THELWALL (THELOAL), Simon (1525/26-86), of Plas y Ward, Llanynys, Denb.

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

Family and Education

b. 1525/26, 1st s. of Richard Thelwall of Plas y Ward by Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Herle of Stanton Harcourt, Oxon. and Aberystwyth, Card. educ. I. Temple, adm. Nov. 1555, called 1568. m. (1) Alice, da. of Robert Salesbury of Rûg, Merion. and Denb. 4s., (2) Jane, da. of Thomas Massey of Broxton and Chester, Cheshire, 1s. 2da., (3) Margaret da. of Sir William Gruffydd of Penrhyn, Caern., wid. of Sir Nicholas Dutton, s.p. suc. fa. 1568.1

Offices Held

Steward, reader’s dinner, I. Temple 1579.

Commr. piracy, Denb. 1565, tanneries, Ruthin 1574, musters, Denb. 1580; sheriff, Denb. 1571-2; j.p. 1575-d., steward, Ruthin manor 1575-d.; dep. justice, Chester circuit 1576, 1579, V. justice 1580, 1584; member, council in the marches of Wales c. 1577.2


The Thelwall family had been established in the Ruthin area from about 1380, when John Thelwall arrived as a follower of Reginald de Grey, Lord of Ruthin; the Denbighshire home was acquired when his son married the heiress of Plas y Ward.3

Apart from his appearance on the subsidy list of 1544, when he was assessed at Llanynys on goods worth 46s.8d., nothing has come to light about Simon Thelwall before his two elections to Parliament in 1553. These are to be accounted for both by his family’s standing at Ruthin, a contributory borough which is known to have taken part in the voting on both occasions, as it was to do in 1559 when Thelwall was re-elected, and by his connexions with leading local figures. Of these Sir John Salusbury, whom Thelwall later served as attorney, and Salusbury’s cousin Robert Puleston in turn joined Thelwall in the House as knights of the shire, while Puleston’s ally Edward Almer was sheriff at both elections: another Member of the first Marian Parliament, John Salesbury, may already have become Thelwall’s brother-in-law. Thelwall was not among the Members of the Parliament who ‘stood for the true religion’, although he was later to be known as an earnest Protestant. He may have moved in that direction during his years at the Inner Temple, which he entered at the comparatively advanced age of about 30 in November 1555, two months after being one of the 40 and more men of Denbighshire and Flintshire, among them perhaps George Salusbury, pardoned for a double murder. Under Elizabeth he was to become a notable figure in his shire and a member of the council in the marches. He died on 18 Apr. 1586.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. Aged 60 at death, Dwnn, Vis. Wales , ii. 113n, 336; Griffith, Peds. 274; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 231; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 175-6.
  • 2. APC, vii. 286; xi. 243; SC2/225/14, 23; Add. Ch. 41406; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 144, 358-9; W. R. Williams, Welsh Judges, 71; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 127, 133, 200, 212.
  • 3. DWB (Thelwall fam.).
  • 4. E159/340, Tin. 28-29; 179/220/166; C219/20/187, 21/230; CPR, 1555-7, p. 43; NLW Bachymbyd deeds and docs. 543; J. W. Y. Lloyd, Powys Fadog, iii. 128-43; PCC 55 Windsor; HMC Welsh, i(2), 682.