OXBOROUGH, Thomas (c.1554-1623), of Lath Street, King's Lynn, Norf. and Lincoln's Inn, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1554,1 s. of Thomas Oxborough of Beckham Well, Norf.2 educ. L. Inn 1572, called 1581.3 m. (1) bef. 1587, Thomasine, da. of Thomas Hewar of Oxborough, Norf., 4s. (1 d.v.p.), 3da.;4 (2) bef. 1601, Margaret (d.1623), da. of Richard Slyford of Slyford, Lincs., and wid. of Patrick Cartwright of King’s Lynn, merchant, s.p.5 d. 30 Dec. 1623.6

Offices Held

Freeman, King’s Lynn 1584,7 town clerk 1584-97,8 recorder 1597-d.;9 j.p. Norf. 1597-d.;10 commr. sewers, I. of Ely 1594,11 Lincs. and Norf. by 1597,12 gaol delivery, King’s Lynn 1603, swans, Norf. 1614.13


Oxborough dedicated his life to the service of King’s Lynn. He represented the town in five parliaments and occupied the onerous position of town clerk before being elevated to the recordership in 1597. His service was rewarded in a variety of ways. Each year, in addition to his £4 stipend as recorder and a payment of 26s. 8d. for attending the Lynn quarter sessions, he was given a hogshead of claret worth £6.14 In the 1590s he held two leases of land from the corporation,15 and in 1616 the town lent him £300.16 He was evidently one of the wealthiest men in Lynn, for in 1610 he was assessed at £2 in lands for the purposes of the subsidy.17

Elected for the fourth time as Member for Lynn in 1604, Oxborough was granted ‘power to do the town’s business’ while in London.18 However, he made little recorded contribution to the first Jacobean Parliament. He seems never to have spoken, and was named to just nine legislative committees, most of which dealt with Norfolk land sales bills.19 As a Norfolk burgess he also was entitled, in 1606, to attend committees to examine the incorporation of the Spanish Company and to amend an Elizabethan statute regarding the erection of cottages.20 Oxburgh received several payments of parliamentary wages, at a rate of 2s. per diem.21

Oxborough was re-elected for Lynn in 1614, but missed at least the first two weeks of the Parliament, for on 19 Apr. his fellow Member for Lynn, Matthew Clarke, stated that he had ‘not yet come up’.22 It may be that Oxborough never attended, as he is not mentioned again in the parliamentary records and received no wages, unlike Clarke, who was paid 10s. a day between 1 Apr. and 11 June.23

Oxborough drafted his will on 18 Dec. 1623, shortly before his death. He bestowed a life interest in his mansion house in Lynn upon his second wife Margaret, except for the study and gallery ‘over the little parlours’, which he reserved for his eldest son. A messuage and 90 acres around Lynn and the remainder of his properties in Norfolk at Middleton, Terrington St. John, Feltwell, Tilney, and Islington were divided among his children and grandchildren. He asked to be buried ‘without pomp or a funeral’ next to his first wife, Thomasine, at Emneth, Norfolk.24 Oxborough’s grandson, Lawrence Oxborough, was returned for both Aldeburgh and the Scottish constituency of Forfar Burghs in the Parliament of 1659.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


V. Parker, Making of King’s Lynn, 42.

  • 1. LI Admiss.
  • 2. Vis. Norf. ed. G.H. Dashwood (Norf. and Norwich Arch. Soc), i. 150.
  • 3. LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. i. 422.
  • 4. Norf. Rec. Soc. v. 152; Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), St. Margaret’s par. reg.
  • 5. Norf. Rec. Soc. v. 152; Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/8, f. 223v.
  • 6. C142/406/26.
  • 7. Cal. Lynn Freemen, 120.
  • 8. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/7, f. 289; C7/8, f. 130v.
  • 9. Ibid. passim.
  • 10. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C2/48.
  • 11. Lansd. 76, f. 130.
  • 12. APC, 1597, pp. 274-6; C181/1, f. 14v.
  • 13. C181/1, f. 68v; 181/2, f. 212.
  • 14. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/8, ff. 87v, 110, 127, 152; KL/C39/97, f. 52.
  • 15. Ibid. KL/C7/8, ff. 42, 183.
  • 16. Ibid. C44/9, f. 96v.
  • 17. E179/153/562.
  • 18. Ibid. C7/8, f. 300v.
  • 19. CJ, i. 185a, 210a, 234b, 259a, 269b, 272a, 330b, 397b, 446a.
  • 20. Ibid. 261a, 269b.
  • 21. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/8, ff. 379v, 401v, 478.
  • 22. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 103,107.
  • 23. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/9, f. 56v.
  • 24. PROB 11/143, ff. 18-19v.