Thomas Sutton

B 1532  D 1611


Thomas Sutton was born in Lincoln and made his fortune from coal mining in Durham.

He married into the well known Dudley family and become a well known person who was described as the richest commoner in England.

As he amassed his wealth, he purchased both Cold Norton Hall and Southminster Hall plus their surrounding estates, becoming Lord of the Manor, although he lived at Castle Campes in Cambridgeshire.

Although it is likely that he visited the Essex estates there is no records of him doing so. 

In 1610 he founded Charterhouse School  and on his death he left it sufficient means to ensure its survival. One of his bequests to Charterhouse was Cold Norton and Southminster  Halls which remained in their ownership until comparatively recently.