GIRDLER, Thomas (1509/10-60 or later), of Salisbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1504/10, s. of one Girdler of Salisbury. educ. Winchester 1523; New Coll. Oxf. 1527, fellow 1527-34, BA 1531. m. 1534.1

Offices Held

Bp. of Winchester’s receiver, manor and hundred of Downton by 1558; ?subwarden, Trinity hospital Salisbury 1560-4.2


Apart from place of birth, education, marriage and service under Bishop White of Winchester little has come to light about Thomas Girdler. His fellowship at Oxford came to an end on his marriage but how long elapsed before he entered the service of Charles Bulkeley has not been discovered: in 1549 Bulkeley named his ‘servant’ Girdler an executor of his will. Girdler’s transfer to episcopal service was perhaps promoted by Bulkeley before his death as Downton is in the neighbourhood of Bulkeley’s Hampshire home at Burgate, but Girdler is not known to have exercised the receivership of the manor and hundred earlier than 1558 when his friend and contemporary from Winchester and Oxford, John White, was bishop. If his links with borough and bishop account for his Membership in 1558 and 1559, Girdler’s return for Wareham to Mary’s second Parliament is less easy to explain. The insertion of his name on the town’s indenture suggests that he was unknown to the electors and that he enjoyed official backing, with perhaps the sheriff, Sir John Tregonwell, a staunch Marian, acting as intermediary. The source of Girdler’s sponsorship is likely to have been White, who on the eve of the Parliament was consecrated bishop of Lincoln. White’s standing with the regime is indicated by the selection of him to preach the sermons at the opening of the next two Parliaments and by his transfer to Winchester on Stephen Gardiner’s death. After White’s deprivation and death in 1560 Girdler seems to have returned to Salisbury where he is probably to be identified with the subwarden of Trinity hospital between 1560 and 1564.3

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Aged 13 on admission to Winchester. Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 257.
  • 2. Eccles. 2/155896; APC, vii. 103-4; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxvi. 412.
  • 3. PCC 29 Coode; C219/22/18; DNB (White, John); APC, vii. 103-4; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxxvi. 412; Churchwardens’ Accts. of St. Edmund and St. Thomas, Sarum (Wilts. Rec. Soc. 1896), 282.