Chaloner, Sir Thomas

the younger, the son of the former by his wife Ethelreda, daughter of Mr. Frodsham of Elton in Cheshire, was born in 1559, and being very young at the time of his father’s decease, and his mother soon after marrying a second husband, he owed his education chiefly to the care and protection of the lordtreasurer Burleigh, by whom he was first put under the care of Dr. Malim, master of St. Paul’s school, and afterwards removed to Magdalen college in Oxford, where he closely pursued his studies at the time when his father’s poetical works were published; and as a proof of his veneration for his father’s friend, and gratitude for the many kindnesses himself had received, he prefixed a dedication to this work to his patron the lord Burleigh, He left the college before he took any degree, but not before he had acquired a great reputation for parts and learning. He had, like his father, a great talent- for poetry, which he wrote with much facility both in English and in Latin, but it does not appear that he published any thing before he left England, which was probably about the year 1580. He visited several parts of Europe, but made the longest stay in Italy, fprmed an acquaintance with the gravest and | wisest men in that country, who very readily imparted to him their most important discoveries in natural philosophy, which he had studied with much diligence and attention., At his return home, which was some time before 1584, he appeared very much at court, and was esteemed by the greatest men there, on account of his great learning and manners. About this time he married his first wife, the daughter of his father’s old friend sir William Fleetwood, recorder of London, by whom he had several children. In the year 1591 he had the honour of knighthood conferred upon him, as well in regard to his own personal merit“as the great services of his father; and some years after, the first alum mines that were ever known to be in this kingdom, were discovered, by his great sagacity, not far from Gisborough in Yorkshire, where he had an estate.*


The time when this discovery was made is not fixed but from a comparison of circumstances it appears to have been about 1600, or perhaps a little earlier. Very considerable sums of money were spent before the project was brought to bear; which probably was owing to the difference of climates, and that different manner of working, which this rendered necessary. But at length, by the bringing over privately Lambert Russell, a Walloon, and two other workmen, smployed in this business at Rochelle in France, the matter was completed, but very little to the profit of the proprietors, since upon this it was adjudged to be a mine royal, and so came into the hands of the crown. It was then granted to sir Paul Pindar, under the following rent, viz. twelve thousand five hundred pounds a year to the king, one thousand six hundred and forty pounds a year to the earl of Mulgrave, and six hundred pounds a year to sir William Pennyman. But notwithstanding these high rents, and that no less than eight hundred persons were employed in the manufacture at a time, the farm of the alum mines produced a vast profit to sir Paul Pindar, who kept up the commodity at the rate of twenty-six pounds a ton. The Long Parliament voted this a monopoly, and restored the alum works to their original proprietors.

In the latter end of queen Elizabeth’s reign, sir Thomas Chaloner made a journey into Scotland, whether out of curiosity, with a view to preferment, or by the direction of sir Robert Cecil, afterwards earl of Salisbury, who was his great friend, is uncertain; but he soon grew into such credit with king James, that the most considerable persons in England addressed themselves to him for his favour and recommendation. Amongst the rest, sir Francis Bacon, afterwards chancellor, wrote him a very warm letter, which is still extant, which he sent him by his friend Mr. Matthews, who was also charged with another to the king; a copy of which was sent to sir Thomas Chaloner, and Mr. Matthews was directed to deliver him the original, if he would undertake to present it. He | accomparried the king in his journey to England, and by his learning, conversation, and address, fixed himself so effectually in that monarch’s good graces, that, as one of the highest marks he could give him of his kindness and confidence, he thought fit to intrust him with the care of prince Henry’s education, August 17, 1603, not as his tutor, but rather governor or superintendant of his household and education. He enjoyed this honour, under several denominations, during the life-time of that excellent prince, whom he attended in 1605 to Oxford, and upon that occasion was honoured with the degree of master of arts, with many other persons of distinction. It does not appear that he had any grants of lands, or gifts in money, from the crown, in consideration of his services, though sir Adam Newton, who was preceptor to prince Henry, appears to have received at several times the sum of four thousand pounds by way of free gift. Sir Thomas Chaloner had likewise very great interest with queen Anne, and appears to have been employed by her in her private affairs, and in the settlement of that small estate which she enjoyed. What relation he had to the court after the death of his gracious master prince Henry, does no where appear; but it is not at all likely that he was laid aside. He married some years before his death his second wife Judith, daughter to Mr. William Biount of London, and by this lady also he had children, to whom he is said to have left a considerable estate, which he had at SteepleClaydon in the county of Buckingham. He died November 17, 1615, and was buried in the parish church of Chiswick in the county of Middlesex. His eldest son William. Chaloner, esq. was by letters patents dated July 20, in the 18th of James I. in 1620, created a baronet, by the title of William Chaloner of Gisborough in the county of York, esq. which title was extinct in 1681. Few or none, either of our historians or biographers, Anthony Wood excepted, have taken any notice of him, though he was so considerable a benefactor to this nation, by discovering the alum mines, which have produced vast sums of money, and still continue to be wrought with very great profit. Dr. Birch, indeed, in his” Life of Henry Prince of Wales,“has given a short account of sir Thomas, and has printed two letters of his, both of which shew him to have been a man of sagacity and reflection. In the Lambeth library are also some letters of sir Thomas Chaloner’s, | of which there are transcripts by Dr. Birch in the British Museum. The only publication by sir Thomas Chalouer is entitled” The virtue of Nitre, wherein is declared the sundry cures by the same effected," Lond. 1584, 4to. In this he discovers very considerable knowledge of chemistry and mineralogy. 1

Biog. Brit. Lodge’s Illustrations, vol. III. —Ath. Ox. vol. 1, Birch’s Prince Henry