MALLINSON, Thomas (by 1514-57), of Oxford.

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. by 1514, m. by 1544, Agnes Gosse; ?(2) Anne.1

Offices Held

Common councilman, Oxford 1541, bailiff 1545-6, 1548-9, subsidy collector 1547, alderman by 1550.2


The origins of Thomas Mallinson are unknown and his occupation uncertain. In June 1541 he claimed payment of a bill as Thomas Mallinson, tailor. In November 1542 he compounded for the office of chamberlain by agreeing to finish work on a new building; six months later he was commissioned to finish two chimneys on the same building. He was described as a draper in 1555 and his will provides several illustrations of his activities in this trade. It might be thought that more than one man was involved here, but only one career can be traced through the subsidy rolls and civic records.3

Admitted a freeman in 1534-5 Mallinson became one of the wealthier townsmen, since between 1543 and 1547 his goods were assessed for subsidy at £20, in 1550 at £25 and in 1551 at £28. His property included the lease of a tenement which became the Crown, held by John Davenant early in the 17th century. He undertook the usual duties of a leading townsman and his election to Mary’s second Parliament was a natural extension of his civic career.4

In a will of 17 Apr. 1557 Mallinson named his wife Anne principal legatee and executrix. Most of the will was taken up with details of a deed of gift made two days previously by Mallinson to the mayor William Tylcock. The sum of £200 was to be used for ‘setting the poor people of the city at work’ in the clothing industry. If the city failed to live up to this condition, New College was to take the money; otherwise Tylcock was to hold it for ten years and thereafter no one was to have it for more than eight. Whoever held it was bound to keep an obit yearly for Mallinson’s soul. On 27 Apr. 1557, ten days after he had made the will, Mallinson was replaced as alderman. If this foreshadowed his approaching end, that end itself was to be dramatic, for it must have been within hours of uttering opprobrious words against Tylcock at a council meeting on 27 May that Mallinson died. His will was proved the following day, the process being perhaps thus expedited to forestall challenges or contention: if so, the attempt miscarried, for in 1562 the city council was driven to institute proceedings against Tylcock for £200 given by Mr. Mallinson.5

Tylcock, for his part, had brought a chancery suit, shortly after Mallinson’s death, against Thomas Mayott, a Merchant Taylor of London, over a debt of £77 which was to have formed part of Mallinson’s £200 but which Mayott had paid to the widow on her plea that ‘she being the occasion of great wealth unto the said testator her late husband was not so substantially left by her said husband but that she had much need of such debt’. If Anne had indeed been the occasion of great wealth to Mallinson, it is unlikely that she was Agnes Gosse, although the names Anne and Agnes were interchangeable, since in a suit before Chancellor Audley the keeper of the Bocardo prison referred to a former prisoner, Agnes Gosse, then the wife of Thomas Mallinson, who appears to have been arrested for debt. She may have been the widow of William Gosse, a common councilman in 1535.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. C1/1084/20; Bodl. wills Oxon. 181, ff. 199-200v.
  • 2. Oxf. Recs. 162, 178, 192; E179/162/261, 282.
  • 3. Oxf. Univ. Arch. T/S cal. chancellor’s ct. reg. EEE, p. 511; Oxf. Recs. 167-8, 169, 224.
  • 4. Oxf. Recs. 134, 192, 211, 213, 224, 224; E179/162/224, 229, 240, 261, 282, 289; Surv. Oxf. i. (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. xiv), 8.
  • 5. Bodl. wills Oxon. 181, ff. 199-200v; C1/1475/39; Oxf. Recs. 224-5, 261, 266, 293.
  • 6. C1/1084/20, 1475/39-40; Oxf. Recs. 134.