Thomas Pope

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Thomas Pope
Sir Thomas Pope.jpg
Bornc. 1507
Died29 January 1559  Blue pencil.svg (aged 51)
Clerkenwell   Blue pencil.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.

Trinity College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Trinity College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. The college was founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, on land previously occupied by Durham College, home to Benedictine monks from Durham Cathedral.


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 In this last office he was superseded in 1541, but from 1547 to 1553 he was again employed as fourth officer.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." He established his country seat at Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire.

Deddington village and civil parish in Cherwell district, Oxfordshire, England

Deddington is a civil parish and small town in Oxfordshire about 6 miles (10 km) south of Banbury. The parish includes two hamlets: Clifton and Hempton. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 2,146.

Banbury market town and civil parish on the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire, England

Banbury is a historic market town on the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire, England. The town is situated 64 miles (103 km) northwest of London, 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Birmingham, 25 miles (40 km) south-by-southeast of Coventry and 22 miles (35 km) north-by-northwest of the county town of Oxford. It had a population of 46,853 at the 2011 census.

Oxfordshire County of England

Oxfordshire is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.


He was Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1536 and for Berkshire in 1539. [1] In 1537 he was knighted. He was High Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire for 1552 and 1557. [1] 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.

Buckingham (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Buckingham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by former Conservative MP John Bercow, who later became Speaker of the House of Commons.

Berkshire was a parliamentary constituency in England, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of England until 1707, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885. The county returned two knights of the shire until 1832 and three between 1832 and 1885.

The High Sheriff of Essex was an ancient Sheriff title originating in the time of the Angles, not long after the invasion of the Kingdom of England, which was in existence for around a thousand years. On 1 April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, the title of Sheriff of Essex was retitled High Sheriff of Essex. The High Shrievalties are the oldest secular titles under the Crown in England and Wales, their purpose being to represent the monarch at a local level, historically in the shires.

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 Dr 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.

Durham College, Oxford former college of the University of Oxford

Durham College was the name given to a college of the University of Oxford that existed from the late 13th century to the mid 16th century.

George Owen (1499–1558), from Oxford and Godstow, Oxfordshire, was an English royal physician and politician.

The foundation provided for a president, twelve fellows and eight scholars, with a schoolhouse at Hooknorton. 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.


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.

Clerkenwell area of inner north London in the London Borough of Islington

Clerkenwell is an area of central London, England. The area includes the sub-district of Finsbury.

Walbrook ward of the City of London

Walbrook is a subterranean river in the City of London that gave its name to a City ward and a minor street in its vicinity.

Personal life

Pope was married three times, but had no children. 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.

Viscount Dillon

Viscount Dillon, of Costello-Gallen in the County of Mayo, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1622 for Theobald Dillon, Lord President of Connaught. The Dillons were a Hiberno-Norman landlord family from the 13th century in a part of County Westmeath called 'Dillon's Country'. His great-grandson, the seventh Viscount, was a supporter of the Catholic King James II of England and was outlawed after the Glorious Revolution. He founded 'Dillon's Regiment' of the Irish Brigade in the French Army, which was supported by the Wild Geese and achieved success at Fontenoy in 1745.

Earl of Guilford

Earl of Guilford is a title that has been created three times in history. The title was created for the first time in the Peerage of England in 1660 for Elizabeth Boyle. She was a daughter of William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, and the widow of Lewis Boyle, 1st Viscount Boyle of Kinalmeaky. The title was for life only and became extinct on her death in 1667. The title was created for a second time in the Peerage of England in 1674 for John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale. For more information on this creation, see the article on him as well as the Earl of Lauderdale.

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  1. 1 2 "Pope, Thomas (1506/7–59), of Clerkenwell, London and Tittenhanger, Herts". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
Preceded by
Custos Rotulorum of Surrey
bef. 15441559
Succeeded by
The Lord Howard of Effingham