THROCKMORTON (afterwards CAREW), Nicholas (d.1644), of ?Paulerspury, Northants. and Beddington, 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

5th surv. s. of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton of Paulerspury by Anne, da. of Sir Nicholas Carew of Beddington; bro. of Arthur Throckmorton. educ. matric. Padua 1590. m. (1) by 1599, Mary, da. of Sir George More of Loseley, Surr., 5s. 3da.; (2) by 1618, Susan Bright (d.1633), of Bury St. Edmunds, Suff., wid. of Henry Butler of London, merchant, 1s. 1da. Kntd. June 1603 at Beddington. suc. uncle Francis Carew of Beddington and changed his name to Carew May 1611.1

Offices Held

J.p. Surr. temp. Jas. I; chamberlain of the Exchequer 1613.2


Throckmorton, a younger son of the statesman and diplomat, was a minor figure until adopted as his heir by his uncle. Indeed, prior to the discovery of the diary kept by his brother Arthur, his activities before 1600 were almost completely unknown. As it is he is overshadowed by Arthur and by his sister Elizabeth, whose secret marriage to (Sir) Walter Ralegh caused such uproar at court.

Only a few years old when his father died, Throckmorton was left £500 and a half share (with his younger brother Henry) in the salt monopoly. His mother, who died in 1587, left him a jewel, having two rows of rubies and one of diamonds, and household goods, including satin and velvet hangings ‘with falcons and lions embroidered thereon’, taffeta curtains, silk and linen quilts and damask towels and napkins. He probably continued to live at the family home at Paulerspury, Northamptonshire. By 1588 he was in Italy, for Arthur recorded in his diary that he had sent his brother some money to continue his continental tour, probably part of a £40 annuity he was looking after for him during this period. Two years later the position was reversed, for Arthur borrowed £300 from Nicholas, at 10%.3

Throckmorton was in England again by 1596, for in July of that year he passed on to Sir Francis Carew at Beddington the rumour that Ralegh had been drowned during the expedition to Cadiz. Evidently he was a familiar figure in Surrey by this date, and shortly afterwards he married the daughter of another prominent Surrey gentleman, Sir George More of Loseley. He was returned to Parliament for Lyme Regis in 1601, a seat which his father had once occupied. His patron was presumably his brother-in-law, Sir Walter Ralegh. Others among Throckmorton’s relatives, including his father, grandfather, brother, uncle, father-in-law and son, saw service in the House of Commons.4

Two letters which Throckmorton wrote to Sir George More have survived among the Loseley papers, the second of which, written shortly after the accession of James I, suggests that the new reign had brought the writer financial difficulties. His credit was strained ‘to the uttermost’ and he was ‘at the last cast’.

My plate is all to pawn, credit I have none, livings or revenues to my company small, or rather none ... Wherefore I pray you do duly consider my case and your daughter’s, for whom I am sorry ... No less than £200 at Midsummer next can make me show my face in any company, and a hundred at Michaelmas next, which if I cannot have I must leave my country, and my wife and children to the parish.

Whatever lies behind this—and it is not possible to discover Throckmorton’s sources of income at the turn of the century—by 1611 his worries were over. Within the space of a few years he acquired Beddington and other property, a £400 annuity, and a profitable office in the Exchequer. For the rest of his long life Throckmorton was one of the leading gentlemen in Surrey. He died in February 1644, and was buried in Beddington church.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. Phillipps mss sold at Sotheby’s 14, 15 June 1971.
  • 2. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 214; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 523 table; Surr. Arch. Colls. i. ped. 1; A. L. Rowse, Ralegh and the Throckmortons, 292.
  • 3. PCC 8 Daper, 74 Spencer; Rowse, 57, 118.
  • 4. HMC Hatfield, vi. 245.
  • 5. A. J. Kempe, Loseley Mss, 359-61; VCH Surr. iii. 255, 317; iv. 170, 173, 174, 221, 231, 232; Add. Ch. 23720; Surr. Arch. Colls. xxxv. 37-9; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 581; Lansd. 142, f. 280.