HARRIS, Thomas II (1550-1628), of Lincoln's Inn, London; later of Tonge Castle, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. 1550, s. of John Harris of Cruckton, burgess of Shrewsbury, by Eleanor, da. of Thomas Prowde of Sutton. educ. Shrewsbury 1565; Clement’s Inn; L. Inn 1575, called 1583. m. Eleanor, da. of Roger Gifford of London, 1s. d.v.p. 3da. cr. Bt. 1623.1
Bencher, L. Inn 1596; ?j.p. Salop c.1600;2 ?j.p.q. Cheshire 1601; serjeant-at-law Feb. 1604.
Since there were two more or less contemporary namesakes, both of Lincoln’s Inn, both of Shrewsbury, and both baronets, it is not possible to be certain about the identity of the 1586 Shrewsbury MP, but the above has been preferred. His family had been settled at Cruckton for at least three generations, and he was a lawyer, of counsel to the town, and active in the securing of a new charter in 1584. In that year’s parliamentary election for the borough, however, he came bottom of the poll in a three-cornered contest. Two years later he was returned unopposed. The references in the journals to a ‘Mr. Harris’ are probably to Thomas Harris I.3
Harris bought Tonge Castle from Sir Edward Stanley in 1613. Eight years later he settled it on himself and his wife for life with remainder to William Jones, Ellis Wynn and two other trustees for the life of his only son Francis, with permission to raise marriage portions for his three daughters. Francis and one of the daughters died shortly afterwards and Harris made a new settlement in 1625. He died 18 Feb. 1628, and Tonge Castle passed to his daughter Elizabeth.4