inherited property in London, Leicestershire and Yorkshire, as well as in Surrey where he was to enhance his standing by his marriage to the daughter of Sir George More*, one of the most influential members of the Surrey gentry. Crymes himself sat in the last Elizabethan Parliament and was knighted by James in 1603.24

Returned in 1614 for Haslemere, where More was lord of the manor, Crymes received seven committee appointments. Named, with his father-in-law and his brother-in-law Sir Robert More, to the committee for privileges on 8 Apr., he was one of those appointed to manage the conference of 14 Apr. on the Palatine marriage settlement. He was three times named to consider bills after Sir George More had spoken at second reading - for measures concerning false bail (16 Apr.), non-residence and pluralism (12 May), and building development in and near London (1 June). In addition he was appointed to consider a bill concerning the administration of the Court of Wards on 14 May, and was among those ordered to attend the Speaker on 29 May to explain to the king that the House had decided to forbear all business until the settlement of its quarrel with Bishop Neile.25 Following the Parliament, which was dissolved without granting supply, Crymes contributed £13 6s. 8d. towards the Benevolence levied by James I.26

A governor of Camberwell grammar school from its foundation, Crymes was a close friend of Edward Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College, and was present at the consecration of the college chapel in 1616 and at the official foundation three years later.27 He was again returned for Haslemere to the third Jacobean Parliament, but was only mentioned once in the surviving records, when he was appointed to attend a conference with the Lords on 16 Feb. 1621 to prepare the address against recusancy.28 Early in 1622 he was summoned before the Privy Council to explain his failure to contribute to the Benevolence.29 His wife’s brother-in-law John Donne* often came to preach at Camberwell, and Donne’s daughter stayed with the Crymes family after the death of her mother. In 1623 Crymes arranged a match between her and Alleyn, who was old enough to be her grandfather. Even the old bachelor Chamberlain thought this very strange.30 In the same year Edward Elton, the puritan rector of Bermondsey, dedicated a volume of sermons to Crymes, whose many favours he acknowledged.31 Crymes was returned for the county seat in the fourth Jacobean Parliament as junior partner to Sir Robert More, and was named to three committees. These concerned bills to make the estates of attainted persons liable for their debts (10 Mar.), to prevent infanticide (23 Apr.), and a private measure (29 April).32

At a chance meeting on the highway with Alleyn in February 1625, Crymes refused to become surety for a loan of £200, having sworn never again to subscribe a bond as surety after an unfortunate experience with his younger brother; but the next morning he wrote:

£200, as I told you, I have lying by me. It shall be ready for you at a quarter of an hour’s warning, and all my plate (but that I use daily), which I sure will amount to above £100, if you please, you shall have it to pawn to help to furnish your occasions.

Crymes and Sir Nicholas Carew* subsequently acted as trustees for the settlement made by Alleyn for his wife in 1625. Crymes was also an overseer of Donne’s will, inheriting ‘that striking clock which I ordinarily wear’ and a portrait of James I.33 He was an active Forced Loan commissioner in 1627.34

In the early 1630s Crymes served as both collector and commissioner of the Surrey knighthood compositions. In the spring of 1639 he subscribed £20 to help the king pay for the First Bishops’ War.35 In March 1642 he was dismissed from his position as deputy lieutenant of Surrey and the following summer he was appointed a commission of array by the king. However there is no evidence that he was active in the royalist cause and in March 1643 he was added to the parliamentarian weekly assessment committee for Surrey. When assessed at £600 by the parliamentarian committee for advance of money in June 1643, he showed acquittances for some £75 already lent. The following month the Commons ordered his sequestration for ‘refusing to obey the commands, and put in execution the orders, of the House’, but he was reappointed to the Surrey assessment committee in August.36 By early 1644 his health was declining and he drew up his will on 9 Feb. 1644, in which he confirmed a deed to provide his unmarried youngest daughter with a £1,500 portion. He survived almost two months longer, and was buried at Camberwell on 7 May.37

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. C142/212/44; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 144; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix), 55; GI Admiss.; W.H. Blanch, Ye Par. of Camerwell, 53-55.
  • 2. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 110.
  • 3. C142/775/22.
  • 4. C231/1, f. 150v; CJ, ii. 427a.
  • 5. C181/1, f. 46v; 181/2, f. 191; 181/3, f. 114v, 161v; 181/4, f. 126; 181/5, f. 153.
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  • 12. C181/3, f. 3v.
  • 13. C212/22/21, 23; SR, v. 65, 155.
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  • 15. Manning and Bray, Surr. iii. 669-70; CJ, ii. 485b.
  • 16. C193/12/2, f. 57v.
  • 17. E178/7154, f. 283; E401/2451; 198/4/32, f. 4.
  • 18. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 19. A. and O. i. 234.
  • 20. GL, ms 5570/2, f. 173.
  • 21. CD 1621, vii. 410.
  • 22. Rymer, vii. pt. 3, pp. 210, 239; pt. 4, pp. 31, 136, 172; viii. pt. 3, p. 217.
  • 23. E215/173A.
  • 24. HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 231; Vis. Devon (Harl. Soc. vi), 79; PROB 11/69, f. 490; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 66.
  • 25. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 34, 82, 91, 218, 235, 377, 402.
  • 26. E351/1950.
  • 27. W. Young, Hist. Dulwich Coll. i. 24, 45.
  • 28. CJ, i. 522b.
  • 29. SP14/127/80.
  • 30. R.C. Bald, John Donne, 311, 449, 485; Young, ii. 38, 39; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 534.
  • 31. E. Elton, Triumph of a True Christian (1623), sigs. A3-4; Oxford DNB sub Elton, Edward.
  • 32. CJ, i. 681a, 773a, 779a.
  • 33. Bald, 485-6, 523-4.
  • 34. SP16/67/4.
  • 35. Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, iii. 911.
  • 36. LJ, v. 642; CCAM, 173.
  • 37. CCC, 835; LMA, DW/PA/7/13, ff. 339-40; Blanch, 55.