PARKER, Sir Thomas (1595-1663), of Ratton, Willingdon, Suss.

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



31 May 1626
Feb. 1641

Family and Education

b. Sept. 1595, 1st s. of Sir Nicholas Parker† of Ratton and 3rd w. Katherine, da. of John Temple of Stowe, Bucks. educ. G. Inn 1614. m. settlement 24 Nov. 1618, Philadelphia (d. 12 Jan. 1662), da. of Henry Lennard†, 12th Lord Dacre, of Chevening, Kent and Hurstmonceaux Castle, Suss., 7s. (2 d.v.p.) 8da. kntd. 12 Nov. 1617; suc. fa. 1620. d. 31 May 1663.2 sig. Tho: Parker.

Offices Held

J.p. Suss. 1621-49, 1650-60,3 commr. subsidy 1621-2, 1624,4 dep. lt. by 1624-at least 1642,5 commr. sewers 1625,6 Privy Seal loans 1625-6,7 Forced Loan 1627,8 martial law 1627,9 oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1640,10 defence, South Eastern Assoc. 1643-4, New Model Ordinance, Suss. 1645, assessment 1645-8, 1657, 1660, militia 1648, 1660.11


Parker’s family had been of note since the middle of the thirteenth century,12 and had represented various Sussex constituencies since 1371. His father sat for the county in 1597, despite Catholic sympathies and associations, while his uncle John Parker represented Hastings in 1589. Parker himself was summoned before the Council in February 1622 to explain his refusal to pay the Palatinate Benevolence.13 He was returned to the second Caroline Parliament at a by-election for Hastings in place of (Sir) Dudley Carleton* through the efforts of a fellow Sussex gentleman, Nicholas Eversfield*, who had, a couple of years earlier, unsuccessfully supported the candidacy of Parker’s great-uncle, Sir Alexander Temple, at Winchelsea. Parker did not solicit the place himself,14 however, and it is not known whether he managed to take his seat before the dissolution of 15 June. The elder brother of the radical publicist Henry Parker, he was one of the original Members elected when the representation of Seaford was restored by the Long Parliament. His adherence to the parliamentarian cause came under suspicion during the Civil War but he did not lose his seat until Pride’s Purge.15

Drawing up his will on 28 Mar. 1654 Parker, bequeathed his soul to God, ‘who I am assured for his dear son’s sake ... will assist and strengthen me at the hour of my death’. His son George sat for Sussex as knight of the shire both in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament and in the Convention, and replaced him on the commission of the peace at the Restoration. He died in May 1663, and was buried at Willingdon.16

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Peter Lefevre


  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 22; Add. 5697, f. 336; Notes of Post Mortem Inquisitions taken in Suss. comp. F.W.T. Attree (Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv), 177; Add. 5697, f. 336; GI Admiss.; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 167.
  • 3. Cal. of Suss. Indictments Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 94; A. Fletcher, A County Community in Peace and War: Suss. 1600-60, p. 353.
  • 4. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 5. Harl. 703, f. 174v; Fletcher, 255.
  • 6. C181/3, f. 166v.
  • 7. E401/2586, p. 40.
  • 8. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 144.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 461.
  • 10. C181/4, f. 386.
  • 11. A. and O. i. 335, 451, 624, 640, 976, 1094, 1242; ii. 1082, 1379, 1444.
  • 12. Add. 24121, f. 148.
  • 13. SP14/127/79.
  • 14. E. Suss. RO, HAS/DH/B98/2, f. 31. For the relationship between the Parker and Temple families, see Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 212.
  • 15. M. Keeler, Long Parl. 296.
  • 16. PROB 11/311, f. 388.