Thomas Lodge (Lord Mayor of London)

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Sir Thomas Lodge
Spouse(s) Mawdlyn (Magdalene) Vaughan
Margaret Parker
Anne Luddington
Sara Lodge
Susan Lodge
William Lodge
Thomas Lodge
Nicholas Lodge
Benedict Lodge
Henry Lodge
Thomas Lodge
Joan Lodge
Anne Lodge
Father William Littleton alias Lodge
Born c.1509
Died 28 February 1584 (aged 74–75)
Buried St Mary Aldermary

Sir Thomas Lodge (c.1509 – 28 February 1584), was Lord Mayor of London.


Thomas Lodge was the son of William Littleton alias Lodge. His paternal grandfather was Sir William Littleton (d. 8 November 1508), knighted after the Battle of Stoke, eldest son and heir of Sir Thomas Littleton (d.1481), justice and author of Littleton's Tenures.[1][2] According to Bernard:[3]

Sir William Littleton (1450–1507) eldest son of the judge, had issue by his second marriage one son John, his heir, and one daughter Anne, the wife of Thomas Rouse of Ragley in Warwickshire. She was mother of the Lady Abbess of Ramsey.[4] Sir William had likewise a natural son called William Littleton alias Lodge, afterwards of Cressage[5] in Shropshire. He was the first of the family who bore the triton as a supporter. He sealed many deeds with the same crest as the judge, his father, and spelled his name Littleton. He lived in great splendor at Frankley till his death November the 8th 1508, and was interred in the great church of the abbey of Hales-Owen.

Sir William Littleton's legitimate son, John Littleton (c.1499 – 17 May 1532), married Elizabeth Talbot, one of the three daughters and coheirs of Sir Gilbert Talbot (d. 22 October 1542) of Grafton by Agnes Paston,[6] by whom he had seven sons and two daughters, including his eldest son and heir, Sir John Littleton.[3]

Sir William Littleton's illegitimate son, William Littleton alias Lodge, was the father of Sir Thomas Lodge. According to Sisson, 'If Sir Thomas was a scion of the Littleton family, it could surely only have been with a bar sinister'.[7][8]


He became a member of the Grocers' Company, serving the office of warden in 1548, and of master in 1559. He was sworn in alderman of Cheap ward in London on 24 October 1553, and was chosen sheriff in 1556.

In business[edit]

Lodge engaged in foreign trade in Antwerp, and was an enterprising supporter of schemes for opening new markets in distant countries. On 25 November 1553 a sum of £15,426. 19s. 1d. sterling was paid to him and other merchants in consideration of money advanced to the queen by them at Antwerp.[9] He received Queen Mary's thanks, in a letter dated from Richmond 9 August 1558, for his willingness to become surety for redeeming Sir Henry Palmer, prisoner in France.[10] In 1561 he was governor of the Russia Company, and on 8 May in that capacity signed a 'remembrance' to Anthony Jenkinson on his departure to Russia and Persia [11] He also traded to Barbary, and on 14 Aug 1561 he offered, jointly with Sir William Chester and Sir William Garrard, to defray the charges of a Portuguese mariner for a voyage of discovery to that coast, and to present him with one hundred crowns.[12]

About 1562 Lodge, with other citizens, executed an indenture of charter-party with the queen for two ships, the Mynyon and the Prymrose, to 'sail and traffic in the ports of Africa and Ethiopia'.[13] Charles Welch observed:

'To this voyage has been attributed the unenvied distinction of inaugurating the infamous traffic in slaves, countenanced by Elizabeth. In October 1562 Lodge, Sir Lionel Duckett, and others also furnished money to enable Sir John Hawkins to fit out three ships to trade in the capture of slaves in Guinea.[14] They made a good profit, and in the following year engaged in a similar venture.'[15]

A passage from Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations attributes the initiative to Sir John Hawkins, and associates Sir Lionel Duckett, Sir Thomas Lodge, Benjamin Gonson (Hawkins's father-in-law), Sir William Winter and Mr Bromfield, 'his worshipfull friendes of London', with the funding adventure.[16]

Some original testimonies, which do not mention slave traffic actual or intended, describe expeditions to Guinea sponsored by Lodge in 1562-64 with Anthony Hickman, William Garrard, William Chester, Benjamin Gonson, William Winter, Lionel Duckett and Edward Castelin (from whom John Lok had withdrawn), ostensibly for exploration and for trade in gold and ivory. William Rutter's account shows that in February 1562 the Minion and the Primrose had an eventful and difficult expedition, returning to England in 1563 with 1758 lbs. of ivory. Robert Baker's narrative tells that in October 1563 the Minion, the John Baptist of London and the Merlin formed the planned expedition to Guinea. Soon after setting off they hit a storm in which the Merlin was separated from the other two, who by chance came upon Sir John Hawkins bound for the West Indies in Jesus of Lübeck. The Minion went to find the Merlin, which was unluckily sunk by a powder explosion in the gunners' room which blew out the poop: therefore Hawkins accompanied the remaining two craft to Tenerife, and then parted from their company to continue his voyage to Cano Verde, Sierra Leone, and thence across the ocean to Burburoata. The Guinea expedition meanwhile proceeded to Rio de Sestos. After various encounters with the Portuguese and the native peoples, Robert Baker (one of the principal factors, aboard the Minion) and his surviving companions were captured and abandoned ashore, while the two ships returned separately to England.[17]

Agarde, in his paper on sterling money[18] states that the Easterlings were brought over to England by Lodge from silver and copper mines in Germany in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign to reduce and refine 'the diversity of coins into a perfect standard.' Lodge further told Agarde that the men who 'fell sick to death with the savour' of the base coins in melting, found relief by drinking from human skulls, which he procured from London Bridge, under a warrant from the council.[19]

Lord Mayor[edit]

After serving as a Sheriff of London for 1560, Lodge entered office as Lord Mayor of London on 29 October 1562. Henry Machyn described his inauguration:

The xxix (29) day of October the nuw mare [went by] water unto Westmynster, and all the althermen and the craftes of London in barges deckyd with stremars, [and there] was a goodly fuste decked with stremars and banars, with drumes, trumpetes, and gones to Westmynster playce, [where] he toke ys oythe; and so home to Beynard castylle, [and] with all the arther alth'men; and in Powiles chyrcheyerd ther mett (him) all the bachelars in cremesun damaske hodes, with drumes and flutes and trumpettes blohyng, and a lx (60) powre men in bluw gownes and red capes, and with targettes and jaffelyns [and] grett standardes, and iiij (4) grett banars of armes and . . .; and after, a goodly pagantt with goodly musyke plahyng; and to Yeld-halle to dener, for ther dynyd mony of the consell and all the juges and mony nobull men and women; and after dener the mare and all the althermen yede to Powlles with all musyke.[20]

Lodge was knighted in 1562.[21] His mayoralty was darkened by a visitation of the plague.[22] At that time he fell foul of one Edward Skeggs, a man disfranchised of the freedom of the City for some wrongdoing, but upon an appeal restored, who became a Purveyor for Queen Mary. Skegg seized twelve out of twenty-two capons provided for the Lord Mayor's table. Lodge made him restore six, and threatened him with the biggest pair of bolts in Newgate. Skeggs as a royal servant complained to the Earl of Arundel, Lord Steward, and Sir Edward Rogers, Comptroller of the Household, and they wrote to Lodge threatening him with punishment. Lodge appealed to Lord Robert Dudley and Secretary Cecil protesting the dignity and authority of his office.[23]

Various factors brought his civic career to a close. Stow, who comments that he was the first Lord Mayor to wear a beard (which was considered uncomely, but was outdone by his successor Sir John White who wore a flowing beard[24]), tells that

'This Sir T. Lodge braky and professe to be banqwerooute in his maioraltie to the grete slandar of ye Citie.'[25]

Either during the last months of his mayoralty, or more probably soon afterwards, he spent time in the Fleet Prison as a debtor, so that in December 1563 his debts were reckoned at around £5000.[26] He had various investments in land estates and in his trading speculations, but through a series of suits or challenges to title or profits he was drawn into frequent, costly litigation and, being over-invested, constantly struggled to find ready money, and ran through his capital assets. In 1567-8 he was obliged to resign from the Aldermanry,[27] and was again under arrest until 1570, when various suits or causes which had been deferred by declaration of bankruptcy were revived. His City friends and Companies made several efforts to relieve his circumstances, holding him to be a very trusted man and considerable trader, but his fortunes waned.

Marriages and issue[edit]

Lodge first married Mawdleyn, sister of Stephen Vaughan.[28] She died in 1548 and was buried at St Michael, Cornhill.

Lodge's second wife was Margaret Parker of Wrottisley, Staffordshire, by whom he had two daughters: Sara (christened 1549) became the wife of the printer Edward White,[29][30] and Susan (christened 1551) married Thomas Leicester of Worleston in Cheshire.[31] Lodge's second wife, Margaret, died and was buried in April 1552.

