SOTHERTON, Thomas I (c.1520-83), of Norwich, Norf.

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.1520, 1st s. of Nicholas Sotherton, alderman and grocer of Norwich, by his w. Agnes Wright; bro. of George. m. Elizabeth, da. of Augustine Steward of Norwich, 4s. 4da. suc. fa. 10 Nov. 1540.

Offices Held

Common councilman, Norwich prob. 1547-54, common speaker 1554, 1555, auditor 1547, 1550, 1555, 1558, 1560, 1569, sheriff 1556-7, alderman 1557-83, mayor 1565-6; commr. to survey Norwich cathedral Oct. 1568.


Under Elizabeth, Sotherton played no outstanding part in civic affairs. He was partly responsible, as mayor, for the acceptance of a number of Flemish immigrants at Norwich against the opposition of the common council. These men, master workmen in the cloth industry, were admitted through the influence of the Duke of Norfolk, and were accommodated in the Strangers’ Hall.

In his will dated 13, Oct. 1581 Sotherton bequeathed considerable sums to his children and smaller amounts to brothers and sisters. The residue went to his eldest son Augustine, the sole executor. Sotherton asked to be buried beside his wife in St. Andrew’s church, Norwich. He died between April 1583, when he was still an alderman, and 5 Sept. of that year, when his will was proved.

Blomefield, Norf. iv. 291; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), ix. 129-31; Norwich consistory ct. 122 Bate; Norwich ass. proc. 2, 3; PCC 21 Alenger; Norwich Recs. i. 313, 318, 415; CPR, 1566-9, pp. 205-6; The Walloons and their Church at Norwich (Hug. Soc. i), pt. 1, p. 18.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe