MINORS, Thomas (1609-77), of Sadler Street, Lichfield, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 26 Oct. 1609, o.s. of Robert Minors of Uttoxeter by Gertrude, da. of Edmund Hunt of Marchington. m. (1) Sarah (d.1667), da. of John Burnes, mercer, of Lichfield, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) Dorothy, sis. of William Jesson of Lichfield, s.p.2
Sheriff, Lichfield, 1642-3, commr. for assessment 1647-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-1, 1664-d., bailiff 1648-9, 1657-8; j.p. Staffs. 1653-July 1660, commr. for poor prisoners 1653, scandalous ministers 1654, militia Mar. 1660.3
Minors came from a declining gentry family. Though they had held land in Staffordshire as early as the 13th century, and his grandfather registered his pedigree at the heralds’ visitation of 1614, he himself went into trade and became a draper in Lichfield. He took no known part in the Civil War, during which the city was held by the Royalists, but he was a Presbyterian and his sympathies were undoubtedly parliamentarian. He represented Lichfield in the Protectorate Parliaments, but at the general election of 1660 he lost his seat to Daniel Watson. The result was reversed on petition, however, and Minors became a moderately active Member of the Convention. He was named to 27 committees, of which the most important was for settling ecclesiastical livings (30 July). Four days later he was teller against the third reading of a naturalization bill. He was also appointed to committees on bills for the better observance of the Lord’s day, for settling an establishment for Dunkirk, and for allowing discharged soldiers to exercise their trades in corporate towns. After the recess his committees included those for the suppression of profanity, the militia bill, the prevention of marital separation and the explanatory poll bill.4
Minors did not stand again. In 1669 he was brought before the Privy Council for keeping unlawful meetings in his house, which was later licensed for Presbyterian worship under the Declaration of Indulgence. He was buried in St. Mary’s, Lichfield, on 30 Sept. 1677. In his will he bequeathed £10 to the Presbyterian divine Obadiah Grew, and endowed a school at Lichfield to teach thirty poor boys to spell and read in English books until they were capable of reading the Bible. He was the only member of his family to sit in Parliament. Their decline was not arrested, and by the end of the next century they were reduced to yeoman status.5