Hawley, Thomas (DNB00)


HAWLEY, THOMAS (d. 1557), Clarenceux king-of-arms, was nominated Roseblanche pursuivant in the reign of Henry VII, and in him this title expired. He was messenger of the chamber to Henry VIII, who appointed him Rougecroix pursuivant on 20 Aug. 1509. In the latter capacity he accompanied the English army sent in 1511, under the command of the Earl of Surrey, against James IV of Scotland. The earl employed him in the protracted negotiations with the Scottish king previous to the battle of Flodden. Hawley's discretion is noticed in contemporary chronicles, and in the ballad of ‘The Battle of Flodden.’ In 1513 he brought the news of the defeat of the Scots and of James's death to Queen Catherine of Arragon, who sent him to communicate the intelligence to Henry VIII at Tournay. On 1 Nov. 1514 he was created Carlisle herald, and on 30 Jan. 1514–15 the king granted him an annuity of twenty marks for his services at Flodden. In 1520 he accompanied Henry to Ardres, near Calais, and was present at the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold.’

On 19 Sept. 1524 he was despatched from Newcastle by the Duke of Norfolk with the king's letters to the Queen of Scots and the Earl of Arran. He was constantly engaged in diplomatic negotiations in Scotland in 1531 and 1532. By patent dated 15 June 1534 he was made king-of-arms and principal herald in the northern parts of the kingdom, with the title of Norroy, and 20l. a year. In the same year he went to Scotland in the suite of Lord William Howard, ambassador to the Scottish court. By patent dated 18 April 1536 he was appointed king-of-arms and principal herald of the southern, eastern, and western parts of the kingdom, with the title of Clarenceux. He was actively employed by the Duke of Norfolk in treating with the northern rebels at the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace. In December 1536 he proclaimed the king's pardon at Wakefield, Halifax, and in other towns in the north, and he was present at the execution of Robert Aske and other leaders of the insurrection in 1537. In 1539 he was engaged in a dispute with Sir Christopher Barker [q. v.], Garter king-of-arms, with reference to their respective privileges (Addit. MS. 6297, pp. 124 seq.) In 1552 he visited the counties of Essex, Surrey, and Hants. After the death of Edward VI he went with the Duke of Northumberland to Cambridge, but he opportunely left before the cause of his daughter, Lady Jane Grey, collapsed. Queen Mary treated him as a disaffected person, but did not deprive him of his office. He regained some portion of the royal favour by his conduct during the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, whom he induced to submit to the queen without sacrificing more of the lives of his deluded followers. In 1555 he held an heraldic visitation in the county of Kent. He died at his residence in Barbican, London, on 22 Aug. 1557, and was buried on the 24th with elaborate ceremony in the church of St. Giles without Cripplegate (Harleian MS. 897, f. 17; Machyn, Diary, p. 149). By his will, dated 21 Aug. 1557, and proved on the 25th, he appointed William Harvey (d. 1567) [q. v.], Norroy king-of-arms, his executor, and gave him all his books.

His heraldic visitation of Essex, Surrey, and Hampshire is preserved in the Addit. MS. 7098 in the British Museum. ‘The Visitation of Essex’ was printed by the Harleian Society (vol. xiii. London, 1878, 8vo), edited by Walter C. Metcalfe, F.S.A.

A portrait engraved from an illuminated initial in a grant of arms is in Dallaway's ‘Science of Heraldry’, plate 12.

[Addit. MSS. 16399 f. 76 b, 24965 f. 166 b; Anstis's Order of the Garter, ii. pref. pp. 24, xxxviii, xxxix; Brewer's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 64, ii. pt. ii. 1647, iv. pt. i. 869; Dallaway's Science of Heraldry; Gairdner's Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, v. 842, vi. 450, vii. 698, x. 418, 472; Machyn's Diary, pp. 121, 358; Noble's College of Arms, pp. 119, 122, 128, 130, 143, 151; Rymer's Fœdera (Hague edit.), vol. vi. pt. iii. p. 172, pt. iv. pp. 35, 39; State Papers of Henry VIII, i. 497, 560, v. 139, xi. 570; Calendars of State Papers, Dom. (1547–80), pp. 4, 92; Addenda, 1547–65, pp. 412, 427, 438; Strype's Memorials, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 208, 8vo.]

T. C.