Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gatacre, Thomas
GATACRE, THOMAS (d. 1593), divine, was younger son of William Gatacre of Gatacre Hall, Shropshire, where the family had maintained an uninterrupted succession from the time of Edward the Confessor. His parents, zealous Roman catholics, intended him for the law, and he was admitted a student of the Middle Temple about 1553. John Popham, afterwards lord chief justice, was a fellow-student, and became his intimate friend. Some of Gatacre's kindred were ‘high in place,’ and while visiting them he was present at the examinations of protestant confessors, whose constancy impressed him in favour of their opinions. With a view to confirm him in the old faith, his parents removed him to the English college at Louvain, at the same time settling on him an estate which brought in 100l. a year. Finding him strengthened in his protestantism after six months at Louvain, his father recalled him to England, obtained his consent to the revocation of the settlement, and cast him off. Gatacre found friends, who provided him with the means of studying for eleven years at Oxford, and for four years at Magdalene College, Cambridge. There is no record of his graduation. In 1568 he was ordained deacon and priest by Grindal, bishop of London, and became domestic chaplain to Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. On 21 June 1572 he was collated to the rectory of St. Edmund's, Lombard Street. In addition he was admitted to the vicarage of Christ Church, Newgate, on 25 Jan. 1577, but resigned this preferment in the following year. Fuller describes him as a ‘profitable pastor.’ His puritan principles are assumed by Brook, without much direct evidence. He died in 1593, his successor at St. Edmund's being instituted on 2 June in that year.
He married Margaret Pigott, of a Hertfordshire family, and left a son Thomas [see Gataker, Thomas].[Ashe's Narrative, appended to Gray Hayres crowned with Grace, 1655; Fuller's Worthies, 1662, ‘Shropshire,’ p. 3; Clarke's Lives of Thirty-two English Divines, 1677, pp. 248 sq.; Biog. Brit. 1747, iv. 2155 sq.; Brook's Lives of the Puritans, 1813, ii. 68; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. 1861, ii. 164 sq.]