THRALE, Michael (b. by 1514), of Luton, Beds.

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. by 1514. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1528.1

Offices Held


There had been Thrales in and around Luton at least since the 14th century. Prosperous yeomen, they were of local importance partly through their connexion with the guild of the Holy Trinity in the town: in 1483 and in 1509 one of the family was master of the guild.2

Of Michael Thrale very little has come to light, and no connexion has been traced between him and the borough which he represented in Parliament. A presumed relative, George Thrale, married into the landed family of Franklyn of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, one of whom, William, had been closely associated, as archdeacon of Durham, with Wolsey and was by 1542 dean of Windsor and in favour at court. Sir William Gascoigne had owed his position in Wolsey’s household largely to Franklyn and when his son Sir John Gascoigne was returned as a knight of the shire for Bedfordshire to the Parliament of 1542 Michael Thrale was one of the electors.3

In 1535 Thrale was one of the witnesses to a land conveyance between two local families over a croft and land at West Hyde, in Luton. Two years later he leased from Richard Fermor the manor of Luton Hoo, a mill at Stapleford and appurtenances in the Luton district; the lease was for 30 years, and he may still have held it when the ownership of the manor changed hands in January 1552. The only later reference found to him, early in Elizabeth’s reign, leaves it doubtful whether he had died before this date: if he was still living, he had apparently left Luton, for a legal process of May 1564 described him as ‘late of Luton’. No will or inquisition post mortem is known.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from education.
  • 2. Beds. Hist. Rec. Soc. xxix. 92-93; N. and Q. cxciii. 495 seq.; W. Austin, Luton, i. 158, 203, 205-6; PCC 3 Jankyn, 13 Peter, 75 Leicester.
  • 3. Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 3, 31; F. A. Blaydes, Gen. Bedford, 441; DNB (Franklyn, William); C219/18B/2.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, iii; NRA 6970 (Beds. RO. Acc. no. 2059, item 3389), 7811 (Beds. RO, Luton Hoo Estates DW 6, 8); CPR, 1563-6, p. 119.