SOTHERTON, Thomas II (c.1555-1608), 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.1555, s. of John Sotherton, alderman and grocer of Norwich, by Mary, da. of Augustine Steward of Norwich. m. Frances Fox, wid., da. of Robert Cheke, at least 1s. 3da.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norwich 1592-3, alderman by 1595, claviour 1596, mayor 1605-6.


Sotherton was the youngest of the three Sothertons in the 1597 House of Commons. Very probably he was the ‘Mr. Sotherton’ who served on a committee dealing with Norfolk and Norwich worsted yarn, 18 Nov. He may also have served on committees for navigation (12 Nov.), the possessions of the bishop of Norwich (30 Nov.), draining the fens (3 Dec.), cloth (8 Dec.) and maltsters (12 Jan. 1598). His uncle George and cousin Nowell, though freemen of Norwich, were virtually Londoners, like others of the family who had newly established themselves in or near the capital, but Thomas was resident in Norwich, a grocer like his father and Thomas I, his uncle, who had preceded him as the first Sotherton at Westminster. Admitted a freeman in 1576, he rose steadily through the city hierarchy until he became mayor in 1605. A man of considerable wealth, he owned land outside the city, including the manors of Cossey and Aldenham in Weston, Norfolk. He had to contribute £30 towards the forced loan of 1604.

According to his monument in St. John’s, Maddermarket, he died in May 1608, aged 53. His will, dated 30 Mar. 1608, contained a number of charitable bequests. His legacies to relatives were large: £6,000 to his son Augustine and dowries of 1,000 marks each to his three daughters.

Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 5), ix. 129-31; H. Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 110; P. Millican, Norwich Freemen, 73; Norwich ass. min. bk. 1585-1613. f. 152; D’Ewes, 556, 559, 567, 569, 578; Townshend, Hist Colls. 110; Norf. Arch. ii. 341; PCC 49 Windebancke.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.