Rev. Tristram Thomas

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Tristram Thomas

Also Known As: "James Thomas of Sussex"
Birthdate: (38)
Birthplace: Sundridge, Kent, England
Death: January 26, 1560 (38)
Alford, Surrey, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Nicholas Thomas and Mardela Thomas
Husband of wife of Rev. Tristram Thomas
Father of Edmond Thomas, Sr.; John Thomas and Richard Thomas
Brother of Phyllis Sacherell

Occupation: Rector of Alford
Managed by: Virginia Lee Hill
Last Updated:

About Rev. Tristram Thomas

Rev. Tristram Thomas (b1522), Rector of Alford Parish in Surry England was the father of three sons: 


  1. John (b1548)married: Ann Tottishurt;,
  2. Edmond (b1550)married: #1)Elizabeth Marsh and #2)Johan Whitehead; and
  3. Richard (b1552)married Mary Filbert


  • Rectors and Vicars of Surrey by H. E. Malden, Surrey Arch. Coll. 1914, p. 93



There were few methods by which people became freeholders or copyholders of lands in this period. By inheritance, by dispensation, by purchase. Tristram's grandson, Tristram2, was a yeoman farmer. How did he come by this property? It is possible that the first known Tristram was the son of a tenant farmer who was sufficiently well off to educate one of his children. He would not have educated the eldest who would have been expected to inherit the farm, although, in Kent, primogeniture was not the custom. Tristram's father had to have been of sufficient means to educate his son or the education of his son may have been a gift for service to a member of the wealthier class, such as the aristocracy or large landholders. Tristram could not have been an Anglican reverend without knowing at least how to read and write. The fact that he did not become Rector of St. Nicholas Church until 1558 at age 36. does not mean that he was not in service to the church somewhere else before then. It should be understood that the Anglican church was born in 1533 and that, after Henry VIII's death in 1553, the Catholic Queen Mary made life very hard for non-Catholic clergy and laity alike until her death in 1558. Given this timeline, I suspect that Tristram may have become clergy during Henry's reign, laid low during Mary's, and was immediately given a parish when Elizabeth took over in 1558. As Canterbury is in Kent and Canterbury, along with York, are the highest churches in the land, Tristram was no doubt highly visible to the Anglican heirarchy. It is possible that he was given copyhold to land by the Anglican Church for his service and for the prosperity of his children.


  1. (LDS): name, year of birth, county/country of birth, year of marriage, city/country of marriage
  2. Thomas family of Talbot county, Maryland, and allied families by Richard Henry Spencer.Published 1914 by Williams & Wilkins company in Baltimore . Written in English. Page 1. Tristram Thomas living in Sundridge 1639 said to be the grandson of Rev Tristram Thomas, Rector of Alford Parish, County Surrey, instituted 9 Feb 1558-9
  3. Rev Tristram Thomas, Rector of Alford Parish, County Surrey, died 1/26/1560


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Rev. Tristram Thomas's Timeline

Sundridge, Kent, England
Age 23
Chevening Parish, Kent, England
Age 25
Chevening, Kent, England
Age 26
Kent County, England
January 26, 1560
Age 38
Alford, Surrey, England
December 1, 1992
Age 38
June 24, 1993
Age 38