Thomas Pope

Last updated

Thomas Pope
Sir Thomas Pope.jpg
Bornc. 1507
Died29 January 1559
Clerkenwell   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Position heldMember of the 1536 Parliament, Member of the 1539-40 Parliament  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Sir Thomas Pope (c. 1507 29 January 1559), was a prominent public servant in mid-16th-century England, a Member of Parliament, a wealthy landowner, and the founder of Trinity College, Oxford.


Early life

Pope was born at Deddington, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, probably in 1507, as he was about sixteen years old when his father, a yeoman farmer, died in 1523. He was educated at Banbury School and Eton College, and entered the Court of Chancery. He there found a friend and patron in the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Audley. As clerk of briefs in the Star Chamber, Warden of the Mint (1534–1536), Clerk of the Crown in Chancery (1537), and second officer and Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations for the settlement of the confiscated property of the smaller religious foundations, he obtained immense wealth and influence. In this last office he was superseded in 1541, but from 1547 to 1553 he was again employed as fourth officer. He himself won by grant or purchase a considerable share in the spoils, for nearly 30 manors, which came sooner or later into his possession, were originally church property. According to John Aubrey, "He could have rode in his owne lands from Cogges (by Witney) to Banbury, about 18 miles." [1] He established his country seat at Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire.[ citation needed ]


He was Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1536 and for Berkshire in 1539. [2] In 1537 he was knighted. He was High Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire for 1552 and 1557. [2] The religious changes made by Edward VI were not to his liking, but at the beginning of Mary's reign he became a member of the privy council. In 1556, he was sent to reside as guardian in Elizabeth's house. [1]

Trinity College

As early as 1555, he had begun to arrange for the endowment of a college at Oxford, for which he bought the site and buildings of Durham College, the Oxford house of the abbey of Durham, from George Owen and William Martyn. He received a royal charter for the establishment and endowment of a college of the "Holy and Undivided Trinity" (now known simply as Trinity College) on 8 March 1556. [1]

The foundation provided for a president, twelve fellows and eight scholars, with a schoolhouse at Hook Norton. The number of scholars was subsequently increased to twelve, the schoolhouse being given up. On 28 March 1556, the members of the college were put in possession of the site, and they were formally admitted on 29 May 1556. [1]


Pope died at Clerkenwell on 29 January 1559, and was buried at St Stephen's, Walbrook; but his remains were subsequently removed to Trinity College, where his widow erected a semi-Gothic alabaster monument to his memory. [3]

Personal life

Pope was married three times, to Elizabeth Gunston, Margaret (Townsend) and Elizabeth (Blount), but left no children. [4] Much of his property was left to charitable and religious foundations, and the bulk of his Oxfordshire estates passed to the family of his brother, John Pope of Wroxton, and his descendants, the viscounts Dillon and the earls of Guilford and barons North. [5]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cuthbert Tunstall</span> English Scholastic, church leader, diplomat, administrator and royal adviser

Cuthbert Tunstall was an English Scholastic, church leader, diplomat, administrator and royal adviser. He served as Prince-Bishop of Durham during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The Acts of Supremacy are two acts passed by the Parliament of England in the 16th century that established the English monarchs as the head of the Church of England; two similar laws were passed by the Parliament of Ireland establishing the English monarchs as the head of the Church of Ireland. The 1534 Act declared King Henry VIII and his successors as the Supreme Head of the Church, replacing the pope. This first Act was repealed during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I. The 1558 Act declared Queen Elizabeth I and her successors the Supreme Governor of the Church, a title that the British monarch still holds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ralph Sadler</span> English statesman (1507–1587)

Sir Ralph Sadler or Sadleir PC, Knight banneret was an English statesman, who served Henry VIII as Privy Councillor, Secretary of State and ambassador to Scotland. Sadler went on to serve Edward VI. Having signed the device settling the crown on Jane Grey in 1553, he was obliged to retire to his estates during the reign of Mary I. Sadler was restored to royal favour during the reign of Elizabeth I, serving as a Privy Councillor and once again participating in Anglo-Scottish diplomacy. He was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in May 1568.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos</span> 16th-century English politician and peer

John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos was an English courtier, Member of Parliament and later peer. His last name is also sometimes spelt Brugge or Bruges. He was a prominent figure at the English court during the reigns of kings Henry VIII and Edward VI and of Queen Mary I.