Lodge's third wife was Anne Luddington (1523–1579), widow of the wealthy London grocer, William Lane (d.1552) (by whom Anne had four children, Luke, Gabriel, Anne and Elizabeth),[32] and daughter of the London grocer, Henry Luddington (d.1531), by Joan Kirkeby (d.1576), daughter and heir of William Kirkeby (d.1531) of London. After the death of Henry Luddington in 1531, his widow, Joan, married Sir William Laxton, Lord Mayor of London and one of the wealthiest merchants of his day. There were no issue of Laxton's marriage, and his will stipulated that after the death of his widow, Joan,[33] his estate would go to his niece Joan Wanton, who was his right heir, and to his three step-children by Joan's first marriage, Nicholas Luddington, Joan Luddington, and Sir Thomas Lodge's third wife, Anne Luddington.[34][29]

By his third wife Lodge had six sons and two daughters:[35][36]

  • William Lodge, eldest son and heir, baptized on 8 July 1554, who on 14 October 1577 married Mary Blagrave, the daughter of Thomas Blagrave, Master of the Revels.[37]
  • Thomas Lodge (baptized 23 May 1556, buried 4 June 1556), second son.[38]
  • Nicholas Lodge (born before 1562), who became a ward of his brother-in-law, Gamaliel Woodford.[39]
  • Benedict Lodge (baptized 18 April 1563), who became a ward of Richard Culverwell.[39]
  • Henry Lodge (baptized 14 April 1566 at St Peter's Cornhill, who became a ward of Thomas Waterhouse.[39]
  • Thomas Lodge (1558–1625), physician and playwright.
  • Joan Lodge (born 1555), who was the god-daughter of Anthony Hussey, and married, on 30 March 1573, Gamaliel Woodford, grocer and Merchant of the Staple, by whom she had a son, Thomas Woodford (born 13 January 1578), who held the lease of the Whitefriars Theatre with Michael Drayton.[40]
  • Anne Lodge (born 1558-1562, buried 19 December 1573).[41]

Anne, Lady Lodge, to whom Edward White dedicated in 1579 his Myrror of Modestie, died in 1579. An Epitaph of the Lady Anne Lodge is described in the Stationers' Register as by T. Lodge, but no copy is known.

Death and legacy[edit]

Lodge died 28 February 1584,[42] and was buried near his wife and father-in-law in St Mary Aldermary Church.

His will, dated 14 Dec 1583, was proved on 7 June 1585, and administered by Gamaliel Woodford as executor.[43] He described himself as of West Ham in Essex, and left £5 to the poor there. He provided for a funeral sermon to be preached in St Peter's, Cornhill, and for six other sermons to be preached in that church and the church of St Mary Aldermary. The principal bequests were to his three sons Nicholas, Benedick and Henry, and to the family of his daughter Joan Woodford. No mention is made of his son Thomas, but he leaves a bequest to his godson, Thomas Lodge, the son of his son William: William himself is made an overseer but not an executor of the will.

The difficulties over his son Thomas Lodge the dramatist are expressed more at length in the will (proved 26 January 1579/80[44]) of his third wife Lady Anne Lodge, in whose right she and Sir Thomas held the manor of Malmeynes in Barking and Dagenham, Essex.[45] The will written 15 September 1579 at first enjoins her son William as executor (who is to enter a bond for assurance) to convey these lands to Thomas her second son, under the approval of Sir William Cordell, Master of the Rolls, pending their use by Sir Thomas her husband during his own lifetime. However two days after that ensealing, now affirming several times the assent and commandment of the said Sir Thomas Lodge, by Codicil this devise is revoked and granted instead to William. In its place, she and Sir Thomas 'myndinge yet the advauncement of my second sonne to some convenient porcion of lyvinge', the free chapel of Nayland with its advowson, the capital messuage called Bakers in Stoke-by-Nayland, with their lands (both Suffolk) and all their lands in 'Great Horsley' (Essex), (much of which had also descended to Lady Anne through her mother and stepfather Sir William and Lady Laxton), is to be devised and assured to the son Thomas under the same conditions as the former devise. This provision, leaving a significant degree of control during his lifetime to Sir Thomas, therefore stood in place of any separate provision for Thomas within Sir Thomas's own will.

