SOUTHWORTH, Thomas (c.1564-1625), of Wells, Som.

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.1564,1 2nd s. of Edward Southworth (d. by 1573),2 Mercer of London and Wells, Som. and Jane, da. of Edward Lloyd (Floyd) of Llwynymaen, Salop. educ. Queen’s, Camb.; G. Inn 1587.3 m. Jane, da. of Nicholas Mynne of Norfolk, s.p.4 d. 8 Sept. 1625.5

Offices Held

Surveyor, Wells cathedral 1605-?d.;6 freeman and recorder, Wells 1610-d., capital burgess 1611-d.;7 j.p. Som. by 1612-d.8


Southworth was descended from a Catholic family long settled at Salmesbury, Lancashire, which included an Elizabethan martyr.9 By 1564 his father, Edward, had moved to Wells, where Southworth himself was born, but he also had a residence in St. Christopher le Stock, London, where he was a merchant.10 At his death in about 1573, Edward bequeathed Southworth £400, which proved sufficient to allow him to attend Cambridge and Gray’s Inn.11 Thereafter, Southworth presumably practised law in Wells, where in 1605 he became estate surveyor for the cathedral. In 1610 he succeeded Edward Kirton II* as recorder, an office which he held until shortly before his death. As the city’s principal legal representative, Southworth was returned to the Parliaments of 1614, 1621 and 1624. He made no recorded contribution to the work of the House, even when his maternal grandfather, Edward Floyd, was censured by the Commons in May 1621 for insulting Princess Elizabeth.

Southworth dictated a nuncupative will in the parlour of his house at Wells in about July 1625, leaving all his goods to his wife, Jane. He died on 8 Sept. following at a relation’s house in Barrow Gurney, Somerset, and was probably buried in the church there, where a memorial tablet was set in the chancel floor.12

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Date calculated from age at death.
  • 2. A. Jewens, Wells Cathedral, 43-5.
  • 3. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.
  • 4. Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 102.
  • 5. Jewens, 44-5.
  • 6. HMC Wells ii. 347.
  • 7. Som. RO, Wells Act Bk. 1553-1623, ff. 340; Corp. Act Bk. v. f. 3v.
  • 8. Q. Sess. Rolls ed. E.H. Bates Harbin (Som. Rec. Soc. xxiv), p. xix; Q. Sess. Rolls ed. E.H. Bates Harbin (Som. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 90.
  • 9. Vis. Som. 102.
  • 10. IGI Som.
  • 11. PROB 11/55, f. 103.
  • 12. Jewens, 43.