WAINFLEET, Thomas (by 1463-1515), of Canterbury, Kent.

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 1463, s. of Thomas Wainfleet of Canterbury. ?unm. 1s. illegit.2

Offices Held

Common councilman, Canterbury by 1500, alderman by 1504, mayor 1514-15; commr. gaol delivery 1510, 1513, subsidy 1512, 1514, 1515.3


Thomas Wainfleet, taverner, was admitted to the freedom of Canterbury in 1484 as the son of a freeman. He was not made chamberlain, the customary first step in civic promotion, but otherwise his career followed the normal pattern. He was early employed on city business, being one of those sent to London in 1501 to seek legal advice on a pardon of £300 forfeited by Canterbury in a dispute with the prior of Christchurch over a market-site. When, early in August, the delegation failed to find the city’s usual counsel because it was vacation time but met the recorder of London (Sir Robert Sheffield) at Lord Daubeney’s house, the members ‘besought him to speed them for the time of the forfeit passed not three days, which answered that he was sore occupied and might not intend it so shortly, where we took him 6s.8d., and then he bade us wait on him on the morrow in the Temple’. The next day they breakfasted the recorder’s men in Fleet Street and in the afternoon, ‘when Master Recorder had contrived the bill and corrected it’, they gave him 6s.8d. ‘for his reward’. The matter was then referred to the King’s Council, with what result is not known.4

As a Member of the Parliament of 1512 Wainfleet was paid £3 10s.8d. parliamentary wages and journey money by the chamberlains of 1512-13; the number of days was not recorded but at 16d. a day he must have been present nearly every day of the second session. (The accounts for 1511-12, in which wages for the first session were presumably entered, are missing.) In 1514 Wainfleet received 40s. for 30 days at the third session, apparently without any allowance for travelling. With his fellow-Member John Hales I he had presumably promoted the unsuccessful bill concerning the mayor and aldermen of Canterbury which was read in the Lords in March 1512. By the time of the next election he was himself mayor, and this may explain why, unlike Hales, he was not returned again in accordance with the King’s request for the re-election of the previous Members. He did not survive his year of office, receiving only £5 of his mayoral fee of £10 13s.4d. and being replaced by his brother-in-law Thomas Fokes. On 19 Sept. 1515 Thomas Wainfleet, vintner, was admitted a freeman of Canterbury without payment

not for that he was the son of Thomas Wainfleet, freeman of the said city and late mayor, because the said Thomas the son was inlegittime procreate, but at the special request of Mr. Thomas Fokes then mayor and with the consent of the whole court of burmote for the very zeal and love that Mr. Mayor, the aldermen and common council hold unto the said Thomas Wainfleet the father.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Canterbury chamberlains’ accts. 1512-13.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman, Freemen of Canterbury, ed. Cowper, cols. 89, 326.
  • 3. Canterbury burmote rolls 1500, 1504, 1509; chamberlains’ accts. 1514-15; LP Hen. VIII, i; Statutes, iii. 79, 112, 168.
  • 4. Canterbury chamberlains’ accts. 1500-1; HMC 9th Rep. pt. i. 147.
  • 5. Canterbury chamberlains’ accts. 1512-13, 1513-14, 1514-15; LJ, i. 15, 17; Freemen of Canterbury, cols. 120, 326; HMC 9th Rep. pt. i. 150.