CLINTON, alias FIENNES, Thomas Lord (c.1568-1619), of Tattershall, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1568, s. and h. of Sir Henry Clinton, later 2nd Earl of Lincoln, by his 1st w. Catherine. educ. Oxf. 1582, aged 14, MA 1588. m. Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Henry Knyvet of Charlton, Wilts. by his 1st w., 4s. 5da. summ. to Lords in his fa.’s barony as Lord Clinton 1610; suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Lincoln 1616.2

Offices Held

Gent. pens. by 1601; commr. musters andj. and j.p.q. Lincs. (Holland) 1601.3


Clinton’s life was overshadowed by his father’s near insanity. He seems to have married fairly early, the Earl of Huntingdon writing on 21 Sept. 1584 that, ‘if God puts liking in the hearts of the young parties, I hope the affair may be well settled while the old Lord [Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln] liveth’. According to The Countess of Lincoln’s Nursery (1622) the early years of the marriage were not easy, as Clinton’s father refused to fulfil his part of the marriage contract. The Queen intervened, and at her instigation the Privy Council wrote to the Earl in August 1597, begging him to consider ‘what it is for young folks to want’, and requesting him to make available ‘some convenient house where the young lord and lady may live with their children’. The Queen did not intend to dispute Lincoln’s

point of law on bonds; for she knows in such a case as this where it concerns a gentlewoman descended of a father of noble blood, and where she interposeth herself as well for regard of the young lord as for his wife, that you will regard the obligations of honour and compassion.4

Still, Clinton took his father’s part in several quarrels. In 1595 he was accused of causing an affray and of the attempted stabbing of his cousin Sir Edward Dymoke, an opponent of the Clintons. The matter was reported to the Queen, and Clinton wrote to Robert Cecil:

They are a faction bent to sway all our country causes, and to wrong my father above measure, and waiting all advantages if any error escape him, they seek also to turn it to my prejudice. I desire peace, but experience makes me wiser than to trust Sir Edward Dymoke, so long as he or his fellows carry bastinadoes, or secretly seek me, as they have often done of late.

Another quarrel concerned the rights of Henry, Lord Norris (see Sir Henry Norris I), to the manor of Weston.5

Clinton was returned for Grimsby through the influence of his father, and entered into a bond to pay his own expenses. He was one of those chosen to convey the thanks of the Commons to the Queen for her message on monopolies (28 Nov.), and served on committees concerned with law reform (2 Nov.) and with draining the fens (28 Nov.). This last subject had already (1600) been the subject of correspondence between the Privy Council and himself. Clinton died at Tattershall 15 Jan. 1619, having survived his father by only three years.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. CP; Genealogist, n.s. xiii. 237-8.
  • 3. E401/1/34.
  • 4. N. J. O’Conor, Godes Peace and the Queenes (1934) passim; HMC Hatfield, ii. 319-20; vii. 375; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 202; CP .
  • 5. HMC Hatfield, v. 517; xiii. 556-7; A. R. Craik, Annals of our Ancestors, 262; O’Conor, 35, 81-2, 123 et passim.
  • 6. HMC 14th Rep. VIII, 279; D’Ewes, 623, 657; APC, xxxi. 46, 133; CP.