|Sir Thomas Spert (died 1541)|
|First and longest serving Master of Trinity House|
|Henri Grace a Dieu. © NMM|
Thomas Spert was instrumental in the founding of Trinity House. In 1514 he became the first and longest serving Master of Trinity House.
Prior to this he had worked as Sailing Master on two prestigious Tudor ships the Mary Rose and the Henri Grace a Dieu (the Great Harry).
|Trinity House on Tower Hill. © NMM|
Thomas Spert was Clerk Controller of the Navy at a time when Henry VIII was becoming increasingly involved in shipbuilding in London.
He founded Trinity House, which to this day retains the same prime objective – the safety of shipping and the welfare of seafarers.
Sir Thomas Spert was Master of Trinity House for 27 years. After his death the constitution was changed, with all Elders or Masters holding their positions for only three years. After this time they had to stand down or be re-elected by the Trinity Court of Brethren.
He is said to have lived in a 14th-century wooden manor house at Coldharbour in Blackwall. The house was still standing in 1881 when it was 152 East India Dock Road.
|1511-1513||Sailing Master of the 'Mary Rose'.|
|1514-1524||Sailing Master of the 'Henri Grace a Dieu' (the 'Great Harry').|
|1514-1541||Master of Trinity House.|
|1524-1540||Clerk Controller of the King’s Ships.|
|1529||Knighted by Henry VIII at York Place.|
|1541||Died and buried in St Dunstan's Church, Stepney.|