Nicholas Throckmorton

was the fourth of seven sons fathered by Sir George Throckmorton and born in 1515 or 16? He became a page to Henry VIII’s illegitimate son the Duke of Richmond and on his death entered the service of the Parr family. He regarded Catherine Parr as his first cousin and she later became the last wife of Henry VIII. He was like her a protestant and visited the martyr Anne Askew in prison and was present at her death. He became an MP for over 20 years; initially for Maldon where Catherine Parr had land and property.

During the reign of Edward V1he served in Protector Somerset’s Scots campaign and in 1547 brought news of the victory at Pinkie Cleugh for which he was knighted. He also got an annuity that he cashed in for numerous benefits including land grants that gave him financial security and then moved in the circles of now Protector John Dudley; becoming Treasurer of the Mint.

When, on the death of Edward in1553 Dudley made an attempt to place his daughter in law Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary Tudor Throckmorton contrived to appear the friend of both parties and on Mary’s accession he was able to secure her favour.

He was, however, suspected of complicity in the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt (January–February 1554). He was against the Queen’s proposed foreign marriage to Phillip of Spain. Mary appeared at the Guildhall to garner support from Londoners and Wyatt surrendered when trapped in Fleet Street. One of Wyatt’s lieutenants swore he had discussed the plan of insurrection with Throckmorton and so Throckmorton was brought to trial at the Guildhall on 17 April 1554 for treason. He managed to convince the jury of his innocence although the judges were openly hostile to him. He was skilful in answering them on law and played the patriotic card of being against foreign marriages to the jury. As a result of the verdict, the court fined and imprisoned the jury in the Tower or the Fleet before they were released with a heavy fine. Throckmorton was also sent to the Tower. On release after a spell in France he made his peace with Queen Mary.

Throckmorton had got to know the Princess Elizabeth while in the Dowager Queen Catherine Parr’s employ and when Elizabeth became Queen he became her ambassador in France and was personally keen to support The Huguenots. He then became Chamberlain of the Exchequer and her ambassador again but now in Scotland. The political situation was difficult throughout both spells. Throckmorton was an obsessive conspirator and he fell out with all parties of all countries! Recalled in 1569 he was suspected of involvement in the Duke of Norfolk’s conspiracy in favour of Mary, Queen of Scots and was imprisoned for a time at Windsor Castle, but no charges were brought. On release he never regained the Queen’s confidence and died shortly afterwards.

This was on 12 February 1571. Rumour had it that Leicester had had him poisioned with a salad but this is now very much doubted. He is buried in St Katharine Cree parish church, Leadenhall Street near his London home. There is a fine monument to him in the church and a carving from that monument was stolen in the 1950’s. It came to light in Belgium in late 2016 when put up for sale. It has now been returned to St Katherine Cree church.

He married Anne Carew in 1849 and they had 3 daughters one of whom later married Sir Walter Raleigh. He also gave his name to Throckmorton Street here in the City but none of the books whilst giving this information say why!




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