William May, also known as William Meye, was Dean of the Order of the British Empire. He was nominated Archbishop of York in 1560, but died before he could take office.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Chaloner (statesman)</span>

Sir Thomas Chaloner was an English statesman and poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton</span>

William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, Earl of Essex, 1st Baron Parr, 1st Baron Hart, was the only brother of Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII. He was a "sincere, plain, direct man, not crafty nor involved", whose "delight was music and poetry and his exercise war" who co-authored a treatise on hare coursing. He was in favour with Henry VIII and his son Edward VI, under whom he was the leader of the Protestant party, but having supported the desire of the latter to be succeeded by the Protestant Lady Jane Grey, was attainted by Edward's Catholic half-sister, Queen Mary I. He was restored by her Protestant half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I. He married thrice but died without issue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys</span> English nobleman and courtier

Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys of Rycote in Oxfordshire, was an English politician and diplomat, who belonged to an old Berkshire family, many members of which had held positions at the English court.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden</span> English courtier and poet 1509–1556

Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden KB, English poet, was the eldest son of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux and his second wife, Anne Green, daughter of Sir Thomas Green, Lord of Nortons Green, and Joan Fogge. He was educated at Cambridge University. His mother was the maternal aunt of queen consort Catherine Parr, while his wife, Elizabeth Cheney, was her paternal cousin through Catherine's father's sister, Anne Parr.

Sir Richard Gresham was an English mercer, Merchant Adventurer, Lord Mayor of London, and Member of Parliament. He was the father of Sir Thomas Gresham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Morrison (ambassador)</span> English scholar and diplomat

Sir Richard Morrison was an English humanist scholar and diplomat. He was a protégé of Thomas Cromwell, propagandist for Henry VIII, and then ambassador to the German court of Charles V for Edward VI.

Ralph Kettell (1563–1643) was an English college head, the third President of Trinity College, Oxford. In a long tenure he built up the college both in terms of architecture and its academic reputation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tyttenhanger House</span>

Tyttenhanger House is a 17th-century country mansion, now converted into commercial offices, at Tyttenhanger, near St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is a Grade I listed building.

Sir Humphrey Wingfield was an English lawyer and Speaker of the House of Commons of England between 1533 and 1536.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Turberville</span>

James Turberville was an English cleric who served as Bishop of Exeter from 1555 to 1559.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sir Thomas Blount, 1st Baronet</span> 17th-century English politician and writer

Sir Thomas Pope Blount, 1st Baronet was an English politician and baronet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Denton (died 1558)</span> English lawyer and politician

Thomas Denton was an English lawyer and politician, a Member of Parliament from 1536 until his death in 1558. He was elected, consecutively, by six parliamentary constituencies: Wallingford (1536), Oxford (1539), Berkshire (1547), Banbury, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (1558). Denton and Henry Stafford sponsored the creation of the parliamentary constituency in Banbury (1554). Denton's "electoral mobility" was, most likely, influenced by his speculation in land.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reformation in Ireland</span>

The Reformation in Ireland was a movement for the reform of religious life and institutions that was introduced into Ireland by the English administration at the behest of King Henry VIII of England. His desire for an annulment of his marriage was known as the King's Great Matter. Ultimately Pope Clement VII refused the petition; consequently, in order to give legal effect to his wishes, it became necessary for the King to assert his lordship over the Catholic Church in his realm. In passing the Acts of Supremacy in 1534, the English Parliament confirmed the King's supremacy over the Church in the Kingdom of England. This challenge to Papal supremacy resulted in a breach with the Catholic Church. By 1541, the Irish Parliament had agreed to the change in status of the country from that of a Lordship to that of Kingdom of Ireland.

Thomas Peacock was an English cleric and college head.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blount baronets of Tittenhanger (1680)</span> Extinct baronetcy in the Baronetage of England

The Blount Baronetcy, of Tittenhanger in the County of Hertford, was created in the Baronetage of England on 27 January 1680 for Thomas Pope Blount. In the 16th century Elizabeth Blount, daughter of Sir Walter Blount of Blount Hall, Staffordshire, married Sir Thomas Pope of Tittenhanger, Herefordshire. Her nephew Sir Thomas Pope Blount inherited the estate at Tittenhanger on her death. The first Baronet was the grandson of Sir Thomas and son of the traveller Sir Henry Blount. He represented St Albans and Hertfordshire in the House of Commons. The title became extinct on the death of his grandson, the third Baronet, in 1757.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911, p. 87.
  2. 1 2 "Pope, Thomas (1506/7–59), of Clerkenwell, London and Tittenhanger, Herts". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. Chisholm 1911, pp. 87–88.
  4. Blakiston, Herbert Edward Douglas. "Pope, Thomas (1507?-1559)". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 46.
  5. Chisholm 1911, p. 88.
Preceded by
Custos Rotulorum of Surrey
bef. 15441559
Succeeded by