Palmer, Thomas (1540-1626) (DNB00)

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PALMER, Sir THOMAS (1540–1626), ‘the Travailer,’ born in 1540, was the third son of Sir Henry Palmer of Wingham, Kent, by his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Windebank of Guisnes, and was nephew of Sir Thomas Palmer (d. 1553) [q. v.] He was high sheriff of Kent in 1595, and in the following year went on the expedition to Cadiz, when he was knighted. In 1606 he published ‘An Essay of the Meanes how to make our Travailes into forraine Countries the more profitable and honourable,’ London, 4to. Here Palmer discussed the advantages of foreign travel, and some of the political and commercial principles which the traveller should understand. The book is dated from Wingham, where the author is said to have kept, with great hospitality, sixty Christmases without intermission. He was created a baronet on 29 June 1621. He died on 2 Jan. 1625–6, aged 85, and was buried at Wingham. He married Margaret, daughter of John Pooley of Badley, Suffolk, who died in August 1625, aged 85. Of his three sons, all knighted, Sir Thomas died before his father, and was himself father of Herbert Palmer [q. v.] The second son, Sir Roger, was master of the household to Charles I, and the third son, Sir James [q. v.], is noticed separately.

The ‘Travailer’ must be distinguished from Thomas Palmer or Palmar, a Roman catholic scholar, who graduated B.A. from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1553, but who subsequently became a primary scholar of St. John's College, and was in 1563 appointed principal of Gloucester Hall. He was a zealous catholic, and, after a steady refusal to conform, he had in 1564 to retire from his headship to his estates in Essex, where persecution is said to have followed him. Wood describes him as an excellent orator, and ‘the best of his time for a Ciceronian style’ (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Wood, Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 150; Dodd, Church History, ii. 90).

[Cal. State Papers, Dom. Elizabeth, cclix. 2; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1194; Berry's Kent Genealogies, p. 259; Hasted's Kent, iii. 700; Burke's Extinct Baronetage, appendix; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 243–4.]

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