Thomas Underhill

M, b. circa 1516, d. April 1571
FatherThomas Underhill b. c 1482, d. 1520
MotherAnne Wynter
     Thomas was born circa 1516 at Hunningham, Warwickshire, England. The two youngest brothers of the family were not mentioned in either the father’s will or that of Ralph’s. The former will is typical of the age, with younger children not being provided for in father’s wills; the latter could also be of the same nature, but is more likely because of the rift in the family between the grandfather John’s two sons William and Thomas. The rift put the two older sons at odds with their uncle William, the two others may have sided with William because they had the common ground of not having inherited landed estates. Another more practical reason is that by the time the rift became irreparable, William was established in his trade as an attorney and had power to place his nephews in positions with the City Government of London. Whatever the reason for the alliance, Thomas, the older of the two brothers was the first to benefit as his uncle William did succeed in placing him into working in the household of the Duke of Norfolk. However, at sometime it became necessary for the Duke to sell some of his land and thus to reduce his staff. Thomas was one of those who lost his position. The Duke did not let Thomas go without making a diligent effort to procure him another position; his endeavors were within the City Government itself. The Duke wrote letters in March of 1540 and again in June of the same year and continued in his efforts until Thomas did receive and appointment as sergeant to the Lord Mayor. It is not certain when the appointment was made, but he was clearly established in office by June of 1543, as he, “Thomas Underhill, one of the Lord Mayor’s sergeants” was placed in charge of conducting and leading 100 men requested by the King. Sixteen years later, in 1559, Thomas received another appointment of substantial importance, that of Common Hunt of the City. At this time he had three appointments the original as a sergeant, as Carver of the City, a position pertaining primarily to official affairs, and the above mentioned Common Hunt. This position was one of responsibility, which from records, he proved to a valued asset. This last position, he held until is death.1 Thomas made his will in March 1571. In his will, Thomas stiled himself as "Commom Hunte of the Cittie of London". Thomas departed this life in April 1571 in London, County Middlesex, England.


  1. [S781] Henry C. Shelley, John Underhill Captain of New England and New, pages 14-16.