Sir Thomas Ramsey (1510/11–1590) was a merchant, and an Alderman of London from 1566 to 1590. He was knighted, served as Sheriff in 1567–68 and Lord Mayor in 1577–78.
Thomas Ramsey was born in Eaton Bridge, Kent (now Edenbridge) in 1510 or 1511, though details of his home have not been found. He was the second son of John Ramsey, with an elder brother William Ramsey, and three sisters, Tyrell, Hebbarde and Elizabeth.
Little has survived of Ramsey's life and career, and a primary source, is F.W. Fairholt's study of Ramsey's wills and possessions in which he states that "the incidents of Sir Thomas Ramsey's career have not descended to our time"Thomas's second wife, Lady Mary Ramsey, unlike her husband, has an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, and this gives some additional information.
After being apprenticed in London, he became a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Grocers between 1537 and 1539, and married Alice (1492/93–1578), daughter of Bevis Lea of Enfield in Staffordshire in 1540. As a successful merchant, in 1566 he purchased a house "with a very fair forefront"in Lombard Street, formerly the home of Sir Martin Bowes, which was also his place of business
Sir Thomas refers to "my mansion house" in his will,and apparently it was a large important building, having a garden to the rear and a lodge at the entry to a courtyard. A well was in the yard, and the existence of a 'spice house' is recorded. He was elected Alderman in December 1566, serving for Cheap ward, was Lord Mayor in 1577–78, was knighted in May 1578, then served for Cornhill ward from 1588. He maintained an excellent attendance record as an Alderman, and became one of the richest men in London.
The Ramseys had no children and Alice died on 15 January 1577. The following year Thomas married Mary, eldest daughter of William Dale, a Bristol merchant. She had formerly been married to Thomas Avery of Berden, Essex, who had been associated with Thomas Cromwell. They had no children and Thomas Avery died in 1576.
Sir Thomas, known as "Rich Ramsey" was active in charitable work, and was Governor of St Bartholomew's Hospital from 1559 to 1560 until 1560–61. He was also an auditor for St. Barts in 1560–61 and was the president of Christ's Hospital from 1582 to 1583 until his death in 1590.Sir Thomas made two wills, one concerning personal possessions, signed on 20 September 1585, and the second, concerning property signed on 9 July 1586. Money was left to relatives, acquaintances, servants and to the poor, including "to the poore inhabitauntes of Eaton Bridge in the countie of Kent tenne poundes". Prisons, hospitals and the Grocers' Company are remembered. After legacies and bequests, half of the residue was to go to Lady Mary, with the other half to be shared by named relatives. On Lady Mary's death, the estate was to go to named relatives. "The Trewe Inventorye of all the moveable goodes, househoulde stuffe and plate, which were latelie the goodes and chattels of Sir Thomas Ramsey…" dated 1590, lists in detail and room by room, the furnishings and contents of the house, with the estimated value of each item or set of items, in pounds, shillings and pence.
An indication of Ramsey's importance and influence is revealed in his will, where his executors are reminded that a loan of £550 to Robert, Earl of Leicester (Queen Elizabeth's favourite), was due in January 1587. A further indication is the inclusion of the Ramseys in the play by Thomas Heywood (registered and printed 1605–06) "If you know not me, you know nobody; or, The troubles of Queene Elizabeth".They appear as a wealthy man with his wife as peacemaker, and Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St. Paul's as arbitrator in the dispute and seven-year-long lawsuit between Sir Thomas and the more famous Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange.
There were no children from the marriage, and after Thomas' death on 15 May 1590 Lady Mary carried on his charitable workand was a benefactress to Christ's Hospital and to Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Bristol. Sir Thomas was buried in his parish church St. Mary Woolnoth (on the south side of Lombard Street), with a monument at the east end of the chancel. His first wife, Dame Alice, was also buried there, and the monument, which was erected in 1596, also mentioned his second wife, Dame Mary. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and although it was reinstated, together with the tomb, it was demolished in 1716 and a replacement church was built. Lady Mary died in November 1601.
Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset was an English statesman, poet, and dramatist. He was the son of Richard Sackville, a cousin to Anne Boleyn. He was a Member of Parliament and Lord High Treasurer.
