GRANTHAM, Vincent (by 1496-1550), of Goltho and Lincoln.

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 1496, 1st s. of Edward Grantham of Lincoln by Elizabeth, da. of John St. Poll of Snarford. educ. L. Inn, adm. 1510. m. (1) Alice, da. of Hamon Sutton of Lincoln, 1s. Thomas 3da.; (2) da. of one Girlington of Hatfield, Yorks., 1s.; (3) Bridget, da. of Sir William Hansard of South Kelsey, Lincs., wid. of Thomas Moigne (d.1537) of Wyfflingham, Lincs., 1s. Thomas 3da. suc. fa. 1512.2

Offices Held

Commr. subsidy, Lincs. (Kesteven) 1523, 1524, musters (Lindsey) 1539, relief (Lindsey) and Lincoln 1550; other commissions 1533-47; j.p. Lincs. (Kesteven) 1531-2. (Lindsey) 1538-d.; mayor, Lincoln 1527-8, 1541-2.3


The Granthams were one of the great families of wool merchants at Lincoln in the 15th century. Their town house, a timber-framed building, still stands at the corner of Grantham Street and the High Street: it was afterwards an inn named the Cardinal’s Hat, perhaps in honour of Wolsey. The family forsook it in the early 16th century for a country house at Goltho, some five miles east of the city. Their new status as gentry did not diminish their influence there; Vincent Grantham’s father was an alderman of Lincoln and twice mayor.4

Admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1510, Grantham was presumably still there when his father died in 1512, but what he did for the next ten or 12 years is not known. By 1526 he had returned to Lincoln and had begun to take an active part in its affairs. In that year he was sworn to the liberties of the city but exempted from the liability of being made a sheriff; in 1527 he was elected alderman and mayor. As he was not present at the mayoral election, two aldermen were sent to ask him to nominate one of the two sheriffs for the following year, according to the usual custom: he chose to nominate both sheriffs, and the common council duly elected his nominees. Grantham entered civic life at a crucial time in Lincoln’s negotiations with Thomas Manners, 12th Lord Ros and 1st Earl of Rutland, over the annual fee-farm of £100 payable to him but usually discharged for 20 marks: at least twice during Grantham’s mayoralty he rode to London with one of his sheriffs to confer on this with the recorder, Richard Clerke, although the matter was not to be settled until some years later.5

In 1529 Grantham was returned to Parliament with another leading citizen and former mayor, William Sammes. By August 1535, after the seventh session of this Parliament, Grantham’s parliamentary wages totalled £45 4s.0d.of which, ‘out of zeal and love for his city’, he remitted £4 3s.4d. As payment at the standard rate of 2s. a day would by then have amounted to £41 2s., Grantham and Sammes had presumably been diligent in their attendance and were paid their daily expenses in full as well as a travelling allowance and perhaps incidental items: while at Westminster Grantham certainly performed various tasks for the city, among them further negotiations about the fee-farm and the procurement of the ‘hat of maintenance’ for the civic regalia and a new scabbard for the sword of state. Of his role in the House nothing is known. He was again returned to Parliament in 1536: this was in accordance with the King’s request for the reelection of the previous Members, although Sammes, who had offended the city and forfeited his aldermanship, was passed over. By then Lincoln was preoccupied with the expected suppression of religious houses within the city. In particular, the common council planned to acquire by Act of Parliament the property of the Black Monks; the council sent £40 to Grantham and his fellow-Member, the new recorder Thomas Moigne, ‘to be paid for the putting forward of the said Act... and what they pay above £40 to be paid them at their return’, and added as a personal inducement to Grantham the promise of a 30-year lease of the property if he could procure the Act. The campaign turned out to be premature, as the Black Monks were not to be suppressed for another three years.6

In October 1536 Grantham was one of the citizens instructed by Sir John Hussey, Lord Hussey, to secure Lincoln against the rebels, and in 1537 he was a member of the panel of the petty jury for indicting some of these. One consequence of the rebellion was the execution of the recorder, Thomas Moigne, whose widow Grantham then married. Another was the grant to the Duke of Suffolk of vast properties in Lincolnshire, including St. Catherine’s priory which Grantham acquired from Suffolk in June 1540 and then made his home. St. Catherine’s lay just to the south of Lincoln, near the town of Bracebridge, where Grantham apparently had an interest already and where in November 1540, according to a Star Chamber case, he committed a violent trespass. Grantham afterwards acquired several other properties in the area, including Branston Wood, Downham Grange and Layton Grange.7

In 1541 Grantham was a member of the special commission of oyer and terminer to try Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham for their alleged misconduct with Queen Catherine Howard at Lincoln. He continued to play his part in the affairs of the shire and city, but he did not sit in any further Parliament, although he doubtless helped to secure the election of his eldest son Thomas as a Member for Lincoln in 1547. He made his will on 27 Oct. 1550 and died six days later. He asked to be buried at St. Mary’s church, that is, presumably, his parish church of St. Mary-le-Wigford. His lands, lying almost wholly at St. Catherine’s and Bracebridge, passed to Thomas Grantham, and numerous minor bequests reflected the close ties between his family and those of Askew, St. Poll and others which furnished Members for the early 16th century Parliaments.8

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. M. Hofmann


  • 1. Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, f. 255v.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from education. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 421; PCC 22 Fetiplace.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, iii-vi, viii, xii-xiv, xvi, xx; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 78, 86; 1553, pp. 355, 361; DKR, x app. ii. 118; Associated Architectural Societies’ Reps. and Pprs. xxxix. 243-4.
  • 4. Associated Architectural Societies’ Reps. and Pprs. xiii. 214; xxxix. 239-41; Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, f. 1.
  • 5. J. W. F. Hill, Tudor and Stuart Lincoln, 27-28.
  • 6. Lincoln min. bk. 1511-42, ff. 228, 235, 249v-250, 254v-255v.
  • 7. LP Hen. VIII, xi, xii, xv, xix, xx; St.Ch.2/3/41-42, 16/206; 3/4/63; CPR, 1549-51, p. 50; HMC 14th Rep. VIII, 42; Hill, 114-15, plate 5.
  • 8. LP Hen. VIII, xvi; PCC 27 Coode.