LEIGH, Thomas (c.1512-71), of Caldwell, Beds. and Bermondsey, Surr.

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



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. c.1512, s. of Hugh Leigh by Maud, da. and h. of John Hogshaw. m. (1) Catherine (d.1558), s.p.; (2) 1559, Anne or Amy, da. of Richard Wodden of ‘Walingham’, Beds., wid. of Richard Wheatley (d.1558) of Bermondsey, 3s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Servant of (Sir) John Gostwick by 1538-45; auditor, ct. first fruits and tenths 1540-54; commr. relief, Beds. 1550, subsidy 1567, to enforce Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy, dioceses of Lincoln and Peterborough 1571; j.p. Beds. 1554, q. 1558/59-d.; mayor, Bedford 1571; charter member, Vintner’s Co. 1567; sheriff, Beds. and Bucks. 1571.3


Thomas Leigh’s origins are obscure. A pedigree, probably drawn up for him, and showing his descent from the landed Cheshire family, is almost certainly spurious. He seems to have begun his career in the service of Sir John Gostwick to whom, as first treasurer of the court of first fruits, he doubtless owed his appointment as one of the court’s auditors: he was to receive an annuity of £60 when the court was dissolved in 1554. He retained his connexion with the Gostwick family after Sir John’s death in 1545 and his early elections for Bedford, before he had established himself as a municipal figure, may have been furthered by its influence. He obtained a lease of the lands of Caldwell priory, much of which lay within the borough of Bedford, from William Gostwick, and sued out a pardon in 1559 as ‘of Caldwell alias of Bermondsey in Southwark’. He died on or about 14 Nov. 1571.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. C219/24/IV.
  • 2. Aged ‘40 or thereabouts’ in 1552, Beds. N. and Q. i. 300 seq. C142/160/11; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. v. 199; xxxvi. 75, 80; Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 179; F. A. Blaydes, Gen. Bedford, 25 seq.; PCC 63 Noodes, 54 Spencer, 40 Bakon.
  • 3. Beds. N. and Q. i. 300 seq.; LP Hen. VIII, xvi; CPR, 1553, p. 351; 1553-4, pp. 17, 399; 1566-9, p. 129; 1569-72, p. 277; Add. 22115, f. 8; T. Milbourn, Vintners’ Co. 34; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. xxxvi. 13
  • 4. W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 24n, 254 et passim; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. viii. 141, 164n; CPR, 1553-4, pp. 78, 399; 1558-60, p. 210; C142/160/11; Beds. Parish Regs. ed. Emmison, x. 26, 28, 55.