Thomas CONSTABLE of Great Grimsby

Born: ABT 1506, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England

Died: 1558 or later

Father: Robert CONSTABLE of Nuneaton (Sir Knight)

Mother: Jane INGLEBY

Married 1: Barbara CATHERALL ABT 1536




Married 2: Dau. HOLDENBY ABT 1539




The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby Nov 1554, 1555. Born by 1500, second son of Sir Robert Constable, and brother of Sir Marmaduke of Nuneaton. Married first, Barbara, daughter and heir of one Catherall of Great Grimsby, Lincs., and had 1 son and 1 daughter; married second, a daughter of Robert Holdenby of Holdenby, Yorks., and had 1 son and 1 daughter.

Thomas Constable is first heard of in 1534, when he was wounded in an affray at York assizes arising from the long-standing feud between his father and his uncle Sir William Percy. Two years later Sir Robert Constable's part in the Pilgrimage of Grace led to his attainder and execution. Like his elder brother Marmaduke, Constable came through unscathed but without his share in the forfeited patrimony, although in 1540 inquiries were made into his father's gift of a manor to him and his younger brother William and in 1546 their title to lands in Lincolnshire was again under review. By that time, however, his fortunes had probably been revived by his marriage to a Grimsby heiress: in Aug 1544 he was one of a 32-man consortium which paid 2,136 pounds for monastic lands in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. When in 1549 there was a threat of rebellion in Yorkshire, Constable manifested his loyalty by pursuing and capturing the ringleader.

Constable was associated with Grimsby from at least 1545, when he was appointed an arbitrator to settle a local dispute in the mayor's court. It was doubtless his municipal standing which secured his election for the borough to two of Mary's Parliaments, but this was probably reinforced by his relationship with Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmoreland, who married Constable's niece Jane in or after 1549. He was also related to the Earls of Rutland, who had considerable Lincolnshire property, and in 1542 he had witnessed the will of Thomas Manners, 1 E. Rutland. As a Member of the Parliament of Nov 1554 Constable was one of those informed against in the King's bench in Easter term 1555 for withdrawing without leave before the dissolution. He failed to appear, even though he attended the next Parliament towards the close of that year, and was distrained 12 times before the case lapsed with the death of the Queen. He did not join the opposition to one of the government's bills in the Parliament of 1555.

The final distraint of Michaelmas 1558 is the last reference which has been found to Constable, who may thus have died at about that time, perhaps of the epidemic disease then abroad.

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