Open main menu


THROCKMORTON, JOB (1545–1601), puritan controversialist, born in 1545, was eldest son of Clement Throckmorton of Haseley, Warwickshire, third son of Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton, Warwickshire. He was thus nephew of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton [q. v.], and first cousin of Francis Throckmorton [q. v.] His mother, Catherine, was daughter of Sir Edward Neville, second son of George Neville, third baron Bergavenny [q. v.] The father, a well-to-do country gentleman, in youth served his maternal relative, Queen Catherine Parr, as a cupbearer; he was presented with the estate of Haseley in 1555 by his uncle, Michael Throckmorton, to whom it had been granted by Queen Mary in 1553 on the attainder of its former owner, John, duke of Northumberland [see under Throckmorton, Sir Nicholas]. He accepted protestantism and made provision for the son of the protestant Thomas Hawkes, who was burnt for heresy at Coggeshall during Queen Mary's reign in 1555 (Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vii. 118). Clement Throckmorton was elected member of parliament for Warwick in 1541, for Devizes in 1545, for Warwick again in 1547 and 1553, for Sudbury, Suffolk, in 1559, and for Warwickshire in 1562 and 1572, and, dying in 1573, was buried in Haseley church beneath a monument of Purbeck marble inlaid with brass.

Job, who succeeded his father at Haseley, developed a strong puritan bias. He was well educated, and graduated B.A. at Oxford on 13 Feb. 1565–6. He sat in parliament as member for East Retford from 1572 to 1583, and for Warwick in 1586–7. When John Penry [q. v.] issued his appeal to the parliament of 1586, calling attention to the spiritual destitution of Wales, Throckmorton appears to have expressed enthusiastic sympathy. In 1588 he offered pecuniary aid to Penry and to Penry's friends in their efforts to excite the nation against the bishops by the issue of a series of tracts bearing the pseudonymous signatures of Martin Mar-Prelate. Throckmorton afterwards denied that he had any knowledge of Penry's plans, but in June 1589 Penry stayed with Throckmorton at Haseley, and a printing press was secretly set up in his house. The greater part of the three Mar-Prelate tracts—‘Theses Martinianæ,’ ‘The Just Censure and Reproofe of Martin Senior,’ and ‘The Protestatyon of Martin Marprelate’—were put into type under Throckmorton's roof. When Penry escaped to Edinburgh in 1590, Throckmorton seems to have supplied him with funds. Throckmorton was indicted at Warwick assizes next year on a charge of associating with other religious malcontents—William Hacket [q. v.] and the little band of religious fanatics who were at the time convicted of treason. Throckmorton admitted some casual acquaintance with Edmund Coppinger [q. v.], one of Hacket's patrons, but no evidence was forthcoming to prove closer relations, and Throckmorton was acquitted. ‘The lord chancellor said not only in his own house, but even to her Majesty, and openly in the parliament, that he knew Job Throckmorton to be an honest man’ (cf. Throckmorton's Defence, 1594; Peirce, Vindication, i. 142). When Penry was arrested and put on his trial in May 1593, Throckmorton swore that he himself ‘was not Martin and knew not Martin [MarPrelate].’ But Matthew Sutcliffe [q. v.] issued a vehement attack on Throckmorton in 1594, asserting, despite the absence of legal proof, that he was guilty of complicity both with Penry and with Hacket. Throckmorton replied in a published ‘Defence of Job Throckmorton against the Slanders of Matthew Sutcliffe, taken out of copye of his own hande, as it was written to a honorable personage’ (1594, 4to), to which Sutcliffe published an answer (1595).

Throckmorton's religious zeal increased with his years, and he often preached to his neighbours. According to Camden, he was both learned and eloquent. Towards the end of the century he fell into a consumption, and removed from Haseley to Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, so that he might benefit by the spiritual consolation of the puritan minister, John Dod [q. v.] It is said that for thirty-seven years he sought in vain a comfortable assurance of his salvation, but secured it within an hour of his death. He died early in 1601, and was buried in the churchyard of Haseley on 23 Feb. (Reg.)

Throckmorton married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Vernon of Howell, Staffordshire, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. His eldest son, Sir Clement Throckmorton, was thrice elected M.P. for Warwickshire, in 1624, 1625, 1626, and was, according to Dugdale, ‘not a little eminent for his learning and eloquence;’ he married Lettice, second daughter of Sir Clement Fisher of Packington, Warwickshire; his eldest son, also Sir Clement (1605–1664), was thrice elected M.P. for. Warwick (in 1654–5, on 30 March 1660, and on 26 March 1661), was knighted on 11 Aug. 1660, and died in 1664. Job Throckmorton's second son, Job (b. 1594), was admitted a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1618.

[Visitation of Warwickshire, 1613 (Harl. Soc. pp. 206–7); Colvile's Warwickshire Worthies; Dugdale's Warwickshire, pp. 456–7; Brooks's Puritans; Maskell's Marprelate Controversy; Arber's Introd. to the Martin Marprelate Controversy; Waddington's Life of Penry, 1854; Strype's Works; Camden's Annals; William Pierce's Historical Introduction to the Marprelate Tracts, 1908.]

S. L.