Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Palfreyman, Thomas

PALFREYMAN, THOMAS (d. 1589?), author, was a gentleman of the chapel royal, together with Tallis, Farrant, Hunnis, and other well-known musicians in Edward VI's reign. He continued in office till 1589, apparently the year of his death (Cheque-Book of Chapel Royal, ed. Rimbault, pp. 4, 195). John Parkhurst [q. v.], the bishop of Norwich, addressed an epigram to Palfreyman and Robert Couch conjointly, and complimented them on their proficiency alike in music and theology. Palfreyman seems to have lived in the parish of St. Peter, Cornhill. The following works, all religious exhortations, are assigned to him:

  1. ‘An Exhortation to Knowledge and Love of God,’ London, 1560, 8vo.
  2. ‘Tho. Palfreyman his Paraphrase on the Romans; also certain little tracts of Mart. Cellarius,’ London, n.d. 4to.
  3. ‘Divine Meditations,’ London, by Henry Bynneman for William Norton, 1572, 8vo; dedicated to Isabel Harington, a gentlewoman of the Queen's privy chamber.
  4. ‘The Treatise of Heauenly Philosophie: conteyning therein not onely the most pithie sentences of God's sacred Scriptures, but also the sayings of certaine Auncient and Holie Fathers, London, by William Norton, 1578;’ a 4to of nine hundred pages, dedicated to Thomas, earl of Sussex (Brit. Mus.) Unpaged lives of Moses and David are prefixed; there follow long and tedious chapters on God, on Faith, and on various vices and virtues.

In 1567 Palfreyman revised and re-edited ‘A Treatise of Morall Philosophy, containynge the sayinges of the wyse,’ which William Baldwin had first published in 1547. Palfreyman's version of 1567 is described as ‘nowe once again augmented and the third tyme enlarged.’ It was published by Richard Tottell on 1 July 1567, and was dedicated to Henry Hastings, earl of Huntingdon (Brit. Mus.). It was a popular book, and new editions appeared in 1575, 1584, 1587, 1591, 1596, 1610, 1620, and 1630.

One Thomas Palfreman, described as a plebeian and native of Oxford, matriculated from All Souls' College on 8 July 1586, aged 34. He may have been a son of the author. A second Thomas Palfryman proceeded B.A. from New Inn Hall, Oxford, on 14 May 1633 (M.A. 1636), was incorporated at Cambridge in 1651, and became vicar of Threckingham in 1637, and of Haceby, Lincolnshire, in 1638. His son, of the same names (B.A. from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 1662, M.A. 1665), was made vicar of Youlgrave, Derbyshire, in 1685.

[Hunter's manuscript Chorus Vatum, Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 24490, f. 498; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Hazlitt's Handbook; Ames's Typogr. Antiq.; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.]

S. L.