Cullum, Thomas (1587?-1664) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 13
Cullum, Thomas (1587?-1664)

by Lionel Henry Cust ‎

CULLUM, Sir THOMAS (1587?–1664), sheriff of London, was the second son of John Cullum of Thorndon, Suffolk, and Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Smith of Bacton in the same county. As a younger son he was sent to London and apprenticed to one John Rayney, a draper, and on the expiration of his apprenticeship was taken by his master into partnership. Cullum by shrewdness and industry amassed a large fortune in his business in Gracechurch Street, and became an alderman and a member of the Drapers' Company. He married Mary, daughter and coheiress of Nicholas Crisp, alderman of London, through whom he became related to the well-known royalist, Sir Nicholas Crisp [q. v.] Like him he espoused the royal cause, and paid dearly for it. Alderman of Cordwainer ward 1643–52, he in 1646 was sheriff of London, and in 1647 was committed to the Tower, with the lord mayor, Sir John Gayer, and other aldermen, for having been concerned in some royalist outbreak in the city. They published a declaration in their de- fence, which was printed. About 1642 he had been appointed to the lucrative office of commissioner of excise. In 1656 Cullum retired from business and purchased the estates of Hawsted and Hardwick, near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, whither he retired. At the Restoration he was rewarded by being created a baronet on 18 June 1660, but he seems to have fallen into disfavour with the ruling powers, as on 17 July 1661 he had a pardon under the great seal for all treasons and rebellions, with all their concomitant enormities, committed by him before the 29th of the preceding December. Some crimes were excepted from the general pardon (which is still preserved at Hardwick House), as burglaries, perjuries, forgeries, &c., including witchcraft. It is not clear in what way Cullum transgressed the royal favour, but we find that he was compelled to disburse a large sum of money in connection with the excise, the profits of which were granted to James, duke of York; this he seems to have paid into the exchequer in 1663 to buy his peace, he being then seventy-six years of age. He died at Hawsted 6 April 1664, in his seventy-eighth year, and was buried there. By his wife, who died 22 July 1637, aged 35, and was buried in All-hallows, Lombard Street, he was the father of five sons and six daughters. There are two portraits of him at Hardwick House, one in his alderman's gown and another in his sheriff's robes; the latter was engraved by James Basire (1730–1802) for Sir John Cullum's ‘History of Hardwick and Hawsted,’ and is there attributed erroneously to Sir Peter Lely; it is more probably by Cornelius Janssen.

[Cullum's Hist. of Hawsted and Hardwick; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England; Gage's History of Thingoe Hundred, Suffolk; Calendar of State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1663; family papers, &c., in the possession of G. Milner Gibson-Cullum, F.S.A., at Hardwick, Bury St. Edmunds.]

L. C.