Thomas THROCKMORTON of Coughton
Born: 1533, Coughton, Warws. and Weston Underwood, Bucks
Died: 13 Mar 1614
Buried: Weston Underwood, Buckinghamshire, England
Father: Robert THROCKMORTON of Coughton (Sir Knight)
Mother: Muriel BERKELEY
Married: Mary WHORWOOD (b. ABT 1535 - d. 28 Apr 1607) (dau. of William Whorwood, Attorney General and Cassandra Grey) BEF 14 Feb 1556
1. Muriel THROCKMORTON
2. Elizabeth THROCKMORTON
3. Margaret THROCKMORTON
4. Ralph THROCKMORTON (b. ABT 1570)
5. Eleanor THROCKMORTON
6. John THROCKMORTON (Esq.)
7. Mary THROCKMORTON
The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.
Born by 1536, first son of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton by his first wife, Muriel, daughter of Thomas, 5th Lord Berkeley. Educated Middle Temple, admitted 20 Mar. 1555. Married by 14 Feb 1556, Mary (or possibly Margaret), daughter and coheir of William Whorwood of Putney, Surrey, and Cassandra Grey. Succeeded father to the estate of Coughton Court 12 Feb 1581. Justice of Peace 1564, rem. 1570.
It was to a quasi-hereditary knighthood of the shire that Thomas Throckmorton was elected in 1558; his grandfather Sir George had sat for Warwickshire in the Parliament of 1529 and his father Sir Robert three times between 1553 and 1555. In the circumstances it is hardly suprising that the writer of the election indenture should have styled him knight, an error which was only corrected after it had been repeated in the Crown Office list of Members. Then in his early twenties, Throckmorton had become a substantial landowner in his own county and elsewhere by his recent marriage to one of the two daughters of a former attorney-general; her wardship had passed in 1553 to Sir Henry Sidney, from whom it was presumably acquired by Sir Robert Throckmorton. The other Whorwood daughter, Anne, was married to Ambrose Dudley, son of the Duke of Northumberland, and died 26 May 1552, with his little son John, of the sweting sickness.
Thomas Throckmorton was a staunch catholic who suffered much persecution and loss of property during the reign of Elizabeth.In the time of Sir Robert Throckmorton, and his son and heir Thomas, Coughton became a centre for Catholic recusants. The Tower Room of Coughton Court with its panoramic view for monitoring any approach to the house made it an ideal location for the secret celebration of the Mass, and there was also an ingenious double hiding place built by Nicholas Owen in one of the turrets for the priests in the event of a raid. The Throckmortons not only provided a relatively safe place for people to worship; they also assisted in the underground movements of the priests and established colleges abroad for training English clergy. They were a crucial part of the network of families that enabled Catholicism to remain alive throughout the reformation.
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