CURE, Thomas (d.1588), of Southwark, Surr.

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

m. Anne, da. of Humphrey Bennet of Salop, 2s. 4da. Saddler to Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth.

Offices Held

Warden, St. Saviour’s, Southwark by June 1559; a founder gov. of Southwark g.s. 1562.


As the Queen’s saddler Cure was a man of means—the wardrobe accounts show him due for payments of over £500 in 1583, and over £1,500 in 1584. He owned a ship and its cargo in 1573, acquired the manor of Widefleete in Southwark in 1580, and in 1584 founded an almshouse or college there for the maintenance of 16 poor people. For one of his background he was a keen Parliament man, coming in thrice for Southwark and twice for East Grinstead where, in 1564 he had purchased property. When the latter borough was granted a coat of arms in 1572, he paid for the engraving of its new seal in silver, ‘for the love and goodwill that he, the said Cure, bare unto the said borough town and the inhabitants thereof’. On 27 Mar. 1563, the bill to prohibit the setting of nets for fishing in the Thames was committed to him. No activity has been found for him in the records of the 1571 Parliament. On 21 May 1572 he opposed the bill reserving the use of wood within 20 miles of London to iron mills, saying that they were causing

... great scarcity of wood about London which is a hindrance to the whole common weal. Wheresoever they come, [woodworkers] driven away, as is already by experience in London, who are very necessary for the common weal, as making trees of saddles for horsemen. Already not one left in London.

On 22 May he spoke against a London monopoly in the manufacture of calivers and days and he was appointed to the committee set up to consider the matter that day. He else served on committees concerning foreign tradesmen (24 May), work for the poor (11 Feb. 1576), innholders and tipplers (17 Feb.), tanned leather (18 Feb.) and the preservation of woods (28 Jan. 1581). His name does not occur in the journals of his last two Parliaments.

In his will, drawn up shortly before his death on 24 May 1588, and proved 22 June, he asked that his ‘withered body’ might be buried beside that of his mother if he should die in Southwark, and he arranged for the division of his goods into three parts, one for his wife, the second for his sons George and Thomas, and the third for the discharge of other legacies. These included £100 towards the purchase of land for Southwark grammar school and 20s. ‘to make all the scholars a little recreation after my burial’. The Saddlers’ Company received £3 for a similar merry-making, and there were bequests for the relief of the inmates of London hospitals and prisons, and for various poor persons. He made his son George responsible for an annual payment to the use of the poor of his newly erected ‘college’ or almshouse in Southwark.

Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 209; CPR, 1558-60, p. 34; 1560-3, p. 268; M. Concanen and A. Morgan, Hist. St. Saviour’s, Southwark, 103-20; VCH Surr. iv. 150; APC, viii. 100; Lansd. 46, ff. 184, 189; Suss. Rec. Soc. xix. 263-4; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxii. 225; CJ, i. 71, 96, 97, 105, 106, 120; D’Ewes, 89, 214, 247; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. ff. 32-3, 35; PCC 43 Rutland.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.