THROCKMORTON, Sir Clement (1580-1632), of Haseley, Warws.

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. 11 Oct. 1580, 1st s. of Job Throckmorton† of Haseley and Dorothy, da. of Thomas Vernon of Houndhill, Hanbury, Staffs.1 educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1596; Queen’s, Oxf. 1599, BA 1599; M. Temple 1600.2 m. 20 July 1602, Lettice (admon. 9 Feb. 1647), da. of Sir Clement Fisher† of Great Packington, Warws., 3s.3 suc. fa. 1601;4 kntd. by 1604.5 d. 1 Dec. 1632.6 sig. Cle[ment] Throckmorton.

Offices Held

J.p. Warws. c.1604-d.,7 commr. aid 1609,8 subsidy 1611, 1621-2, 1624,9 sheriff 1612-13,10 commr. oyer and terminer, Midland circ. 1615-at least 1626,11 mines dispute, Bedworth, Warws. 1622-4,12 Forced Loan, Warws. 1626-7.13


Throckmorton’s forbears first settled in Warwickshire in the early fifteenth century. The Haseley branch of the family was established in the 1550s by his grandfather, Clement, who twice represented his county at Westminster. His father, Job, enjoyed the dubious distinction of having been imprisoned for his fiery outbursts over religion and foreign policy during the 1586 Parliament, though his principal claim to fame was his suspected authorship of the seditious Martin Marprelate tracts. Job endeavoured to inculcate the same puritan sympathies in his son, and in 1596 Throckmorton was sent to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a recognized centre of radical Protestantism. More scholarly than most of his gentry contemporaries, he completed his bachelor’s degree, though for reasons which are unclear he transferred to Oxford for the final phase of his studies. Dugdale later noted him as being ‘not a little eminent for his learning and eloquence’, while Archdeacon Hinton of Coventry commended ‘his settled judgment in religion and his integrity of practice’.14

Upon his father’s death in 1601, Throckmorton inherited an ostensibly moderate estate of some 600 acres and three-and-a-half manors, mostly located to the north and west of Warwick. As he was still a few months short of his 21st birthday, his mother purchased his wardship from the Crown.15 He obtained a knighthood early in James’s reign, and became a j.p. in around 1604. Considered for the role of sheriff as early as 1609, he was eventually pricked three years later.16 By then his subsidy assessment was comparatively high, with a rating of £20, indicating considerable affluence. From 1615 he served on the prestigious oyer and terminer commission covering the Midland counties. He proved deeply critical of (Sir) Giles Mompesson’s* patent for licensing alehouses, believing that it would generate ‘a marvellous great disorder in the commonwealth’ and undermine the power of j.p.s. Unlike magistrates, who aimed to reduce the number of offences, a courtier-patentee like Mompesson would more likely tolerate abuses, ‘because thereby more gain accrueth to him’. A desire to reform such evils may well have prompted his decision to stand for election to Parliament at Warwick in 1620. However, although he gained the support of numerous freeholders, the franchise lay with the corporation, which preferred other candidates.17

Throckmorton finally entered the Commons in 1624 as a knight for Warwickshire, the third member of his family to represent a county during this period.18 In total, he made three recorded speeches, and received nominations to 26 committees or conferences. Surprisingly for a novice Member, his very first appointment, on 15 Mar., was to a committee instructed to draft a new bill on elections. Ten days later he was named to the committee stage of the Durham enfranchisement bill, but failed to attend any of the meetings. Appropriately for an experienced j.p., he made his maiden speech on 10 Apr. during a debate on the management of corn supplies, though the sense of his contribution has not survived.19 Both of his other speeches concerned religion. On 20 Apr. he concurred with Sir Thomas Wentworth that the subsidy bill should be delayed until the king responded positively to the Commons’ petition for tougher measures against Jesuits and recusants. He reaffirmed his fear of Catholicism on 12 May, during a debate on recusancy: ‘A Protestant of state [is] worse than a professed papist’. Doubtless no better disposed towards Arminians, he was named three days later to the select committee to prepare the Commons’ case against Bishop Harsnett of Norwich, ahead of a conference with the Lords.20 Throckmorton was appointed to two other conferences, on monopolies (7 Apr.) and the bill for continuance of statutes (22 May). He was also nominated on 28 May to accompany the solicitor general, Sir Robert Heath, when he presented grievances to the king.21 The bulk of the committees to which he was named were concerned with private or legal bills. He was the first Member appointed to the legislative committees which discussed rents due to the bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and the Warwickshire estates of the Burneby family (16 and 24 April). He twice attended the committee for the Goathland manor bill, and presumably also took an interest in the bill to confirm Prince Charles’s purchase of Kenilworth manor and castle, just a few miles from Haseley (appointments 20 Apr. and 23 March).22 His was again the first listed name for the committee stage of a bill to reverse a Court of Requests decree relating to the Edwards family (16 Apr.), but he missed every meeting. The topics of his other committee options included a Chancery decree against the Jermy family, and malicious suits against j.p.s (7 and 15 Apr.). He was also nominated on 8 May to a select committee to examine the East India Company’s accounts, in connection with Lady Elizabeth Dale’s battle for compensation.23

Re-elected by the Warwickshire freeholders in 1625, he was named on 21 June to the committee for privileges. On 23 June he condemned ‘the infinite confluence of priests and Jesuits into this kingdom’ as a prime cause of the spread of popery, and called for a petition to the new king requesting the expulsion of ‘these locusts’. He was appointed later that day to the committee stage of a bill against recusants, and on 27 June to the committee for the subscription bill.24 In the privileges committee on 4 July he supported the summoning of additional witnesses in the Yorkshire election dispute. On the following day he delivered a petition for Sir Francis Wortley to receive parliamentary privilege in a Star Chamber suit. He was also nominated to the committee for the larceny bill, and to a select committee to consider a petition against impositions on wine imports (25 and 29 June). He attended the Oxford sitting, but appears to have engaged in its debates only on 11 Aug., shortly before the dissolution, when he opposed further supply on the grounds that the government had failed to demonstrate the necessity of a fresh grant.25

