William Sparrowe, portman of Ipswich, was born on 31 July 1600, son of Robert Sparrowe (1571-1614), portman of Ipswich, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Sherman of Ipswich, Margaret was baptised on 18 December 1572 and was still living in 1647 when her son William died. William married firstly on 29 April 1628 Mary, daughter of John Lany (1547-1633), Counsellor at Law, Justice of the Peace, Recorder of Ipswich 1585-1633, by his wife Mary, daughter of John Poley of Badley. Mary Sparrowe died in 1631 when William took as his second wife Annie, daughter of John Bennet and a Timperley daughter. Annie Sparrowe was still living at Sparrowe’s House, or Ancient House, Ipswich in 1670 (Timperley of Hintlesham 1931). William had two children by his first wife, Robert and Mary, and seven by his second and may have been the reason for moving from his business premises in Ipswich to a larger house in the then country, building the great house at Thurleston (Add. Ms. 15,520), on land that be obtained from the Bennet’s by a marriage settlement.
William died on 22 November 1647, his will (PCC 138 Fairfax) was granted probate on 10 September 1649, and was buried in St. Lawrence church, Ipswich, his vault bears the neat inscription Nidus Passerum – Sparrows Nest.
His son, by his first wife Mary Lany, Robert Sparrowe, gent. inherited the estate at Thurleston. Robert married on 21 June 1650 Mary, daughter of John Parker, of Reigate in Surrey (Blois) and had issue William, John, Mary and Anne. On Robert’s marriage, his mother Annie returned to live at Sparrowe’s House in the Butter Market. Robert was made ‘Capt. Of ye foote Comp.’ in Ipswich and was also a portman of the town and of Thurleston Hall in 1655 (Add.Ms. 15,520). Robert Sparrowe died on 18 February 1698, aged 75; his wife had died in 1694, aged 71.
Robert Sparrowe seems to have sold the Thurleston estate between 1655-74 to Jonathan Seamans as Seamans is recorded in the Hearth Tax Returns made in 1674 as living in a house of 16 hearths in Whitton, and at that time Sparrowe’s Nest was the only substantial house in Whitton, with Capt. [Robert] Sparrowe recorded in St Lawrence parish in a house [Sparrowe’s House] also with 16 hearths.
By the time of the death of Robert Sparrowe’s step-mother Annie (Bennet) about 1684, Thurleston Hall was in the possession of William Hammond, again under the name of Sparrowe’s Nest. At the valuation of the houses and lands in May 1689, ‘Wm. Hammond, Esq., his house and land, in his own occ[upation].’ was assessed at £30 whilst that of Ld. Viscount Hereford at Christ Church was assessed at £32William was the only son of John Hammond (1627-1705) of Ufford, Suffolk, a merchant in London. William married at Kensington, London on 13 November 1691, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Hooke, Bart. of Tangier Park House, Hampshire, she was buried at Whitton church on 5 November 1747. William voted ‘as of Whitton’ for Sir Philip Parker in the Suffolk elections of 1710.