SECKFORD (SAKFORD), Thomas (1515/16-87), of Gray's Inn, London.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. 1515/16, 2nd s. of Thomas Seckford of Seckford Hall, Great Bealings, Suff. by Margaret, da. of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, Suff.; bro. of Thomas. educ. Camb.; G. Inn, adm. 1540, called 1542. m. lic. 18 Jan. 1567, Elizabeth (d. 28 Nov. 1586), da. of Thomas Harlowe, wid. of William Billingsley and Sir Martin Bowes (d. 4 Aug. 1566) both of London, s.p.2

Offices Held

Ancient, G. Inn 1547, Lent reader 1556, treasurer 1565.

Dep. chief steward, duchy of Lancaster, northern parts 6 Sept. 1558; master of requests 9 Dec. 1558; j.p.q. Mdx. and Suff. 1558/59; steward, Marshalsea ct. by 1559-?70; commr. eccles. causes 1559; other commissions, London and E. Anglia; steward, bp. of Ely’s liberty, Suff. 1563; surveyor, ct. wards 1579.3


The Seckfords had held one of the two manors in Great Bealings since the end of the 12th century and were related by descent and marriage to the leading families in Suffolk. A younger son, Thomas Seckford made his way in the law. Early in 1554 he became reversioner of a minor duchy of Lancaster post under Sir William Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby of Parham, and this appointment accounts for his return for the duchy borough of Ripon later in the year, as does his link with Willoughby for Orford to the next two Parliaments. Presumably as one connected with Willoughby he supported the measure settling the Duchess of Suffolk’s inheritance on Willoughby which was rejected on a division in the Commons on 16 Jan. 1555. Later in the same year he helped defeat a government bill and on 28 Feb. 1558 the bill for confirmation of letters patent was committed to him after its first reading.4

After his appointment as a master of requests at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign Seckford became increasingly active in local and national affairs, and was re-elected to Parliament four times. He used the considerable wealth he acquired in building himself a ‘great house’ at Ipswich and in founding the Seckford almshouses at Woodbridge. He died on 19 Dec. 1587.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 2. Aged 67 in 1583 according to parents’ MI at Great Bealings. C142/175/69; ppr. on Seckford family read by P. Chandler to Soc. of Antiqs. 2 June 1923; Mar. Lic. London (Harl. Soc. xxv), 35; Wards 7/23/57; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 64.
  • 3. APC, vii. 17; Somerville, Duchy, i. 427; CPR, 1558-60, pp. 19, 28, 118; 1563-6, pp. 126, 184, 257, 488; 1566-9, p. 132; 1569-72, pp. 34, 217-18, 224, 440-2; Lansd. 104, f. 53; Exchequer deposition, Mich. 44-45 Eliz. 39, at Woodbridge; J. Hurstfield, Queen’s Wards, 224.
  • 4. Copinger, Suff. Manors, iii. 6; iv. 325; V. B. Redstone, Seckfords of Seckford Hall (Suff. Inst. Arch. ix), 359-69; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2; CJ, i. 50.
  • 5. Wards 7/23/57.