CUTLER, Nicholas (by 1513-68), of Eye, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1513, 3rd s. of Hugh Cutler of London by Alice, da. and h. of William Worthington of Derbys. m. (1) by 1536, Eleanor (d.1550 or later), da. and coh. of John Mynne of Windrush, Glos., 2s. inc. Charles 2da.; (2) by Aug. 1559, Joan, da. of Thomas Carden of Minster in Sheppey, Kent, wid. of Sir Thomas Tyrrell (d.1551) of Gipping, Suff.1

Offices Held

Servant of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk by 1534-45, of Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton by 1547-50; constable, Eye castle 6 June 1534-d.; commr. sewers, Sudbury 1542, Suff. 1566; gen. woodward, ct. augmentations, Norf. and Suff. 1546-54, Exchequer 1554-d.; j.p. Suff. 1558/59-d.2


Cutlers had lived at Shotley in Suffolk since at least the mid-15th century, and another branch of the family became prosperous Ipswich merchants. Nicholas Cutler’s father, presumably a younger son, had settled in London, but his own career lay almost entirely in Suffolk. Though never a wealthy landowner, he acquired various estates in the east of the county. As early as 1539 he received a crown lease of the church and property of All Saints, Dunwich, but his main stake in Suffolk came from his purchase with his son-in-law William Honing in February 1558 of the reversion of the manors of Occold and Rishangles, with other lands near Eye. A week later the pair sold their rights in some of this property to Edward Grimston, but they seem to have entered into possession of most of the rest fairly quickly. Cutler was put on the Suffolk bench soon after the acquisition. Cutler’s second wife inherited property in East Anglia from her former husband, and in September 1560 the Cutlers were concerned in an enfeoffment of the manor of Cotton Hempnalles, Suffolk, by the 4th Duke of Norfolk to the use of her stepson Sir John Tyrrell and his son: by this Cutler and his wife were to receive, during her lifetime, £30 a year payable ‘in Eye churchyard’.3

Cutler first attached himself to the Duke of Suffolk, who in 1534 named him constable of the castle at Eye and keeper of the park there, and a year later master of the children in the ducal chapel. After Suffolk’s death he transferred to the service of his wife Eleanor’s cousin Chancellor Wriothesley, who in July 1547 petitioned the King to allow Cutler to attend upon him and to exercise his offices under the crown by deputy. It was presumably to these powerful connexions that Cutler owed his Membership in 1545, as he had no personal ties with Liverpool and took precedence on the return over his partner Gilbert Gerard, a Gray’s Inn lawyer of Lancashire origin. Nothing is known about Cutler’s part in the work of the House but during the prorogation he obtained a post in the court of augmentations. Suffolk died before the assembly of the Parliament and Wriothesley was in disgrace by the time of its successor two years later. Wriothesley’s own death in July 1550 left Cutler masterless but not without employment. During the succession crisis of 1553 he rallied to Mary, being rewarded in August 1554 with an annuity of 40 marks for his services at Framlingham, but this mark of favour did not presage preferment at court. He died at Eye on 20 or 22 or Apr. 1568, having some years previously enfeoffed Sir Thomas Cornwallis and John Thurston of the manor of Occold to the use of himself and his wife in survivorship, and then to his own heirs. By a will made apparently on his deathbed he confirmed this arrangement. He was buried in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Eye, where a monument was erected to his memory.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 23-24; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 256; CPR, 1547-8, p. 216; 1558-60, p. 260; Wards 7/20/240; PCC 13, 23 Bucke, 53 Mellershe.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, viii, xvii, xxi; Stowe 571, ff. 12, 51v; Rep. R. Comm. of 1552 (Archs. of Brit. Hist. and Culture), 41; CPR, 1547-8, p. 216; 1560-3, pp. 128, 442; 1563-6, p. 27; 1566-9, pp. 217-18.
  • 3. Suff. Green Bks. xvi(2), 48-49; LP Hen. VIII, xiv; Copinger, Suff. Manors, iii. 289, 299, 302; iv. 25; CPR, 1557-8, pp. 163, 234; 1558-60. p. 260; Vis. Suff. 74; PCC 23 Bucke.
  • 4. CPR, 1547-8, p. 216; 1554-5, p. 203; C219/18C/54; Suff. Green Bks. xii. 126, 135; Wards 7/20/240; Pevsner and Radcliffe, Suff. 207.