TRENTHAM, Thomas (by 1487-?1519), 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 1487, s. of Thomas Trentham of Shrewsbury by Catherine, da. of John Marshall of Hurst, nr. Clun. m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Richard Corbet of Moreton Corbet, 2s. inc. Richard 5da.3

Offices Held

Burgess (common councilman), Shrewsbury by 1508, rest. Sept. 1511, bailiff 1512-13, 1516-17, coroner 1515-16.4


Thomas Trentham’s ancestors had prospered in trade at Shrewsbury and by the end of the 15th century his family was connected with many of the leading figures in the town and county. His two sons were to make their careers in the Household with the help of their Corbet kin but he seems to have followed his own father into drapery. As a young man he kept company with a group deemed troublemakers by the Shrewsbury authorities and for his part in releasing a prisoner from the town gaol he was briefly deprived of his burgess-ship: complaints were also lodged against him in the Star Chamber of riotous behaviour, assault and keeping 17 of his wayward companions in food, clothes and money. His burgess-ship was restored to him when his father was made bailiff for a fourth time, and his reinstatement was followed by his election several months later to Henry VIII’s second Parliament with Thomas Kynaston, who was a kinsman by marriage and at the time serving with Trentham’s father as bailiff. That it was Trentham and not his father and namesake who was returned in 1512 is established by the Member’s designation ‘junior’. He succeeded his father as bailiff and in this capacity he witnessed a transfer of property in the town shortly before departing under the command of the 4th Earl of Shrewsbury for the French campaign of 1513 while the Parliament stood prorogued. In 1514 he and Kynaston each received £6 10s. for the final session of the Parliament: they were said to have set out eight days after its reconvening and to have returned on the day of the dissolution. Later in the year the town complied with the King’s request for the re-election of the previous Members and recorded the result of the election on the back of the King’s letter.5

According to the town chronicle compiled under Elizabeth, Trentham died during his second term as bailiff within two or three days of the election of his replacement in 1517, but both he and his father were still alive two years later when as a resident of the castle ward Thomas Trentham junior contributed 4s. towards his own wages for the Parliament of 1515. This is the last trace of either Thomas Trentham found at Shrewsbury. However, there are grounds for thinking that the son predeceased the father. A bearer of their name living in London, whose will was made on 4 Oct. 1518 and proved on 10 June 1519, left a wife Elizabeth with Corbet relatives and five daughters with baptismal names identical with those of Thomas Trentham junior’s daughters, and although no sons are mentioned he is thus presumably to be identified with the Member. After asking for burial in All Hallows’ churchyard in London and providing for his wife and daughters he named his wife, John Latton and Richard Mainwaring executors and the Earl of Shrewsbury, William Egerton and ‘young’ Roger Corbet supervisors. The Thomas Trentham who was the subject with several other Shropshiremen of a writ of diem clausit extremum issued on 8 May 1529 was perhaps the Member’s father.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Muriel Booth


  • 1. Shrewsbury Guildhall 985.
  • 2. H. Owen and J. B. Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 319.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii(2), 140; Staffs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 224; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 136, 192; (ibid. xxix), 323, 483.
  • 4. Shrewsbury Guildhall 66, f. unnumbered; Owen and Blakeway, 530.
  • 5. HP, ed. Wedgwood 1439-1509 (Biogs.) 869; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), viii. 398; (ser. 4), xviii. 66; liv. 187; St.Ch.2/16/57-62, 21/199, 200; LP Hen. VIII, i; Owen and Blakeway, i. 549.
  • 6. Shrewsbury sch. Taylor ms 35, f. 13v; Shrewsbury Guildhall 986; PCC 17 Ayloffe; LP Hen. VIII, iv.