MASSINGBERD, Thomas (by 1512-58 or later), of Calais.

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



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1512, ?1st s. of John Massingberd of Calais by 1st w. Clemence, da. of Humphrey Southworth of Lancs. m. da. of John Clerke of London, 3s.1

Offices Held


Thomas Massingberd was almost certainly the eldest son of John Massingberd, a Lincolnshireman who had made his career at Calais, where he was mayor in 1518. Of the elder Massingberd’s brothers, Thomas was knighted in 1533 and died in 1552, while Christopher became chancellor of Lincoln and died in 1553. At Calais the Massingberds, father and son, appear to have stood well with the deputy, Viscount Lisle; when in 1537 Thomas Massingberd was ill in London, it was through Lady Lisle that the deputy’s agent John Hussee informed his father that he was out of danger. The friendship with the vice-treasurer of Calais, Robert Fowler, reflected in their witnessing of his will in 1549 and his bequest of a ring, points in the same direction, as does Thomas Massingberd’s appearance as a witness with William Pryseley against William Smith, one of the Calais sacramentaries whom the conservative Lisle had denounced. As a member of the garrison since 1533 and half-brother to the clerk of the deputy’s council until 1552 Massingberd was well qualified for election as the mayor and townsman’s representative in the Parliament of March 1553; he was joined in the House by his kinsman Edward Lewknor as one of the Members for Horsham. The Journal does not refer to Massingberd, but he may have promoted a bill for leather for Calais shoemakers which failed after its first reading. Of his later career all that is known is that on 7 Jan. 1558 Sir Thomas Wentworth II, 2nd Baron Wentworth named him as one of the delegates to negotiate the surrender of Calais to the French. If he made a will it has not been found.2

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 654.
  • 2. P. T. J. Morgan, ‘The govt. of Calais, 1485-1558’ (Oxf. Univ. D. Phil. thesis, 1966), 264, 300, 305; The Ancestor, vii. 4; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 389; LP Hen. VIII, xii, xiv, xv; PCC 3 Pynnyng; CPR, 1550-3, p. 404.