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Thomas Cure

Birthplace: of St. Saviours, Southwark, Surrey, England
Death: Died
Cause of death: PROBATE: Will dated 24 May 1588; will proved 22 Jun 1588 [PCC: 43).
Place of Burial: Southwark Cathedral
Immediate Family:

Husband of Anna Cure
Father of George Cure, Esquire; Thomas Cure; Elizabeth Edmunds; Margaret Wylde; Jane Brooker and 1 other

Occupation: Sadler to King Edward VI., Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Thomas Cure

Thomas Cure of St. Saviours, Southwark, co. Surrey, Sadler to King Edward VI., Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Will dated 24 May 1588, proved 22 June 1588 (P.C.C. 43 Rutland)

Southwark Cathedral -

"The second sculpture is a stone effigy of an Elizabethan worthy, Thomas Cure Esq. Thomas Cure was the Queen’s saddler. He had also been saddler to Elizabeth’s siblings Edward VI and Queen Mary. As the Queen’s saddler Cure was a man of means. He owned a ship and its cargo in 1573 and acquired the manor of Widefleete in Southwark in 1580. He was also a Parliament man coming in for Southwark and East Grinstead. He died in 1588 and his stone effigy is in the style of a cadaver, a very direct memento mori."

"A decomposing body as opposed to a skeleton atop a tomb is known as a transi. Although this example is more of a withered body than a rotting one it’s purpose is to remind us that we, too, will one day look like this. This tradition in funerary monument design lasted over three centuries, but by the time we reach the 17th century funerary fashion has moved on and has become more gentle and reflective."

Further references and Sources

Direct descendant Hugo Capel Cure was among those present at the annual Thomas Cure commemoration at Southwark Cathedral. Hugo Capel Cure is the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson of Queen Elizabeth I's sadler Thomas Cure who founded almshouses next to Borough Market.

Thomas Cure, who died on 24 May 1588, was Saddler to Elizabeth I and Master of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. He gave land and investments to the Corporation of Wardens of the St Saviour’s Charity and was one of the charity’s major benefactors. Each year on the anniversary of his death, the Wardens of the charity gather in the Cathedral to give thanks for his life and to pray for the future of the charity.

"Jane Cure was the daughter of Thomas Cure of Southwark (d. May 24, 1588), saddler to Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, and Agnes or Anne Bennet (d.1590+). Cure moved to St. Saviour's Parish in Southwark in 1570. In 1579, he purchased Waverley House from Viscount Montague. He also held other Southwark properties: The Red Lion, The Cross Keys, The Estridge Feather, the King's Head, among others, and in 1580 he purchased the manor of Paris Garden for his son Thomas. By 1588, Jane had married Hugh Browker (d.1608), Prothonotary in Common Pleas, who owned land in Whitechapel. They had four sons and four daughters including eldest son Thomas. In 1602, he and his son leased Paris Garden, which had formerly belonged to Thomas Cure. Browker made his will on December 31, 1607 and it was proved five weeks later. He made Jane executor and left most of his property to her for the term of fourteen years, after which it was to revert to Thomas."

"As the Queen’s saddler Cure was a man of means—the wardrobe accounts show him due for payments of over £500 in 1583, and over £1,500 in 1584. He owned a ship and its cargo in 1573, acquired the manor of Widefleete in Southwark in 1580, and in 1584 founded an almshouse or college there for the maintenance of 16 poor people. For one of his background he was a keen Parliament man, coming in thrice for Southwark and twice for East Grinstead where, in 1564 he had purchased property. When the latter borough was granted a coat of arms in 1572, he paid for the engraving of its new seal in silver, ‘for the love and goodwill that he, the said Cure, bare unto the said borough town and the inhabitants thereof’. On 27 Mar. 1563, the bill to prohibit the setting of nets for fishing in the Thames was committed to him. No activity has been found for him in the records of the 1571 Parliament. On 21 May 1572 he opposed the bill reserving the use of wood within 20 miles of London to iron mills, saying that they were causing

... great scarcity of wood about London which is a hindrance to the whole common weal. Wheresoever they come, [woodworkers] driven away, as is already by experience in London, who are very necessary for the common weal, as making trees of saddles for horsemen. Already not one left in London.

On 22 May he spoke against a London monopoly in the manufacture of calivers and days and he was appointed to the committee set up to consider the matter that day. He else served on committees concerning foreign tradesmen (24 May), work for the poor (11 Feb. 1576), innholders and tipplers (17 Feb.), tanned leather (18 Feb.) and the preservation of woods (28 Jan. 1581). His name does not occur in the journals of his last two Parliaments.

In his will, drawn up shortly before his death on 24 May 1588, and proved 22 June, he asked that his ‘withered body’ might be buried beside that of his mother if he should die in Southwark, and he arranged for the division of his goods into three parts, one for his wife, the second for his sons George and Thomas, and the third for the discharge of other legacies. These included £100 towards the purchase of land for Southwark grammar school and 20s. ‘to make all the scholars a little recreation after my burial’. The Saddlers’ Company received £3 for a similar merry-making, and there were bequests for the relief of the inmates of London hospitals and prisons, and for various poor persons. He made his son George responsible for an annual payment to the use of the poor of his newly erected ‘college’ or almshouse in Southwark."

  • Constituency Dates
  • SOUTHWARK 1563
  • SOUTHWARK 1571


"The priory church of St. Mary Overy, Southwark, having been purchased by the inhabitants as a parish church, the desire of instilling useful knowledge among youth induced Thomas Cure, the queen's saddler, and several other benevolent persons, to found the grammar-school we are now describing for the instruction of thirty boys of the same parish; and for this purpose they obtained letters patent from Queen Elizabeth, in the fourth year of her reign. In these it is recited of the said grammar-school:—

"That Thomas Cure, William Browker, Christopher Campbell, and other discret and more sad inhabitants of St. Saviour's, had, at their own great costs and pains, devised, erected, and set up a grammar-school, wherein the children of the poor, as well as the rich inhabitants, were freely brought up; that they had applied for a charter to establish a succession; she therefore wills that it shall be one grammar-school for Education of the Children of the Parishioners and Inhabitants of St. Saviour, to be called 'A Free Grammar-school of the Parishioners of St. Saviour in Southwark,' to have one master and one under-master; six of the more discreet and sad inhabitants to be governors, by the name of 'Governors of the Possessions and Revenues and Goods of the Free Grammar-school of the Parishioners of the Parish of St. Saviour, Southwark, in the county of Surrey, incorporate and erected;' and they are thereby incorporated, to have perpetual succession, with power to purchase lands, &c., and that on death or other causes the remaining governors, and twelve others of the more discreet and godliest inhabitants, by the governors to be named, should elect a meet person or governor . . . having power, with advice of the Bishop of Winchester, or he being absent, with advice of any good or learned man, to appoint a schoolmaster and usher from time to time, &c., . . . . and also power to purchase lands not exceeding £40 a year.

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Thomas Cure's Timeline

May 24, 1588
Surrey, England
Southwark Cathedral