GLEMHAM, Thomas (c.1647-1704), of Glemham Hall, Little Glemham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1647, 1st s. of Sir Sackville Glemham of Glemham Hall by Frances, da. of Sir Thomas Gardiner of Cuddesdon, Oxon., attorney-gen. 1645-6. educ. Trinity, Oxf. matric. 11 May 1665, aged 18; I. Temple 1667. m. (1) 24 June 1673, Dorothy, da. and coh. of Borowdale Mileson of Norton, Suff., wid. of John Stuteville of Dalham, Suff., s.p.; (2) lic. 19 Dec. 1685, ‘aged 30’, Elizabeth, da of Sir John Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe, Norf., 1s. suc. fa. by 1664.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Suff. 1673-80, Suff. and Orford 1689-90; j.p. Suff. 1678-d.; portman, Orford 1685-Oct. 1688, common councilman 1693-?d.; dep. lt. Suff. 1689-d.; freeman, Dunwich 1694.2


Glemham’s ancestors were living in the village from which they took their name in 1419, but they did not acquire the manor, together with considerable monastic property, until Tudor times. His great-grandfather represented the county in the last Parliament of Elizabeth, but his grandfather impaired his fortune and became a professional soldier. He took a prominent part in the Civil War as royalist governor of York and Carlisle, and compounded in 1647 on a fine of £951. His father, who was also in arms, was imprisoned in King’s Lynn as a suspected plotter in 1655. The estate was valued at £400 p.a. for decimation. After the Restoration Glemham’s second cousin, Lady Castlemaine, obtained a bishopric for his great-uncle; but this was apparently the limit of the royal bounty towards the family.3

Glemham doubtless opposed exclusion, remaining on the Suffolk commission of the peace in 1680. On the death of Henry Parker II he was elected to the Oxford Parliament for Orford, eight miles from his home, and nominated to the corporation in the new charter of 1685. He was re-elected to James II’s Parliament, but neither in 1681 nor 1685 was he appointed to any committees. His attitude to James II’s religious policy is not known, but he was re-elected as a Tory to the Convention, in which he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. But he did not speak, and was only slightly more active as a committeeman. His first committee was not until 14 Dec. 1689, when he was among those named to consider a bill to enable Lord Hereford, the owner of Orford Castle, to make a jointure. In the closing weeks of this Parliament, he was appointed to eight more committees, including those to consider the bill for restoring corporations and imposing a general oath of allegiance. He was re-elected for the last time in 1690. He died intestate on 24 Sept. 1704, ‘a gentleman endowed with great civility as inheritor of the virtue and estate of ... his ancestors’, and the last of the family to sit in Parliament.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Add. 19132, ff. 53-54; Vis. Suff. (Harl. Soc. lxi), 30; Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 220; CJ, viii. 535.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1685, p. 46; SP44/165/282; E. Suff. RO, EE6/1144/13, p. 81.
  • 3. Add. 19132, ff. 50-51; Copinger, Suff. Manors, v. 127, 140; Clarendon, Rebellion, ii. 286; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1579; CSP Dom. 1655, p. 368; Thurloe, iv. 327; Pepys Diary, 29 July 1667.
  • 4. Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700-15, p. 92; Prob. 6/80/227; W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss, Morgan to Turner, 25 Sept. 1704; HMC Egmont, ii. 197; Add. 19101, f. 7.