In the 1626 elections Throckmorton was once more chosen knight of the shire. Appointed a second time to the committee for privileges, he was also included in a select committee to examine the conduct of the Leicestershire election (9 Feb. and 26 April). Now a relatively experienced Member, he was added on 25 May to the committee for drafting the subsidy bill preamble.26 Still preoccupied with religious matters, on 11 Feb. he successfully moved for the revival of an abandoned 1625 bill against corrupt presentations to benefices, and was named to the committee stage three days later. On 15 Feb. he supported in principle the bill against scandalous ministers, but complained that it would render the clergy liable to much heavier punishments than lay people guilty of the same offences. He was named to the committees which scrutinized that bill and two others concerned with subscription and preaching (15 Feb., 6 and 25 May).27

Throckmorton was critical of the conduct of the impeachment proceedings against Buckingham, and on 24 Apr. was one of the Members who voiced disquiet that evidence was being assembled in private by a select committee. During the debate on 4 May on the charge that the duke was responsible for the increase of popery, he referred the House back to debates several months earlier on the government’s attitude to recusancy, apparently implying that there was nothing new in the latest allegations. He was appointed to the select committee to determine how the Commons should request the Lords to confine Buckingham, and helped to gather the testimonies of sick Members in defence of Sir Dudley Digges, who had been arrested over comments made during the presentation of the impeachment charges (9 and 15-16 May). Nevertheless on 13 June he was scathing about the Remonstrance calling for the duke’s dismissal: ‘upon our conceits and conjectures, which are uncertain, we in this declaration desire a certain punishment: the removal of the duke from the king. This course I never heard of in any court and desire it may not be used by us who are judges’.28 Throckmorton was nominated to 18 other legislative committees. Two of the issues under discussion, the Chancery decree against Sir Thomas Jermy, and the East India Company’s dealings with the Dale family, were matters with which he had been associated in 1624 (2 Mar. and 1 May). He presumably took an interest in the bill committee concerned with the estates of Lord Bergavenny (Sir Henry Neville II*), a distant kinsman (17 March). He doubtless also had views on certain other topics, such as the administration of oaths, secret Crown inquisitions, citations out of ecclesiastical courts, and impressment abuses, all of which he was named to consider (11 and 14-15 Feb., 9 May), though it is not known whether he attended any of these committees. He made one other speech on 13 June, protesting fruitlessly against the custom that knights of the shire had to contribute twice as much as burgesses to the Commons’ collection for its clerks and officers.29

In the following months Throckmorton appears to have co-operated with the Forced Loan, but his role in local government was in decline. Although he remained a j.p. until his death, he was removed from the oyer and terminer commission sometime prior to 1629, probably because of financial difficulties. The cause of his problems is difficult to establish, but by 1632 he had sold off one-and-a-half of his manors, while between 1628 and 1629 his subsidy assessment was dramatically halved from his usual rating to just £10. When he died intestate in December 1632, administration of his estate was granted to one of his creditors. His grandson, Clement Throckmorton, regularly represented Warwick in Parliament from 1654 until his death in 1663.30

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. C142/263/9(1); Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 207.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iii. 109; Vis. Warws. 207; PROB 11/199, f. 201.
  • 4. C142/263/9(1).
  • 5. C66/1662.
  • 6. C142/586/113.
  • 7. C66/1662; SP16/212, f. 64.
  • 8. E179/283.
  • 9. E179/193/281; C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 147.
  • 11. C181/2, f. 231v; 181/3, f. 206.
  • 12. APC, 1621-3, p. 348; 1623-5, pp. 210-11.
  • 13. C193/12/2, f. 61; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145.
  • 14. Vis. Warws. 87, 207; W. Dugdale, Antiqs. of Warws. (1730), ii. 654; HP Commons, 1558-1603, iii. 492-4; A. Hughes, Pols. Soc. and Civil War in Warws., 69.
  • 15. C142/263/9(1); WARD 9/160, f. 219.
  • 16. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 187.
  • 17. E179/193/281; SP14/109/21; Black Bk. of Warwick ed. T. Kemp, 409-11.
  • 18. The others were his cousins John Throckmorton (Glos. 1604) and Sir Nicholas Carew alias Throckmorton (Surrey 1621): Vis. Warws. 89; Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 200-1.
  • 19. CJ, i. 686a, 749b; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 210; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 137.
  • 20. ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 42; CJ, i. 703a, 705a.
  • 21. CJ, i. 709a, 714a, 757b.
  • 22. Ibid. 747a, 768a, 771b, 774a; Kyle, 197.
  • 23. CJ, i. 700b, 757a, 767b-8a; Kyle, 204.
  • 24. Procs. 1625, pp. 206, 226, 231-2, 253.
  • 25. Ibid. 245, 268, 297, 316, 465, 467.
  • 26. Procs. 1626, ii. 7; iii. 72, 329.
  • 27. Ibid. ii. 21-3, 32, 44, 46, 48; iii. 180, 329.
  • 28. Ibid. iii. 55, 162, 263, 265, 434.
  • 29. Ibid. ii. 21, 33, 158, 175, 305; iii. 107, 200, 433; Vis. Warws. 207.
  • 30. SP16/50/54; C142/586/113; E179/194/312, 318; PROB 6/14B, f. 145v.