Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lodge, Thomas (d.1584)

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LODGE, Sir THOMAS (d. 1584), lord mayor of London, was the son of William Litleton, alias Lodge, 'ratione habitationis in Le Lodge,' of Cresset (? Cressage) in Shropshire (Visitation of Shropshire, 1623, p. 284; Munday, Stow, 1720, p. 586). The family is said to have descended from Odard de Logis, baron of Wigton, Cumberland, in the reign of Henry I (Gent. Mag. 1834, pt. ii. p. 157). Sir Thomas was born at Cound in Shropshire (Vincent, Salop, in Coll. Armor., p. 509), and became a member of the Grocers' Company, serving the office of warden in 1548, and of master in 1559 (Grocers' Company's Records). He was sworn in alderman of Cheap ward on 24 Oct. 1553 (City Records, Repertory 13, pt. i. fol.87b), and was chosen sheriff in 1556 (Machyn, Diary, p. 205).

Lodge engaged in foreign trade in Antwerp, and was an enterprising supporter of schemes for opening new markets in distant countries. On 25 Nov. 1553 a sum of 15,426l. 19s. 1d. sterling was paid to him and other merchants in consideration of money advanced to the queen by them at Antwerp (State Papers, For. Ser. 1553-8, p. 30). He received Queen Mary's thanks, in a letter dated from Richmond 9 Aug. 1558, for his willingness to become surety for redeeming Sir Henry Palmer, prisoner in France (ib. Dom. Ser. 1547-80, p. 105). In 1561 he was governor of the Russia Company, and on 8 May in that capacity signed a 'remembrance' to Anthony Jenkinson [q. v.] on his departure to Russia and Persia (ib. East India Ser. 1513-16, p. 6). He also traded to Barbary, and on 14 Aug. 1561 he offered, jointly with Sir William Chester [q. v.] and Sir William Garrard, to defray the charges of a Portuguese mariner for a voyage of discovery to that coast, and to present him with one hundred crowns (Machyn, p. 183). About 1562 Lodge, with other citizens, executed an indenture of charter-party with the queen for two ships, the Mynyon and the Prymrose, to 'sail and traffic in the ports of Africa and Ethiopia'(Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1547-1580, p. 215). To this voyage has been assigned the unenvied distinction of inaugurating the infamous traffic in slaves, countenanced by Elizabeth. In October 1562 Lodge, Sir Lionel Duckett, and others also furnished money to enable Sir John Hawkins [q. v.] to fit out three ships to trade in the capture of slaves in Guinea (Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, 1599, iii. 500). They made a good profit, and in the following year engaged in a similar venture.

Agarde, in his paper on sterling money in Hearne's 'Curious Discourses' (ii. 317), states that the Easterlings were brought over to England by Lodge from silver and copper mines in Germany in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign to reduce and refine 'the diversity of coins into a perfect standard.' Lodge further told Agarde that the men who 'fell sick to death with the savour' of the base coins in melting, found relief by drinking from human skulls, which he procured from London Bridge, under a warrant from the council (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1547-1580, p. 164; Thomson, Chronicles of London Bridge, pp. 587-8).

Lodge entered office as lord mayor 29 Oct. 1562 (cf. Machyn), and was knighted soon afterwards (Metcalfe, Knights, p. 118). His mayoralty was darkened by a visitation, of the plague, and by a personal conflict with one Edward Skeggs, 'an unworthy citizen who got to be purveyor for the queen' (Stow). Skegg seized twelve out of twenty-two capons provided for the lord mayor's table. Lodge made him restore six, and threatened him with the biggest pair of bolts in Newgate. Skeggs as a royal servant complained to the Earl of Arundel, lord steward, and Sir Edward Rogers, comptroller of the household, and they wrote to Lodge threatening him with punishment. Lodge appealed to Lord Robert Dudley and Secretary Cecil and acquainted them with his version of the case. But he did not succeed in averting the displeasure of the court. He was fined and was compelled four years later (3 Dec. 1566 City Records, Rep. 16, fol. 138b) to resign his aldermanic gown (cf. 'Relations of Worthy Mayors' in Strype's Stow, 1720, bk. i. p. 289). Lodge died in February 1583-4, and was buried near his wife and father-in-law in St. Mary Aldermary Church.

His will, dated 14 Dec. 1583, was proved: in the P.C.C. on 7 June 1585, and administered by Gamaliel Woodford as executor (Brudenell, 29). He described himself as of West Ham in Essex, and left 5l. to the poor there. He provided for a funeral sermon to be preached in St. Peter's, Cornhill, and for six other sermons to be preached in that church and the church of St. Mary Aldermary.

No mention is made of his son Thomas, but he leaves a bequest to his godson, Thomas Lodge, the son of his son William. Besides his property at West Ham, Essex, he possessed the manor of Malmeynes at Barking, Essex, in right of his first wife (Lysons, Environs, iv. 77).

Lodge married, first, Anne, daughter of Sir William Laxton [q. v.], lord mayor in 1544. By this marriage he had issue five sons—William, Thomas [q. v.] the dramatist, Nicholas, Henry, and Benedict—and one daughter, Johanna, the wife of Gamaliel Woodford, merchant, of the Staple. Anne, lady Lodge, to whom Edward White dedicated in 1579 his 'Myrror of Modestie,' died in 1579; 'An Epitaph of the Lady Anne Lodge' is described in the Stationers' Company's 'Register' as by T. Lodge, but no copy is known. He married, secondly, Margaret Parker of Wrottisley, Staffordshire, by whom he had two daughters—one, Sarah, married to Edward White, and the other married to Thomas Leicester of Worleston in Cheshire (Visitation of Shropshire, Harl. Soc. pt. ii. p. 284).

[Authorities cited; David Laing's Life of Thomas Lodge, prefixed to his Defence of Poetry (Shakespeare Soc.), pp. xii-xvii; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 434.]

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