At the time of his father's death Thomas Lodge possessed such debts, or had received such advances of money, as obliged him to free his brother William of all claims on his legacies, though in subsequent years he brought suit against William for having procured this deed of release from him unfairly in the time of his need.[46]


  1. ^ Baker 2004.
  2. ^ Clifford 1817, pp. 144-5.
  3. ^ a b Bernard & Birch 1738, p. 118.
  4. ^ Phillimore 1888, p. 113.
  5. ^ Near Much Wenlock; Sisson 1933, p. 10.
  6. ^ Richardson III 2011, pp. 462-3.
  7. ^ Grazebrook 1889, p. 284.
  8. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 7-9.
  9. ^ Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series 1553-8, p. 30.
  10. ^ Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series 1547–80, p. 105.
  11. ^ Calendar of State Papers, East India Series 1513–16, p. 6.
  12. ^ Cited in the (Old) Dictionary of National Biography (from which this statement derives) as 'cf Machyn, p. 183': but neither page-number nor date correspond to the events here described.
  13. ^ Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series 1547–1580, p. 215.
  14. ^ R. Hakluyt, Principal Navigations Vol. III (London 1599), p. 500.
  15. ^ C. Welch, 'Lodge, Thomas (d.1584)', Dictionary of National Biography (London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900), Vol. 34.
  16. ^ K. R. Andrews, Trade, Plunder, and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480-1630 (Cambridge University press 1984), p. 116-17.
  17. ^ E. Goldsmid (Ed.), Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English nation collected by Richard Hakluyt, Vol. XI: Africa (E. & G. Goldsmid, Edinburgh 1889), pp. 164-172. Robert Kerr, A General History of Voyages and Travels (Vol. VII, 1824) Part II Book III, Chapter VII, Section X and ff.
  18. ^ Arthure Agarde, 'Of Sterling Money' in Thomas Hearne (Ed.), A Collection of Curious Discourses written by Eminent Antiquaries, Vol. II (New Edition)(Benjamin White, London 1775), No. XLIII, pp. 316-17.
  19. ^ Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series 1547–1580, p. 164; Richard Thomson, Chronicles of London Bridge, pp. 587–88.
  20. ^ J. G. Nichols (Ed.), The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant-taylor of London (Camden Society, London 1848), p. 294.
  21. ^ W. C. Metcalfe, A Book of Knights Banneret, Knights of the Bath, and Knights Bachelor, etc (Mitchell and Hughes, London 1885), p. 118.
  22. ^ Stowe's Memoranda, under date 9 July 1563, in J. Gairdner (Ed.), Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles (Camden Society, 1880), pp. 123-125.
  23. ^ J. Strype, Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster (1720), Book I, Chapter 31, page 289:'Worthy Maiors'.
  24. ^ A.M. Mimardière, 'White, Sir John (d. 1573), of London and Aldershot, Hants.', in P.W. Hasler (ed.), The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1558-1603, History of Parliament Online.
  25. ^ Stowe's Memoranda, in J. Gairdner (Ed.), Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles (Selden Society 1880), p. 127.
  26. ^ C.J. Sisson, 'Thomas Lodge and his Family', in Thomas Lodge and other Elizabethans (Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass. 1933), at pp. 7-53, 162-63.
  27. ^ City Records, 3 Dec 1566, Rep. 16, fol. 138 b.
  28. ^ Details in this paragraph, correcting the Old D.N.B. entry, are taken from C.J. Sisson, 'Thomas Lodge and his Family', in Thomas Lodge and other Elizabethans, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass., 1933), 1-163, at pp. 11-14. They may be compared with details given in the New D.N.B. entry for Sir Thomas Lodge.
  29. ^ a b Halasz 2004.
  30. ^ Bishai, Nadia, 'At the Signe of the Gunne': Titus Andronicus, the London Book Trade, and the Literature of Crime, 1590-1615 in Liberty Stanavage and Paxton Hehmeyer, eds., Titus Out of Joint: Reading the Fragmented Titus Andronicus, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, pp. 7-48 at p.11 Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  31. ^ G. Grazebrook & J. P. Rylands (Eds), The Visitation of Shropshire taken in the Year 1628, Part II, Harleian Society Vol. XXIX, (London 1889), p. 284.
  32. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 60, 70-2.
  33. ^ Lady Joan Laxton was buried 15 August 1576; Sisson 1931, p. 63.
  34. ^ Alsop 2004.
  35. ^ Sisson 1931, p. 60.
  36. ^ Collier 1843, p. xvi.
  37. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 60, 63, 72-3.
  38. ^ Sisson 1931, p. 61.
  39. ^ a b c Sisson 1931, pp. 61, 76.
  40. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 48, 60-3, 73.
  41. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 61, 63.
  42. ^ Sisson 1931, p. 79.
  43. ^ Prerogative Court of Canterbury: The National Archives (United Kingdom), PROB 11/68/356. (Brudenell, 29).
  44. ^ Prerogative Court of Canterbury: The National Archives (United Kingdom), PROB 11/62/25.
  45. ^ See D. Lysons, The Environs of London Vol. IV (T. Cadell & W. Davies, London 1796), p. 77.
  46. ^ Sisson 1931, pp. 150-5.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Lodge, Thomas (d.1584)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

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