THORNES, Roger (by 1469-1531/32), of Shrewsbury.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1469, s. of Thomas Thornes of Shrewsbury by Mary, da. of Sir Roger Corbet of Moreton Corbet. m. Jane, da. of Sir Roger Kynaston of Myddle and Hordley, 3s. inc. Robert 2da. suc. fa. by 1503.2

Offices Held

Bailiff, Shrewsbury 1497-8, 1505-6, 1509-10, 1515-16, 1521-2, 1525-6, 1530-1, alderman by 1509, coroner 1514-15; commr. subsidy 1514, 1515; escheator, Salop 1517-18.3


Members of Roger Thornes’s family were bailiffs of Shrewsbury 22 times between 1363 and 1535, and four of them besides himself sat in Parliament for the borough. A joint lessee with his father of a tenement at Hencote, Shropshire, from the crown in 1490, Thornes had succeeded to the inheritance by 1503, but four years later he sold the Staffordshire portion and he seems to have resided chiefly at his Shrewsbury house, Thornes Place in Raven Street; his tenement in High Pavement Street he leased for 11s. a year. It was during his third term as bailiff that he was elected, with his fellow-bailiff Thomas Knight, to Henry VIII’s first Parliament. Qualified by both residence and office, Thornes was also fortunate in his connexions with the leading local families of Corbet and Kynaston; he had recently been joined with his cousin Sir Robert Corbet and his brother-in-law Thomas Kynaston in their release from a recognizance for debt to Henry VII. The payment to Thornes and Knight of ‘expenses’ totalling £10 between them which appears in their own accounts (as bailiffs) for 1509-10 is considerably more than might have been expected for a Parliament lasting 34 days.

Thornes’s later municipal career is reflected in such references as his appearance in Chancery, during his fifth term as bailiff and with his fellow Thomas Hosier, to certify the number of Frenchmen dwelling in Shrewsbury, and a mission to the council of the marches at Bewdley with ‘Mr. Lyster’, presumably the well known lawyer, about a dispute between Shrewsbury and Worcester over the water of the Severn. He appears to have died intestate, but according to the Shrewsbury Chronicle This year 1531 died Master Roger called the wise Thornes of Shrewsbury for that both town and country repaired to him for advice; he guided this town politically and lieth buried in St. Mary’s church.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Muriel Booth


  • 1. Shrewsbury Guildhall 438, ff. 1-5; HMC 15th Rep. X, 31.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxix), 418-9.
  • 3. H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 530-1; Shrewsbury Guildhall 66, f. unnumbered; 75(1), f. unnumbered; Statutes, iii. 119, 174.
  • 4. H.E. Forrest, ‘Thornes fam. of Thorne Hall’, Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 260-6; CFR, 1485-1509, no. 313; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vi. 330; xii. 198; LP Hen. VIII, i; HMC 15th Rep. X, 31, 48; Shrewsbury Guildhall 438, ff. 1-5; Shrewsbury sch. Taylor ms 35, f. 56.