Thomas Gawdy (died 1588)

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Sir Thomas Gawdy SL (died 5 November 1588) was an English justice and Member of Parliament.

Gawdy Hall, the family home, which Thomas bought from relatives in 1567

He was the second of three sons of Thomas Gawdy, all by different wives and all baptised Thomas[1] (The younger half-brother changed his name to Francis Gawdy, at his confirmation). The mother of this Thomas was Anne Bennett. His elder half-brother was created a Serjeant-at-law in 1552 before dying in 1556, whilst his younger brother, Francis, served as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from August 1605 until December of that year.

A member of the Inner Temple, Thomas was called to the bar in 1550, appointed a reader of his Inn in 1560 and treasurer in 1562. He was issued a writ to be called as a Serjeant-at-law in October 1558, but it lapsed on the death of Mary I. He was excluded from the list of Elizabeth I, possibly on his own request, but was renominated in 1567. In 1574 he was made a justice of the Court of King's Bench and in 1578 he was knighted.

As a lawyer Gawdy made much of his connections in East Anglia; at a young age he had come under the patronage of the Earl of Arundel, representing him in Parliament as the member for Arundel in 1553. However, the main focus of his activities was the city of Norwich, for which he sat in Parliament, as the member for Norwich, in 1557 and served as Recorder between 1558 and 1574.

In 1548 he married Audrey Knightley, and her dowry and property was used to expand his own land. A year after she died in 1566 he married Frances Richers, and used the money from that marriage to buy more land and property, including Gawdy Hall, the family seat, and land at Redenhall and Harleston. He died at Gawdy Hall on 5 November 1588, and was buried at Redenhall Church.


  1. ^ "Oxford DNB article:Gawdy, Sir Thomas". Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Norwich
Succeeded by