LAWLEY, Thomas (1547-1621), of Wenlock, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1547, 1st s. of Thomas Lawley of Wenlock and bro. of Robert. educ. Shrewsbury 1562; I. Temple 1567, called. m. aft. 1578, Elizabeth (d.1608), da. of Sir Richard Newport of High Ercall, wid. of Francis Lawley, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1559.1

Offices Held

Prothonotary and clerk of the Crown, Carm., Pemb., Card., Haverfordwest 1589; feodary, ct. of wards, Salop, Mont. c.1599; bailiff, Much Wenlock 1589, 1594.2


Lawley inherited from his father the house and site of the monastery of Much Wenlock, which, together with lands at Beardley, was valued by the court of wards at £18 16s.9d. p.a. He was then 11 years old, and wardship was granted to Thomas Blount, a relation of Sir George Blount. It was not until 1571 that he obtained livery of the Wenlock property, which had probably been left to his mother for life. He married the widow of his cousin Francis Lawley, and, during the minority of his step-son, Richard Lawley, lived at Sponhill, near Much Wenlock.3

He had been admitted a burgess of Wenlock on 2 Oct. 1565, and is frequently mentioned in the town records. The parish register records the baptism of his children, and the several occasions on which he stood godfather. But in 1591 he was maintaining a chamber in the Inner Temple, for a dispute over it was resolved by the decision that

so long as Thomas Lawley continues here ... he shall enjoy the chamber and study as ancient, not excluding the said John Ross, who may lie in the chamber, and, in the absence of the said Thomas, enjoy the study.

Lawley was a client of his wife’s cousin (Sir) Thomas Bromley, the chancellor, to whom he wrote in 1582 asking (apparently unsuccessfully) for the reversion of an unspecified office for himself and his brother Robert. He contributed £25 for the defence of the kingdom in 1588. Lawley died at Feb. 1621, and was buried at Gnossal, Staffordshire.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.J.C.


  • 1. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 132, 248; (xxix), 313; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), xi. 3-24; (ser. 3), ii. 317.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 19.
  • 3. Wards 9/138/119; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), xi. 14; (ser. 3), ii. 317.
  • 4. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vi. 263; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 373; Egerton Pprs. (Cam. Soc. xii), 89-90; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 3), ii. 317.