CHAPLIN, Thomas (1591-1672), of Bury St. Edmunds, Suff.
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Family and Education
bap. 21 Oct. 1591, 3rd s. of William Chaplin (d.1629) of Semer by 1st w. Agnes. m. Elizabeth, da. of Robert Ignis alias Hynes, goldsmith, of Bury St. Edmunds, 2s. d.v.p. 2da.1
Alderman, Bury St. Edmunds by 1643-?62; commr. for execution of ordinances, Bury 1643, eastern association 1643, assessment, Bury 1645-52, Suff. 1649-52, Suff. and Bury 1657, Jan. 1660; elder, Bury classis 1647; commr. for militia, Suff. 1648, 1659, Bury Mar. 1660; j.p. Suff. 1650-Mar. 1660, commr. for security 1655-6.2
Member, high court of justice 1650.
Chaplin came of Suffolk yeoman stock. His grandfather had farmed at Long Melford, and his father was bailiff of Semer manor at his death. Chaplin himself set up as a linen-draper in Bury St. Edmunds. A Presbyterian and a parliamentary supporter in the Civil War, he held local office throughout the Interregnum, besides sitting in one of the high courts of justice. He represented Bury in Richard Cromwell’s Parliament and contested the borough at the general election of 1660, when he was involved in a double return. On 3 May he and John Clarke I were allowed to take their seats on the merits of the return, only to be unseated a few days later when the committee reported adversely on the merits of their election. During his short stay in the Convention he made no recorded speeches and was not appointed to any committees. He does not seem to have taken any further part in public life. His will, in which he mentioned lands in Wyverstone and several houses in Bury, was dated 24 Apr. and proved on 25 Nov. 1672. His direct descendants remained nonconformists and did not enter Parliament; but his great-nephew Robert sat for Grimsby from 1715 until expelled as a South Sea Company director.3