Sir Thomas White was an English cloth merchant, Lord Mayor of London in 1553, and a civic benefactor and founder of St John's College, Oxford.
Sir James Cambell or Campbell was an English merchant who was Lord Mayor of London in 1630.
Sir William Harpur was a merchant from Bedford who moved to London, amassed a large fortune, and became Lord Mayor of London. In 1566 he and his wife Dame Alice gave an endowment to support certain charities including education. The endowment became the Harpur Trust, which supports four independent schools in Bedford today.
Sir Edmund Shaa or Shaw was a London goldsmith, Sheriff of London in 1475 and Lord Mayor of London in 1482. Shaa lent money to Edward IV and, as mayor, was extensively involved in the coronation of Edward IV's brother Richard III. He was later knighted and made a member of the Privy Council.
Sir Wolstan Dixie, was an English merchant and administrator, and Lord Mayor of London in 1585.
Thomas Randolph (1523–1590) was an English ambassador serving Elizabeth I of England. Most of his professional life he spent in Scotland at the courts of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her son James VI. While in Scotland, he was embroiled in marriage projects and several upheavals. In 1568-1569 he was sent on a special embassy to Russia, visiting the court of Ivan the Terrible.
Elizabeth FitzGerald, Countess of Lincoln, also known as The Fair Geraldine, was an Irish noblewoman and a member of the celebrated FitzGerald dynasty. She became the second wife of Sir Anthony Browne Jr. and later the third wife of English admiral Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln. She was the inspiration for The Geraldine, a sonnet written by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Sir Richard Martin was an English goldsmith and Master of the Mint who served as Sheriff and twice as Lord Mayor of the City of London during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Sir George Barne III was a prominent merchant and public official from London during the reign of Elizabeth I, and the son of Sir George Barne II, and Alice Brooke.
Sir William Garrard (1507-1571) was a businessman, banker, and slave trader from the City of London who was active in local and national government and acquired country landholdings.
Edward North, 1st Baron North was an English peer and politician. He was the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire 1559–1564 and Clerk of the Parliaments. A successful lawyer, he was created the first Baron North, giving him a seat in the House of Lords.
Elizabeth Leyburne, Duchess of Norfolk, was a member of the English nobility. She first married Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre; following his death in 1566, she secretly married Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. She was his third wife.
Henry Parker, 11th Baron Morley was an English peer, Lord of Morley, Hingham, Hockering, &c., in Norfolk, the son of Sir Henry Parker and Grace Newport. His father was the son of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley and Alice St. John. His father was knighted at the coronation of Anne Boleyn and died within his father's lifetime, therefore the title passed directly to him upon the death of his grandfather in 1556.
Sir Richard Gurney, 1st Baronet, was an English merchant who was Lord Mayor of London. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War.
Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1621.
Sir Rowland Hayward was a London merchant, and Lord Mayor of the City in both 1570 and 1591. Through his commercial activities he acquired considerable wealth, and was able to loan money to Queen Elizabeth I and purchase properties in several counties as well as houses in and near London. He entertained the Queen at King's Place in 1587.
Sir William Chester (1509–?c.1574) was one of the leading English Merchants of the Staple and Merchant Adventurers of the mid-16th century, five times Master of the Worshipful Company of Drapers, Lord Mayor of London in the year 1560-61 and Member of Parliament for the City of London. He should not be confused with his contemporary, William Chester, merchant of Bristol, M.P.
Sir Nicholas Woodroffe was a London merchant of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, who, through the English Reformation, rose in the Alderman class to become a Master Haberdasher, Lord Mayor of London and Member of Parliament for London. Through the complexities of his family's relationships, and the position and security which they afforded, he lived to establish his family among the armigerous houses of late Elizabethan Surrey.
Sir William Hewett (?c.1505–1567) was a prominent merchant of Tudor London, a founding member and later Master of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers of London as incorporated in 1528, and the first of that Company to be Lord Mayor of London, which he became in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His career arched across the first four decades of the Company's history, and drew him inexorably, if sometimes reluctantly, into the great public affairs of the age.